Have mercy on “Sticker Lady!”

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Hard truths of sticker lady by Unbranded Bread and Butter.

There are many articles similar to the above written by netizens on blogs and FBs. It seems that most of them sympathize with our sticker lady’s predicament.

Under Singapore’s strict laws, she could be charged under the Vandalism Act.

Pls refer to this article.

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Let’s examine Section 3 of The Vandalism Act, Chapter 341. It refers to penalty or punishment for acts of vandalism.

“3. Notwithstanding the provisions of any other written law, any person who commits any act of vandalism or attempts to do any such act or causes any such act to be done shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $2,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years, and shall also, subject to Section 231 of the Criminal Procedure Code, be punished with caning with not less than 3 strokes and not more than 8 strokes ….”

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By any yardstick or measurement, the above vandalism law enacted in 1966 is definitely draconian. Even for first time offenders, it’s mandatory caning of 3 strokes except for women or old men. Even juveniles as in the case of an American teenager aged 18 years convicted under the same law are not spared the rotan. It caused so much controversy that the American President Bill Clinton had to intervene under pressure.

Why was this vandalism law enacted in the first place in 1966? It’s worth taking a look at the debate before it was passed in parliament.

Quote from Wikipedia …

“Taking part in the Parliamentary debate, the Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew commented that the bill, which sought to impose a mandatory caning sentence on persons convicted for the first time of vandalism with an indelible substance, was a “departure from what is normal criminal law legislation”. However, the punishment was necessary because … we have a society which, unfortunately, I think, understands only two things – the incentive and the deterrent. We intend to use both, the carrot and the stick. … fine will not deter the type of criminal we are facing here. He is quite prepared to go to gaol, having defaced public buildings with red paint. Flaunting the values of his ideology, he is quite prepared to make a martyr of himself and go to gaol. He will not pay the fine and make a demonstration of his martyrdom. But if he knows he is going to get three of the best, I think he will lose a great deal of enthusiasm, because there is little glory attached to the rather humiliating experience of having to be caned.”

The above statement is quite obvious. It’s intent is basically to deal with those hardcore recalcitrants especially those political activists in the 1960s spraying political slogans and anti government messages on public buildings and places. Those were chaotic days quite different from today’s more civilized and orderly environment. Remember we are now the third richest country in the world. We are no longer third world status.

Nevertheless, I’m not saying that the law is obsolete even though it’s archaic. We may have to invoke this piece of law if our society regresses to that anarchic state as in the 1960s or if the perpetrators harbour real evil with destructive intent.

Let’s go back to the so called “sticker lady”. Question is do we need to wield such a huge stick to whack her? Do we need an axe to kill an ant? Is there no leeway in the provisions of the law when it comes to ‘wanton artistic expressions’ which do not really destroy public property in the sense that fire was set and public amenities systematically demolished? Did her actions really incur the wrath of society?

Obviously not if we judge by the online netizens’ appeal for leniency. Having said that, expressions of art in this manner certainly cannot be condoned.

Popular personality Nicole Seah’s appeal on behalf of sticker lady.

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We should tamper justice with mercy. Do not wield this draconian law blindly and whack the wrong target. I’m not saying that sticker lady should be let off. As they say an offence is an offence. To commit theft of $5 or $5,000 is still theft. Sticker lady has committed an offence and she should be punished. It’s as simple that. She should not be let off.

Why not charge her under Section 11(1)(a) of the Minor Offences Act Chapter 184? ( I think it’s changed to Miscellaneous Offences Act )

It is clearly stated …

“11(1) Any person who commits any of the following offences shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $50:
(a) without authority in the case of public property, or without the consent of the owner or occupier in the case of private property, affixes or causes to be affixed any advertisement, bill or notice, or any paper against or upon any building, wall or fence, or writes upon, defaces or marks any such building, wall or fence with chalk or paint, or in any other way;”

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I’m sure that any reasonable and logical person with compassion will have to agree with me that this charge preferred against the sticker lady is much more appropriate. Alas! Only the AGC has the prerogative to prefer whatever charges they deem fit. I hope they will consider the circumstances of the case and be compassionate towards this maverick creative sticker lady’s misadventure.

