An undergraduate who strangled an ex-girlfriend and injured her left eye from excessive force is allegedly in a contract with a government dental clinic.
According to a report by Lianhe Zaobao on 19 July, the National University of Singapore (NUS) dentistry student, Yin Zi Qin, is bound by an agreement with a “government dental clinic”.
It was reported that he would be able to graduate from the dentistry faculty since he will maintain no convictions on his criminal record if he completes his sentence. Yin will then move on to a government dental clinic to “serve”.
If Yin is expelled from NUS, he would have to fork out S$400,000 for a “breach of contract”.
At this point, it is unclear if it is a scholarship bond. TOC has reached out to NUS for more details.
AGC not appealing sentence
A spokesperson from the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) said on Tuesday (21 July) in response to media queries that it will not be appealing the sentencing of Yin’s case.
On Friday (17 Jul), District Judge Marvin Bay imposed a community-based sentence on the 23 year-old sophomore. Yin was given a short detention of 12 days, a day reporting order for five months with counselling and 80 hours of community service to be completed over a year.
He will maintain no criminal record contingent on the completion of his sentence.
He was convicted of voluntarily causing hurt to an ex-girlfriend when she rejected his plea to rekindle their relationship in May 2019. Yin then strangled the 21 year-old victim and pressed his thumb against her left eye until it bled and she passed out.
Public uproar over “light” sentence
Netizens soon voiced their unhappiness over the verdict which they felt was too lenient and did not fit the crime. Petitions were created to impose harsher penalties on Yin and for NUS to expel the student.
The backlash led to the People’s Action Party (PAP) Women’s Wing and PAP Women Members of Parliament to issue a press statement on Tuesday (21 July). They denounced violence against women and called upon the Ministry of Home Affairs to look into this matter.
Court not the issue, it is the legal policy framework, says Shanmugam
Minister K Shanmugam subsequently addressed the issue after the press statement was made.
He said that “courts are not the issue” and that “the approach should be to look at the legal policy framework”.
“I’ve asked my ministry, MHA, to do a review on what penalties should be applied,” Mr Shanmugan said.
Three areas in the current framework will be reviewed: the penalties to be applied for similar cases in future; the relevance of factors such as educational background in sentencing; the relativity in punishment between different offences.