Bertha Henson: The quality of mercy

~ By Bertha Henson ~

It was heart-warming to read about a merciful court. So the CJ quashed a man’s jail sentence and went for a fine instead. The renovation contractor who had a self-exclusion order tried to get into a casino using his wife’s IC and got caught. He was jailed two months and fined $800. His lawyer said there were five other unreported cases like this but they got off with a fine instead. The CJ ruled that he had tried to help himself out of the addiction and was merely succumbing to temptation. The point that he used his wife’s IC, while illegal, didn’t detract from it.

I wish someone would clarify what the Casino Control Act really says about breaching self-exclusion (and third-party exclusion) orders – the CJ says it is not a criminal offence in itself and that there were several measures to deal with this. I wonder what they are – and whether the unreported five others were dealt with that way. So the renovation contractor was fined $3,000 – under what law (for the crime of using his wife’s IC? The CJ also said that those who breach third-party exclusion orders, that is, those who were forced to stay out of casinos, would be more severely dealt with. How so? Have there been such cases? So many questions leh.

BT had a casino story too – on the courts being kept busy dealing with casinos trying to get debtors to pay up. Plenty of Malaysians (which makes me wonder why they didn’t play in Genting), but a couple of Singapore PRs and Singaporeans. I don’t know why but all this makes me uncomfortable. In March, one Singapore was made a bankrupt because of his debts. I guess the really happy people would be lawyers. Go buy BT.

As an aside: I really loved ST’s piece on the playgrounds in the HDB heartland. I have noticed them too. Now, my question is: how much did all these new-fangled devices cost the taxpayer?

TOC thanks Bertha Henson for her contribution, this article first appeared on her blog. Bertha Henson is a former Associate Editor of The Straits Times.