If the authority wishes to get rid of such “acts of vandalism”, there is plentiful around us. They could start off with napping those locksmiths always sticking their name card stickers onto letter boxes, door bells and lifts which are public property. No matter how I remove those irritating stickers, they keep coming back. These are the so called irresponsible social menace recalcitrants that need a bigger stick to whack the daylight out of them! Really langgar!

Why didn’t the police go after them instead? In short, let reason and compassion guide those in authority to mete out justice in an appropriate and fair manner. ‘Sticker lady’ deserves a second chance.

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About Gintai_昇泰

I'm a Chinese Singaporean living in the Eastern part of Singapore. I tweet on current affairs & inspirational quotes. I blog on issues or events if they interest me. I write for pleasure. I also write mainly for my family and friends.
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40 Responses to Have mercy on “Sticker Lady!”

  1. Lohcifer says:

    Let’s get something straight. Ever seen sculptures depicting Justice ? She is always blindfolded, right? You should know what that means. Vandalism is not art, “street art” is not art, mixed martial arts is not a sport and Damien Hirst is no artist and Samantha Lo with her gross disrespect, and acts of defiance has not an iota of artistic quality in her so don’t try to equate her even with Tang Tsou Choi and let’s not jump into that bandwagon of those who can’t wait to grasp at any straw just to whack the government. Would you like it if she spray paints on YOUR wall? Let’s be more discerning. Pause and think for a moment. Light travels faster than sound. Most people appear smart until they express their opinions.

    • Anonymous says:

      Only the last sentence is true.

      • Alfonso Liauw says:

        Applies to everyone – including the three fat sluts who let Peter Lim fuck. Applies to you too, dumbass!

    • Anonymous says:

      “Vandalism is not art, “street art” is not art, mixed martial arts is not a sport and Damien Hirst is no artist.”

      Ignorance is ignorance.

      • Eugene says:

        Printing stickers to stick on traffic light buttons is art? Some people forget more than others remember.

    • durian seller says:

      “Ever seen sculptures depicting Justice? She is always blindfolded, right ?”
      Please enlighten me what it means and any implication to such measures, thanks in advance.

      • ape@kinjioleaf says:

        My understanding is that justice applied equally regardless of one’s social standing. Thus the blindfold indicates ‘I don’t know who you are but if evidence shows you’re guilty, the law applies’

        • durian seller says:

          Thanks ape@kinjioleaf.
          Now I can look forward to Lohcifer’s wise opinion as to whether there is any implication applying the law in such a manner.

    • l says:

      “Would you like it if she spray paints on YOUR wall?”

      what if Samantha Lo is YOUR most favorite daughter?

      • kuaychap_kia says:

        If your favourite daughter is a murderer so you will cover her up? THANKS BE TO GOAT that the law will severely punish those of abet crime

        And if you cover up for your favourite daughter’s crime, I feel sorry for you as her parent for not doing a better job.

        • l says:

          now i know, spray painting is at the same criminal level as murder…. thanks for the enlightenment…

          you dont even know the meaning of crime.. so please dont any howly thank god… becoz man dont think like god. if its god’s decision, i believe god will already set the girl free and forgiven her 100000000 times. god has already forgiven her even before she commited the act.

          what is crime? what defines crime? an act by a human being which another equal human being disagrees? or just becoz garmen say so? dont u think garmen are also human and can make mistakes? geez..

          and dont have to feel sorry for me in terms of parenting… my methods work pretty fine so far (in MY opinion, not yours..)…. i’ll like to run my family my own way and i am not really interested in what other ppl think and i dont define right or wrong based on what other ppl say coz maybe i have my own brain and its own information filters which is fully functional…

          sometimes ppl need to show some UNCONDITIONAL love and UNCONDITIONAL compassion when the situation calls for it… like something as trival as some spray painting… live and let live… for you’ll never know, one day, you might need that UNCONDITIONAL compassion from others as well…

    • kuaychap_kia says:

      Lohcifer is absolutely right. The AG Chamber did the right thing and the government is right to maintained such legal regime.

