Forum: Law does not provide for Govt to impose alternative punishments for remitted sentence

Mr Kevin Sng felt that it would only be fair that David Roach's punishment of six strokes of the cane be substituted with an alternative punishment, such as additional jail time (StanChart robbery: Substitute caning with jail time, July, 28).

The sentencing of an offender is independently decided by the courts. The decision to seek the President's remission of the caning sentence is taken by the Executive after the offender is sentenced by the courts, and does not involve the courts.

In this case, the President exercised her powers under Article 22P(1) of the Constitution to remit the sentence of caning imposed on Roach by the courts. The statutory framework does not provide for the President or the Government to impose alternative punishments for a sentence that has been remitted under Article 22P(1).

The remission of a caning sentence through the exercise of the President's powers under Article 22P(1) is different from a situation where an offender is certified unfit for caning under Section 331 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC). In the latter, the court which sentenced the offender may, under Section 332 of the CPC, revise the sentence by remitting it altogether, or sentence the offender to additional imprisonment of not more than 12 months, in lieu of the sentence of caning which cannot be carried out.

Singapore is committed to facilitating greater international cooperation to combat transnational crime, including negotiating more extradition treaties and arrangements. We have extensive extradition arrangements with many jurisdictions, including Britain, Malaysia and Brunei.

Singapore is also party to a number of multilateral treaties which provide for extradition, such as the International Convention against the Taking of Hostages and the International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings, and is actively engaged in negotiations on an Asean Extradition Treaty, which when concluded, will provide Singapore with extradition arrangements with countries in the region, including Thailand.

Lu Xinyi

Director (Media Relations),

Community Partnership and Communications Group

Ministry of Home Affairs

Andrea Goh

Director (Corporate Communications)

Ministry of Law