The New Paper, Singapore, 4 March 1997
'I can even walk to Changi Prison with my eyes shut'
Tan Kim Peow: Jailed again for seven years for a burglary spree in January.
That's where her husband spent most of their married life
BY RIANA ZAKIR
SHE got married 21 years ago, but her husband has spent only seven of them with her.
The rest have been spent in jail, which is almost a second home to ex-fruit seller Tan Kim Peow, 44.
And yesterday he began another long trip there - after being sentenced to seven years' jail and eight cane strokes for a burglary spree in January - just months after his last release.
His jobless wife, Mrs Tan, 40, could not remember exactly when he came out.
She was in court "to encourage him" but is resigned to her fate.
She said in Mandarin: "I'm very sad. But I didn't cry because I'm so used to it.
"I can even walk to Changi Prison with my eyes shut."
Life has been gruelling for her since Tan started going in and out of jail 15 years ago for housebreaking and theft.
"He has been to jail three to four times - for about 14 years in all," she said.
Her second child, a son, had just been born when her husband first went to jail. Her savings soon dried up.
One by one, she pawned all her jewellery. Her $100-odd gold wedding ring went last - when she could not afford a doctor for her three-year-old asthmatic son.
Even the $30 she earned daily as a hawker's assistant could not pay the bills, including the monthly $50 rent of their one-room Bukit Merah flat.
"Sometimes I feel like a widow because my husband is never around," she said.
"My friends asked me to divorce him, but I can't. We've been married for so long."
Instead, she visited him in jail every fortnight.
She even stayed jobless for the past month when Tan was remanded - so that she could visit him every day and give him rice and canned food.
Now, she lives with her 15-year-old son, a secondary school student, and her married daughter, 20, who has three children.
She cherishes the memory of the two months they spent together after Tan was released late last year.
They ate and window-shopped. He also played with his grandchildren at home and paid the bills when he began working for a friend.
Said Mrs Tan: "I felt secure for once. It was a great burden off my chest."
Then he stole again. And went back to jail.
Tan faced 18 charges of lurking house trespass by night, with four charges proceeded upon.
He stole more than $26,000, including cash, CDs, ginseng and three lap-top computers.
He was arrested after he broke into a North Bridge Road lounge on Jan 21 at 3.14 am and tried to force open the safe.
He faced two to 14 years' jail for each charge of lurking house trespass to steal.
His accomplice, Tan Chiang Kee, seven years' jail and eight cane strokes.
The Straits Times, Singapore, 8 March 1997
Ecstasy dealers aged 17 get jail, cane
TWO 17-year-old youths, the youngest reported Ecstasy traffickers here, were sentenced in separate cases yesterday to jail terms and caning for dealing in Ecstasy tablets.
Malaysian Yap Tjun Liang, a Secondary 3 student at Fuchun Secondary, was jailed for five years and ordered to be caned five strokes for trafficking in an Ecstasy tablet. This is the minimum sentence for trafficking.
He was also sentenced to six months' jail, a concurrent sentence, for consuming cannabis.
In the other case, Hong Wee Seng, unemployed, was sentenced to 5½ years' jail and five strokes of the cane for trafficking in and possessing Ecstasy tablets.
He was also sentenced to six months' jail -- to run concurrently -- for possessing cannabis. Another charge of possessing cannabis mixture was taken into consideration.
In a statement yesterday, the Central Narcotics Bureau said that its officers had arranged to conduct undercover buys after learning that Yap and Hong were trafficking in Ecstasy tablets.
Yap was arrested on Nov 4 last year for selling an Ecstasy tablet to an undercover officer at a coffeeshop in Block 443, Clementi Central.
The officer paid Yap $48 in marked notes, which were later recovered from the teenager's trouser pocket.
Hong was arrested the same day for selling five tablets for $224 to an undercover officer at Boon Lay MRT Station.
The marked notes, as well as another Ecstasy tablet and a packet of cannabis, were found in the pocket of his jeans.
The maximum penalty for trafficking in Ecstasy is 20 years' jail and 15 strokes of the cane.
The minimum is five years' jail and five strokes of the cane.
The New Paper, Singapore, 13 March 1997
Wife pleads for rapist
|The rape victim was a 15-year-old runaway Indonesian maid.|
She had stopped his cab in Bedok and asked for help to go to the Indonesian Embassy as she was homesick and had no money.
He later brought her to a lodging house in Geylang Lorong 24, where he raped her.