  2. I like the historical part about vandalism. Even active policemen, investigations officers would be ashamed! Haha. Makes me think of why we cane illegal immigrants also. I ask my ah beng camp mates before and they all say “I not scared sit, I only scare kena whack!”

  3. Pingback: Hard Truths of Sticker Lady « Unbranded Bread n Butter

  4. Gavin says:

    Gintai, I normally like what you say, but I got to disagree on this. The stickers may be able to be considered a Nuisance under the Misc Offences (Public Order) Act, but not the spray painting. Vandalism under the Vandalism Act is the minimum punishment. Also under Misc Offences Act, the stickers have to be placed on a building, wall or fence. Dunno what traffic lights are classified as.

    A building was also spray painted. Which the owner will have to pay to remove. The owner may not consider it art, as art is subjective. If the person is one and the same, this person went from sticking stickers to spray painting public property to spray painting private property. The reasoning could be because the police didn’t do anything about the stickers so go further.

    If you read the Vandalism Act, s.3(a) and (b) there is no cane. Cane is for when you use paint. May I recommend you refer to the update statutes freely available on statutes.agc.gov.sg.

    The law is nuanced enough to cover all situations. If this woman is really the person who did it, then she should be punished. The question is not if it is art, but if the pursuance of that art resulted in vandalism. Artists do not have to be vandals and vandals do not have to be artists.

    So the law is a lot nuanced then what most people think.

  5. Lian-Hee Wee says:

    actually, I kinda appreciate someone spraying on my wall, if I had a wall!!

    • kuaychap_kia says:

      Don’t be silly, you don’t have a wall? Poor thing, you are homeless and live in the open air?

      • swift rider says:

        I don’t know about Lian Hee Wee, but I use to live on a boat parked in a marina.
        And many a times I actually live in a tent during my motor bike trips. Come to think of it I don’t have my own wall, It belongs to my landlord when I am renting a room from her, just for a short spell. So does that mean I am silly not to have a wall when I am sleeping ?

  6. dotseng says:

    You see the problem with art is that it means so many things to so many people. One man’s meat is really another man’s poison. So it is best to have designated approved areas for artist to do their thing. The problem with allowing them to do it all over the place is sooner or later it will turn into a public nuisance. There must be balance between the hard and soft, otherwise it is very difficult for many people to see that justice is done here. Justice must NOT only be done. It must also be SEEN to be done as well.

    Darkness 2012

  7. Pingback: Daily SG: 7 June 2012 « The Singapore Daily

  8. agongkia says:

    If only more people have a sense of humour then there would be no complain.To me this is a kind of rare sickness that many do not know or accept ,unable to sympathise and thus classified it as an offence.You also need some kind of talent to do this.Not having such talent does not justify one to be jealous and thus says its offensive.
    What is needed here is just some counselling session for the innocent girl .I have sympathy on her.
    Writing on the wall is just like me,like to write on some bloggers’ wall or give comment here.Its the same principal.Expression of unhappiness,sharing of joy…how come no one say I vandalise or conduct act of mischief.Just because you all also write in net?Gintai can also say I dirtied his blog and can report me .Can or not?What ‘s the difference?I very blur leh.

    • Alan Tang says:

      Agongkia,
      Pls lah! I’m so happy that you willing to come here to take the trouble and effort to post comments here. Even if you “dirty” my wall is OK! I can always del it lah! Langgar!

  9. patriot says:

    Many are understandably sympathetic to the Sticker Lady, she had done little or no irreparable damage. And her artistic expressions in painting and word are tastefully done and humourous. Me will even say they are educational. However, as many had rightly put it; an offence is an offence. She has to face the Laws, just hope that the Laws can be lenient in sentencing her. There can be compassion in punishment.

    patriot

    p

    • agongkia says:

      Patriot
      Like your view but maybe punish her for not writing proper grammar.Maybe she should add a “S” after grandfather :My grandfather’S road.Write hundred sentences plus some counselling.Case close.She is harmless.

