Chinese vandal gets jail, caning

He vandalised the pillar of an MRT viaduct with pro-Falungong messages.

For that, Chinese national Gao Bin was sentenced yesterday to two months in jail and six strokes of the cane.

Gao, 21, used a black marker to write on the pillar along Geylang East Avenue 1: "Fa Lun Da Fa is good. Chinese communist party is going to fall, faster leave the party, to save yourselves."

The message, written in Chinese on Aug 21 last year, included what appeared to be a mobile phone number. It cost rail operator SMRT $300 to repair the damage caused.

Gao's sentence also includes punishment for a similar offence committed a week later, this time on a control box at Lorong 22 Geylang that belonged to the Land Transport Authority.

For both instances, Gao told police he had wanted to "create awareness" among his countrymen through the writings.

Over $700 of damage caused

Four other counts of vandalism that month, also written in Chinese, were taken into consideration.

In two of these, Gao targeted electrical grid boxes belonging to Singapore Power along Purvis Street. He also vandalised a concrete pillar that belonged to SingTel, and another SMRT pillar.

It is understood that Gao studies English in a private school here while his parents are in China.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Sarah Shi told the court that Gao's actions caused $728.11 of damage.

When asked by District Judge Toh Yung Cheong, Gao said he could not afford to pay for the damage.

In light of this, the judge did not order him to make compensation.

For each count of vandalism, Gao could have been jailed for up to three years or fined up to $2,000, and given between three and eight strokes of the cane.