End of an era for Sim Lim Square?
Does Jover Chew's sentence mean the end of an era for the electronics mall, where laws were ignored with impunity, like some modern Wild West?
Or is this merely cutting off one head of the hydra that is Sim Lim Square?
In Greek mythology, the hydra is a multi-headed monster that would grow two new heads when one is cut off.
And for a long while in Sim Lim, this seemed to be the case too. Owners of mobile phone shops that crossed the line too many times would simply wind up the company and open under a new name in another part of the mall.
But such was the public outrage after Chew and his staff made headlines last year for abusing their customers that action had to be taken, not just against Chew but other errant salesmen, too.
Singapore's reputation was at stake. So action has been taken.
Complaints against Sim Lim retailers have since gone down from 107 cases last year, to 27 in the first 10 months of this year, said the Consumers Association of Singapore (Case).
And most of these had to do with defective items, a spokesman said.
When I visited Sim Lim Square yesterday, there seemed to be a cloud of politeness that hung over the mall.
There were more smiles and "Can I help you?" than the previous aggressive environment filled with "What do you want?"
Salesman Mohamad Saifudeen, who works in a shop space that used to house Mobile Air, admitted that he still sees instances of mobile phone sellers bullying their customers, but this has gone down from incidents every day to less than one a week.
"(The phone salesmen) are more subdued now," Mr Mohamad said.
He has seen his neighbours tone down in the presence of the police, a far cry from the bravado previously displayed when such sellers thought they were untouchable by the law.
But is this the new normal?
Lawyer Marcus Tan said it is unusual because such cases are usually considered a civil matter and redirected to the Small Claims Tribunal.
For the police to wade into every case though, may be a stretch on its resources.
Instead, he suggested that Case should be given more teeth, such as investigation powers so that it is the one that looks into complaints of bad trading practices, passing on the serious cases to the police.
"If not, it's likely police investigations will slow down with waning public interest and everything will go back to the way it was," he said.
Greek mythology tells us that the hydra was eventually slain by Hercules. And a Herculean effort is what's needed to properly nip this problem.
Consumer protection groups, retailers and legislators must work together to push hard for that change in legislation.
The watchdog that is Case, which has shown that it's willing to also be a guard dog, needs to be given teeth to properly protect consumers and bring such despicable practices to an end.