      • Alan Tang says:

        I always got confused with that stupid “S” myself. Here is what I think. If you say ” My grandfather’s road” it means that this road belongs to your grandfather. But if without the “S”, then name of the road is “My grandfather”.
        What road is that?
        Ans: My grandfather road.
        Whose road is that?
        It belongs to my grandfather.

        Just think along this line. Black’s shoes not necessary must be black color. Can be white color. This pair of white shoes belong to Mr Black! Got it? English is sometimes very langgar tiang! With blogging I have improved on my langgar English! KNN!

  10. Alan Tang says:

    Ladies and gentlemen,
    Thank you for your participation. This blog post is quite controversial just like that “sticker lady!”. It has now crossed the 2,216 hits – double than my usual posts.
    If you read my post carefully, I didn’t say that what sticker lady did is correct albeit street art or creative art whatever. I merely plead for compassion on her behalf by punishing her on lesser law ie Miscellaneous Offences Act rather than the heavy duty Vandalism Act. She is a first timer offender. She is young. No malicious or evil intent to cause upheaval to our public amenities etc. That’s why I traced the origins and intent of the law. She ought to be punished but at the appropriate proportion. That is what I said on my post.
    “One man’s meat is really another man’s poison.” according to Darkness2012 is correct. It’s really a matter of interpretation. Pls go to http://dotseng.wordpress.com/2012/06/07/is-the-sticker-girl-a-vandal-or-artist/ to read his views where he put it correctly that outlets need to be catered for this group of street artists with proper facilities and monitoring. Well said indeed. If we do not cater to their needs, we will still see more of such “street artists” in future. But then like what Darkness2012 says if we take away the thrill of getting caught or apprehended, will they buy this idea of orderly and proper manner to conduct their talent? The idea here is thrill or the “high” of getting caught and able to get away with it.
    I can feel that. The immense satisfaction and thrill of avoiding arrest or getting caught is “high” which is addictive. You see when I was a boy, myself and neighbours would venture to another kampung to “raid” or “steal” rambutans, mangoes or jumbo ( a kind of fruit ). We would plot and plan even ambush for the right time to hit. It’s a challenge we looked forward each time. We would then bring back our spoils from my raids and share around. We would relate to each other how brave and ingenious to have outwitted our neighbours’ dogs to penetrate into the compound to achieve our target. We didn’t think that it’s a crime or offence committed by us. My parents could easily go to the maket to buy all those fruits for us but we got no interest. There was no fun or thrill. We did not feel a sense of achievement or thrill in fruits paid for from the market. What I say here is the truth and I merely relating my childhood’s mischievous exploits.
    Today, there is no more kampung or fruit trees to raid. Our kids are now brought up differently. That is why this social phenomenon. Do we understand them? I’m afraid not. This sticker lady misadventure is exactly the same as all those nonsense ( there was more nonsense which I can’t say here! Hehehhe! ) which my kumpung boys and myself did back then more than 30 yrs ago on the foothills of Kaki Bukit near to the old Paya Lebar airport opposite Lor Tai Seng, Jln Ang Teng right into the villages about 5 km from the main off Airport Road!
    So you see my ferns, if the police were that efficient in those days, I would have been arrested and charged in court countless times for theft, vandalism, trespasser, mischief, cruelty to animals etc etc.. Oh yes, we even did it commando style to “curi ayam” from a farm. We had it BBQ and even cooked it with curry. We even hunted for pond fowl with catapult, frogs, fresh water fish in the pond with a jamban where human waste excreted into the big pond of water hyacinth, pigeons etc and cooked them over two pieces of bricks with firewoods. It was fun and thrilling esp during the school holidays. A process of growing up I gone thru. Nowadays, there is no such outlet to tap our young’s creative energy. We had an outlet – many outlets then to divert our abundant energy.
    That is why I say don’t whack the wrong target. What is the intent and purpose of that vandalism law? It’s a weapon against another group of people not this sticker lady I’m sure. I hope what I say here clarify some of the doubts or points raised here.
    I appreciate all your comments whether for or against. It’s OK with me. I can’t expect all to agree with me right? No problem at all so long as we respect each other’s views and don’t get personal. Cheers.

