Wake Up Your Idea
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
  Charges And More Charges
Section 182 Cap 224 (Penal Code)
Whoever gives to any public servant any information orally or in writing which he knows or believes to be false, intending thereby to cause, or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby cause, such public servant to use the lawful power of such public servant to the injury or annoyance of any person, or to do or omit anything which such public servant ought not to do or omit if the true state of facts respecting which such information is given were known by him, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 6 months, or with fine which may extend to $1,000, or with both.

Section 503 Cap 224 (Penal Code)
Whoever threatens another with any injury to his person, reputation or property, or to the person or reputation of any one in whom that person is interested, with intent to cause alarm to that person, or to cause that person to do any act which he is not legally bound to do, or to omit to do any act which that person is legally entitled to do, as the means of avoiding the execution of such threat, commits criminal intimidation.
(Punishment under Section 506 - Whoever commits the offence of criminal intimidation shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 2 years, or with fine, or with both; and if the threat is to cause death or grievous hurt, or to cause the destruction of any property by fire, or to cause an offence punishable with death or with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 7 years or more, or impute unchastity to a woman, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 7 years, or with fine, or with both.)
- Singapore Statutes Online -

Criminal Intimidation is when a person makes a threat of some sort indicating harm or danger to the victim. In its loosest terms, this can mean anything and everything. Giving False Information means providing information to a public servant that would cause him to act in any other way.

I say let Gomez be charged and sentenced. Subsequently, he will get off with a fine as the circumstances are definitely not grave enough to warrant a jail term. Once the precedent is set, any civil servant can then choose to lodge a report against any customer or client who threatens to complain and any person who does not give the correct information.

For example, someone calls the enquiry section of a ministry and asks for some information obout their account. However, the person gives a wrong account number and the enquiry officer can't locate the information. Subsequently, the officer discovers that the caller had mixed up the numbers of the account (ie. instead of 123, he said 132). Based on the 'Gomez Precendent', the enquiry officer will have the grounds to lodge a report against the caller. Similar to the 'Gomez Incident', the caller would have 'seriously compromised the integrity of the ministry and, ultimately, the government' by suggesting that the officer could not find the information.

Another example: A MP (ie. member of public) rushes into the enquiry office of a ministry and demands that immediate action be taken on a certain issue. However, due to the procedures involved nothing more can be done at the moment. The irate MP then says, "Give me your name. I will make sure that you are taken to task!" In this instance, again, based on the 'Gomez Precedent', the civil servant can lodge a report against the MP for the criminal intimidation as the officer was put under tremendous worry and fear, not to mention his or her family.

So, you see, the 'Gomez Incident' will actually pave the way for our civil servants to be empowered against the unruly and the uncultured who think that civil servants are literally servants for the public (ie. "Because I pay income tax, you know!"). Gomez will become a martyr and will have to pay the price of not being able to stand in the next election but he would have given the civil service a much-needed 'weapon' to fend off the ugly Singaporean.

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