Man gets jailed and caned for vandalizing Geylang with racist graffiti

Photos: Balli Kaur Jaswal/Facebook
Photos: Balli Kaur Jaswal/Facebook

Vandalism of public spaces is bad enough, but one man took it overboard when he scribbled racist graffiti on the walls and pillars outside Aljunied MRT station and in other parts of Geylang. He was sentenced to 13 months in jail and nine strokes of the cane yesterday.

Chen Jianbang, who was arrested on Jan 7 this year, pleaded guilty to three charges of vandalism and two charges of wounding racial feelings, with another 12 charges taken into consideration for sentencing.

Over the course of a week in January, the 31-year-old littered void deck walls and sheltered walkways in the neighborhood with vulgar phrases aimed at the Malay community. He was caught after a passerby, an officer on patrol, and the Aljunied MRT station master called the police, and investigations unearthed CCTV footage of him committing the crime.

Police officers seized a permanent marker, a sling bag, and clothing items from him.

The offensive scrawls had to be removed with thinner or painted over, and Chen was sentenced to an additional 60 days in jail as he had breached his remission order after his early release from prison last August. He had been sentenced to one year and nine months in jail for housebreaking in November 2017, and had past offences such as mischief and cheating going back to 2005.

Some of his racial slurs included “Malay mati” (“Malay die”) and “All Malay fight lose Chinese.”

In court, the prosecutor said “the accused chose to inscribe racially-charged words onto private and public property, thereby allowing the words to be viewed repeatedly over a period of time,” and sought a “strong deterrent sentence.”

Chen, who was not represented in court, said of his sentence: “I think nine strokes is okay.”

For each vandalism charge, he could have been jailed up to three years or fined a maximum of S$2,000, as well as given up to eight strokes of the cane. For wounding racial feelings, he could’ve gotten a jail term of up to three years, fined, or both.

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