    • kuaychap_kia says:

      Aiyoh Gintai! You stole fruits when you were a kid mah! If Sam Lo is a 12 year old vandal, she will also not be prosecuted mah, because still a minor.

      In any case, stealing neighbour’s fruits in kampung is not the same mah. Those were the days where the fruits just grow by Divine Providence on someone’s land. So if today a kid plucked roses from neighbour’s potted plant, kampung spirit also meh? Sure they wouldn’t call the Police?

      Kids are naughty and naughtiness can cross the line. Children don’t know the meaning of crime but I doubt a kid can think that it is alright to walk into NTUC Fair Price to take something and eat it, then walk out without paying. Law is law lah

  11. kuaychap_kia says:

    The accused’s tweet:
    “…..just wish the media will leave my house alone..”

    What, is she crazy? The road, wall, lamp post, pedestrian crossing, etc also want to be left alone but she came, she checked then she vandalised. Why can’t she leave public property alone too? Why can’t see let them alone so that there will be no added cost and time for cleaners to clean up the mess, hence not abusing tax payer’s money?

    Media should continue to pound on her, that should teach her a lesson.

    Now that we prosecute her in Court, that’s also tax payers’ money involved. What a waste!

    • kuaychap_kia says:

      By the way, if Sam Lo thinks that vandalism is a form of art, then the media outside her home is the fundamentally most common and accepted form of art called “journalism”. Don’t complain your own doing lor, every action, reaction.

      • beef rendang says:

        she is a small target lah! go for big ones that will reap better returns.
        the journalists should be monitoring the homes of the SDF and CNB chiefs, even the 3 women in question. LOL
        even then I say they should think of their families. what say you kuaychap kia?

        • kuaychap_kia says:

          Basically many accused are only put on trial and punished by the media. I wouldn’t be surprised that the press is already camping at the homes of the SCDF and CNB that is if they can get hold of their home addresses since they are unlikely to be known to the public or directory due to their previous sensitive nature of job.

          I can agree that the press should, to some extent, be sympathetic however Sam Lo can’t complain too much since her vandalism involves attention seeking, so now she can’t take the attention from the media? How funny.

          In hindsight, I thought the MRT spray paint vandalism is quite artistic also. So we witch hunt meh? Just because Ang Moh they must be severely punished? Got to be fair mah

          • meepok man says:

            eh kuaychapkia,
            the angmohs broke into a restricted area lah!
            that was why they were severely punished, surely you have seen those sign boards in some restricted areas with a rifle as the main symbol ?
            don’t believe, then try entering some oil storage installatons, airport parameters, etc
            anyway, do you think LuiTY can afford more disruptions to our MRT if cleaning had to be done to remove artistic drawings ? lol

    • Alan Tang says:

      How to solve this problem? Shall we send her to the gallows or feed her to the lions? That will save tons of taxpayers’ money. Will the money saved go back to you and me? I can’t think of a better solution to your concerns.

  12. Steven says:

    No wonder Singapore never able to produce artistic Banksy,
    http://www.holytaco.com/25-coolest-banksy-graffiti/

    only good at producing greedy Bankers

    • laksa_kia says:

      Joker lah! Just because cannot express art in illegal way means Singapore cannot produce great artist? Hallow, brain kena langgar ah – in most western world, grafitti is also a crime mah. If one is talented you can express in any ways and can have the brain to think what is right and wrong too. If like dat, Albert Einstein would never have existed because he was not offered a place in university and was only working as an admin assistant (“Clerk”) in a patent office. But still, he made it through the proper channel.

      Anyway, the grafitti artist will become famous after this incident, so it’s good for her career too.

      • meepok man says:

        Agree with you she is now famous but also infamous depending on who you ask.
        But I hope the judge will give chance to her, make her do community service in Changi Condo teaching art to the inmates and if I were the prison warden I will even allow her and the inmates to do drawings on the walls and grade their art accordingly. of course the screwed up drawings mean cleaning duties for the culprits. lol

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