Judge Choo found former driver Junaidi Arifin guilty of rape and sentenced him to 10 years' jail and 24 strokes of the cane.
Those convicted of rape face up to 20 years in jail and at least 12 strokes of the cane.
BY CHAN SEET FUN
IN an unusual turn of events, a rapist asked his wife to plead for leniency for him in the High Court yesterday.
A former CityCab driver Junaidi Arifin, 41, was found guilty of raping a 15-year-old passenger twice in a Geylang hotel last September.
When Judicial Commissioner Choo Han Teck asked him if he had anything to say before sentencing, Junaidi surprised the court with his request.
"It is most unusual but I will hear her," said the judge who asked if Junaidi's wife was prepared for the task.
Junaidi did not have a lawyer.
All eyes were fixed on Madam Hidayati Koithi, a 35-year-old production worker, who was sitting in a corner near the exit at the back.
After the court interpreter explained the situation to her in Malay, she got to her feet, still clutching her wallet and packet of tissue paper.
Amid stares, she walked up to stand next to the dock, where her husband stood handcuffed and shackled.
Through the interpreter, she said: "I hope your honour can be lenient with my husband because three of our four children are still in school.
"Since his arrest, I've had to work to support the children (aged three to 15)."
She said she has to pay $740 a month for their four-room HDB flat as her husband does not have any money in his CPF account.
She also has to foot all the household expenses with her monthly $900 salary.
She had just finished when Junaidi suddenly decided to speak for himself.
"I have learnt my lesson. And I promise I will not render any more assistance to such people (like the victim) in the future.
"I am saddened by your honour's judgment but I am accepting it."
Deputy Public Prosecutor Victor Yeo immediately asked for a deterrent sentence.
"He has not shown any remorse before this court, from the way he is mitigating at this stage," he said.
He cited rape cases where the guilty were jailed for 20 years or longer and also given 24 strokes of the cane.
Unnerved, Junaidi, who claimed innocence throughout his three-day trial, changed his tune.
"I would like to add that I am very sorry and hope to be sentenced to the minimum number of years.
"I'm truly remorseful and I regret what I have done. I promise I'll not do it again."
Judge Choo sentenced him to 10 years' jail and 24 strokes of the cane.
JUNAIDI led a 15-year-old Indonesian maid to believe he was kind enough to drive her to her embassy for free.
For trusting him, she got raped and may even have contracted syphilis. Junaidi has visited a Geylang hotel five times with various women and has the disease.
On Sept 24, Junaidi drove her in his cab. She even met his family when he picked up his wife and children from the hospital.
Then he took her to Geylang and raped her twice. Junaidi was arrested when the girl gave his taxi particulars to the police.
The New Paper, Singapore, 26 March 1997
This man escapes the law - for 7 years
Moved: Yew Li had changed his address after the attack.
The penalty for causing hurt with an instrument used for shooting, stabbing or cutting is a jail term of up to five years or a fine or caning or any of the two punishments.
BY ALETHEA LIM
SEVEN years ago, he attacked a man who had flirted with his brother's girlfriend.
The law finally caught up with Teng Yew Li yesterday.
He was sentenced to three months' jail and three strokes of the cane for hurting lorry-driver Chua Su Koon, 36, with a knife.
The court heard that Yew Li, now a 30-year-old freelance watch promoter, was arrested only on Jan 12 this year at his Clementi West Street 2 flat. He had changed his address after the attack on Dec 17, 1990.
On Dec 16, 1990 at 11 pm, Yew Li's elder brother, Yew Chee, had complained to him that he had been beaten up by Mr Chua.
Yew Chee had accused Mr Chua of flirting with his girlfriend, Madam Mary Lee, then 21. The two men had then fought.
Recalling the incident, Madam Lee, 28, a housewife, said that she, Mr Chua and Yew Chee were "mahjong kakis". On the day of the attack, they were having a game at Mr Chua's flat at West Coast Road.
She said: "It was a ridiculous incident. I don't know why and how the accusations and fight started. But I remembered it being settled after the two men decided to settle the matter amicably."
Although Yew Chee shook hands with Mr Chua, he left the flat and went home to tell Yew Li that he was beaten up by Mr Chua.
Yew Li decided to take revenge on his brother's behalf.
He got Yew Chee to call Mr Chua out and slashed his head with a 30-cm-long knife. Yew Chee was fined $6,000 in 1992 for his part in the crime.
Madam Lee broke off with her boyfriend after the incident. She is now happily married with two young children.
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