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Judicial CP - May 2000

Corpun file 5727 at


Borneo Bulletin, BSB, 17 May 2000

Syabu couple gets 23 years

By Liza Mohamad

A married couple will not be able to hold their cash of $21,000 and jewelleries until a very long period of time, because they were sentenced to 23 years of jail term in the High Court yesterday for importing 136.99 grams of syabu from Labuan.

Justice Steven Chong also ordered 15 strokes of rattan to Jaya bin Hj Abdul Ghani, 38, while Hjh Gaira binti Hj Ahmad, 42, escaped the rattan.

Judge Chong noted a staggering increase in the quantity of syabu seized, from 236.6956 grams in 1998 to 1,196.73 grams last year, according to the statistics from the Narcotics Control Bureau.

Before passing sentence, Judge Chong took into consideration that importing syabu is Hj Ghani's first conviction, although he has a record of previous convictions for the consumption of syabu in 1992, 1996 and this year.

Hj Ghani is still serving a sentence of four years for the charge of consumption of syabu early this year. According to Judge Chong, Hjh Gaira appears to have a clean record. She was pregnant during the course of trial and has recently delivered a son.

The case concerned the import into Brunei of a substantial quantity of a dangerous drug with an essential street value of over $139,000.

Copyright © 1999 Brunei Press Sdn Bhd. All rights reserved.

Corpun file 23409 at, 22 May 2000

Six strokes for habitual boy gambler shock

Click to enlarge

Bandar Seri Begawan -- In a landmark ruling today, the High Court here invoked its rare powers to whip a 15-old habitual gambler convicted of his third gambling offence last month.

The ruling revived memories, of the US schoolboy Michael Faye [sic] ordered to be caned for vandalism in Singapore which caused an international furore some years ago.

Chief Justice Dato Sir Denys Roberts ordered the Malaysian boy to present himself at Jerudong Prison at 10 am on Thursday, to receive "six strokes of the cane on his bare buttocks" to satisfy Section 22 of the Common Gaming House Act.

However, only light rattan or cane, such as the one used in enforcing discipline in school, could be used to sentence any convicted male person of tender years to "corporal punishment not exceeding 10 strokes" under the Section.

The High Court also warned the ex-Form Three student of a local private school that a warrant of arrest would be issued against him if he failed to turn up in Jerudong Prison.

The boy who cannot be named or photographed because of his young age was also fined $1,000 or in default two months' jail.

Faye [sic], a 15-year-old [actually 18 - C.F.] American studying in Singapore a few years ago, had been whipped six times after he was found guilty of vandalism charges, a punishment criticised as "barbaric" by the western countries.

Dato Roberts allowed the boy's appeal today against the one-month's jail sentence by the Magistrate's Court on April 29 and substituted it with whipping.

"We (the courts) should do our best not to impose custodial sentence on young people", he said.

"But I must take into account there is no alternative sentence in Brunei for convicted young offenders except for a fine," ruled Dato Roberts.

The Chief Justice said Chief Magistrate Hairolarni bin Abdul Majid may not have considered caning as an alternative to jail or that the police prosecution had not directed his attention to the provision.

"I understand the Magistrate's decision, as he took note of the fact that boy broke his six months' good behaviour bond in November last year by committing his third offence within three months," he told the boy's counsel Adrian Chan Choong Fatt.

Dato Roberts said the fact that Brunei still does not have separate juvenile corrective institution such as Henry Gurney's School in Malaysia for boys under 21, as practised in Hong Kong and Singapore "has been worrying me for the last two or three years".

"My client should at least be caned instead of jail. Public interest is not best served by sending a 15-year-old to prison," argued the boy counsel's Adrian Chan Choong Fatt since 8.30am.

He reminded the Chief Justice of his own reluctance to send young offenders to mix with adult criminals in the country's only prison in Jerudong.

He submitted that the Magistrate's Court had failed to consider the reformative aspects for his client, and had based the jail term more on deterrent effect.

Chan supported his case by tendering the News Express' article on May 6, which echoed the Chief justice's calls for sweeping changes in the country's legal system in February, particularly on urgently introducing proper legislation and framework to deal with young offenders.

Equally stinging in his reply, Deputy Public Prosecutor Haji Rozaiman bin Dato Haji Abdul Rahman said "the only solution for a habitual gambler like the boy is to have him hear the clang of prison gates".

"He has to learn the hard reality of life. As a foreigner in Brunei, it is the utmost duty for him not to offend our courts," he said in urging the court to affirm the prison sentence.

"The boy had been given ample warnings and leniency, including the good behaviour bond in November. But he was arrested twice soon afterwards for two gambling offences," he said.

DPP Haji Rozaiman noted that since November, the boy had only been fined $500 for operating a gaming den, while for the recent gambling offence, the $500 fine was substituted with a $1,000 fine upon his appeal for the successful return of his $10,000 pocket money seized at gambling premises.

He said the Magistrate's Court had also warned him to behave during the six-month period or a harsher sentence would follow him.

On a separate institution for juveniles, DPP Rozaiman told the court of the Government of His Majesty's announcement recently that a new prison was already in its completion stage to ease the crowded capacity of Jerudong Prison.

"It is my belief that even though juveniles are placed in Jerudong, prison authorities will make conscious efforts to preserve their good senses from the influence of adult criminals," he said.

He added the Government had also taken into account the calls for new laws to cater for the interest juvenile offenders.

Courtesy of Sunday Express

Copyright © 1999 Publicity Online Media All rights reserved.

Corpun file 23754 at, 26 May 2000

Boy takes the cane

By Ignatius Stephen

Click to enlarge

Bandar Seri Begawan -- The 15-year-old expelled school boy ordered to be given six strokes of the cane by the Brunei High Court for gambling turned up at Jerudong Prison to take his bitter medicine at 10 am yesterday.

His distressed mother told the Borneo Bulletin, "I do not know what to do. He is a good boy who had been mixing with adults who had been bad company. I will now ask him to stay at home and I will try to look after him."

There is also a suggestion that he be sent away to Kuching to continue his studies. "But that will have to be decided by the family later," said his sad mother.

She said his son bore the canning marks on his buttocks but was able to walk around.

He is believed to be the youngest person to receive corporal punishment by jail authorities in Brunei's prison history.

The boy a former Form Three student of a local school was expelled earlier when the school authorities learnt about his persistent gambling habits and the subsequent court cases.

He was fined and given repeated warnings but the boy continued to make appearances in court for gambling offences and in one instance he was found to have $10,000 in his pocket during a gambling raid.

When he repeatedly ignored the court warnings and he eventually earned a one-month jail sentence on April 29 from the magistrate on breaking a good behaviour bond.

On appeal, however, the Brunei Chief Justice Dato Sir Denys Roberts substituted the jail sentence to six strokes of the cane on May 20 and ordered him to turn up in Jerudong Prison to get the six strokes the following Thursday or else go to jail if he disobeyed.

Only a light cane like the one used for enforcing discipline was used, as is stipulated by law in yesterday's whipping.

The boy is resting after his ordeal, his parents told friends. -- Publicity Online Media News

Copyright © 1999 Publicity Online Media
All rights reserved.

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