Cop-bashers must be taught a lesson
Home Affairs Minister calls for relook of penalties for those who assault uniformed officers
Anyone who attacks a uniformed officer in future will find the law striking back hard.
Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam has asked the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to relook the legislation surrounding such cases to see if the penalties are adequate.
This follows a court case in which a taxi passenger, Albin Lim Fu Rong, 25, was sentenced to 10 weeks' jail on Tuesday for hurting a policewoman in May.
Corporal Ammy Shazwina Rizuan Ong, 27, and her partner had responded to a call from the cabby about Lim being hostile.
Lim pushed her down, and as she tried to protect her firearm, he kicked her lower back. She later fainted.
Referring to Lim's sentence, Mr Shanmugam said in a Facebook post yesterday: "Lim's abusive conduct was terrible on several levels.
"He attacked a lady. He attacked an officer in uniform, doing her duty.
"I have said to MHA that anyone who attacks a uniformed officer should learn a lesson which he will never forget, and it should be enough of a deterrence to others."
Mr Shanmugam said there were 344 reported cases of Home Team officers suffering physical and verbal abuse while on duty last year.
There were 328 such cases up to August this year.
Supporting the move to relook the legislation, former cop Joseph Tan told The New Paper: "The public should be made more aware that uniformed officers are just doing their duty to ensure safety and security."
Lawyer Jason Dendroff agreed.
"Police officers need to be given added protection when they respond to cases," he said.
However, lawyers Foo Juyuan and Rajan Supramaniam, felt that the current penalty of a fine, or seven years' jail and/or caning, for hurting a public servant is adequate.
Mr Foo said: "In practice, offenders are usually sent to jail unless they have exceptional mitigating circumstances.
"The judge has the power to decide whether or not imprisonment is required on a case by case basis."