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Singapore, Crime

Ian Poh
Monday, Sep 1, 2014

Singapore, Crime

Anti-govt graffiti: Second man jailed

The Straits Times | Ian Poh | Monday, Sep 1, 2014

A full-time national serviceman was given two months' jail and three strokes of the cane yesterday for an act of purported anti-government vandalism.

Mohamad Fadzly Aziz, 21, was the second to be dealt with over graffiti sprayed on the pavement outside Sunshine Plaza in Prinsep Link on Nov 5 last year.

He admitted that he kept a lookout as Muhammad Qamarul Arifin Sa'adon, 23, spray-painted "WE ARE ONE WE ARE LEGION EXPECT US!!" - words linked to "hacktivist" group Anonymous. Qamarul also painted the logo of their friend's clothing line, TSK.

Similar words and the logo were sprayed on a pillar nearby, and the logo was painted on the pavement of a Waterloo Street cab stand. Two charges over these were taken into consideration.

Qamarul, a former firefighter, received the same punishment as Fadzly on Aug 7.

Three other men linked to the Prinsep Link vandalism were brought to court last November to face various vandalism charges.

One of them, freelance deejay Danial Ryan Salleh, 25, told Fadzly and three others last Nov 4 that he had received a call from someone in Switzerland claiming to be a member of Anonymous. He said he was told to spray-paint a message backing its fight against the Singapore Government.

The group bought spray paint and Qamarul committed the vandalism act as Fadzly, Danial and Muhammad Fitri Abu Kasim, 25, who is unemployed, allegedly kept watch nearby.

But yesterday, Fitri received a discharge not amounting to an acquittal plus a conditional warning for the same charges. The case against Danial is still pending at the pre-trial conference stage.

Meanwhile, Fadzly and self-employed designer Muhammad Redzwan Baskin, 26, have been given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal for a later offence at *Scape in Orchard Road.

Fadzly's lawyer M. Ravi said his client, the eldest of three children, had not acted with a political agenda. "He may not have been smart in his... choices, or the company he kept, but he is certainly not a mischief-monger."

But Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Wee Hao, who called for two months' jail, said Fadzly's role as a lookout emboldened his alleged accomplices and helped them carry out the act undetected.

The penalty for vandalism is up to three years' jail or up to $2,000 in fines, and between three and eight strokes of the cane.

pohian@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on August 30, 2014.
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