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6 Nov 2008

Bashers in Orchard Towers case get jail, cane

Three men who brutally punched and kicked a man to death after he allegedly offered his attackers oral sex in a public toilet have been handed prison terms of between four years and 4 1/2 years, and six to eight strokes of the cane.

A group of six men beat a 37-year-old to death at Orchard Towers in Singapore on Nov 23 last year. Although the six had been charged with the murder shortly after the incident, the charges were downgraded to that of voluntarily causing grievous hurt to which all six pleaded guilty in October. It is not known why the charges were reduced.

Singapore Subordinate Courts
On Thursday, Ahmad Nur Helmy Ahmad Hamdan, 20, was sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison and eight strokes of the cane for playing the "key role" in the case as explained by District Judge James Leong as he passed the sentence.

The court was read a statement written by Ahmad Nur Helmy's wife in which she described her husband as being "hot tempered" and that she has filed for divorce after being physically abused.

Muhammad Sufian Zainal, 21, and Helmi Abdul Rahim, 28, each got a lesser sentence of four years jail and six strokes of the cane.

The court also heard that Ahmad Nur Helmy had punched Suhaimi Sulong after the latter asked him to perform fellatio. After the deceased walked away and down a staircase, Ahmad Nur Helmy became agitated and was restrained by his friend Muhammad Sufian. Ahmad Nur Helmy broke free and gave chase and punched the deceased until he fell to the ground and continued to kick the victim's face and head as the five other men joined in.

According to earlier media reports, two other youths Ho Ching Boon, 17, and Lai Chee Kuen, 17, said they were approached by the deceased who asked them if they wanted oral sex which they declined.

Ho, Lai and Muhammad Ridhwan Mohd Roslan, 20, were sentenced last week to be confined for between 18 months and three years at a reformative training centre.

The victim died from head and neck injuries an hour after he was taken unconscious to the hospital.


Reader's Comments

1. 2008-11-06 20:50  
rest in peace Suhaimi ... xoxoxoxo

... how can we "educate" straight people to only say NO instead of beating the daylight out of us if we approach them ? ...

... or should we educate ourselves to learn to accept NO ... in body language, signs etc etc etc ? ... other more subtle communication forms ? ... if yes, how ???
2. 2008-11-06 21:30  
Tantamount evidence that Singapore is willing to accept discrimination and goes light on hate crimes. Four and half years for a brutal and savage murder is ludicrous. The case should be remanded and the Judge and the PA on this case removed from office as they are doing the public a great dis-service. And this in a country that supposedly prides itself on its high moral ground, but makes a statement that it's ok to discriminate on a case like this. There's shame on your values .
3. 2008-11-06 21:32  
how could this be considered voluntarily causeing grievous hurt!!! for gods sake these guys brutaly murdered him.. they derseve life in prison,, he could have walked away from it the 1st time,, but then premediatley ran after him and finnished him off.. i am not sure if the singapore judicial system knows the law is supposed to speak for the innocent victems!!!
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6. 2008-11-06 23:11  
I don't mind getting "ONLY" 4 1/2 years in prison plus eight canes to "voluntarily causing grievous hurt" Thio Li Ann...

Thanks to the Superior Singapore law.
7. 2008-11-06 23:15  
Ah, Singapore. Where would the world be, without you and you citizens embodying the lofty ideals of sheer hypocrisy for all to see?
8. 2008-11-07 00:30  
Nicely played, Singapore, you filthy hypocrites. Not even five years in jail for murdering a person in cold blood? I'm appalled.

The article says, "It is not known why the charges were reduced." Well, yes, it kind of IS known, isn't it? The charges were reduced because it was "only" a gay man who was brutally murdered... you know, not a REAL human being.

9. 2008-11-07 00:31  
How about a bunch of STRAIGHT GUYS who brutally punched and kicked a girl to death after she allegedly offered her attackers oral sex? Will these STRAIGHT GUYS face the same punishment? I kinda doubt that...
10. 2008-11-07 01:10  
They are not straight guys but really only criminals, people who have to live in a jungle but
not in a civil society governed by laws that are assumed
the same for everyone.
Suppose in Sin also the law is equal for everyone ;) for human who are gay too, congratulations for the hypocricy of the judgement.
"a human person"
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12. 2008-11-07 01:45  
This creates a dangerous precedent. This is simply going too far.
As far as we know, the victim could perfectly be not even gay, and the 6 individuals only using that excuse by using the prejudice that is still intact even in the law.
i would be extremely worried if i were a singapore citizen, and through the message that this conveys.
If murder got this sentence, wonder what violence without murder would get.
This is a sort of materialization of the concept that gay people are viewd as 2nd class citizens. even if he was gay, wonder what would happen if, as hypothesis (as "menfred" rightfully said), 6 gay guys murdered a straight woman who made a move.They would be publicly executed, as simple as that, and it wouldn't end up there.We cannot be allowed to be livestock. Hate crime laws needed, please.
13. 2008-11-07 04:47  
Get out of Singapore when you still can. It is a toxic environment and the sooner you leave, the less you will suffer. Do it now!
14. 2008-11-07 07:05  
The disgusting message: gay lives are worth less than straight lives.
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16. 2008-11-07 08:47  
could fridae set up a petition and we could sign it ... like we used to ...

i live in malaysia ... so what is happening in singapore is ... not very surprising ... things would have been much worse here ... if you grew up being marginalised and discriminated openly based on your religion and the color of your skin ... you learn to deal with that ... apparently it IS OK ... according to people who run this country ... very religious and very self righteous and very pretentious people ... (like some of you on fridae!)

my heart goes out to Suhaimi and his family and loved ones ... xoxoxoxo
17. 2008-11-07 09:24  
What a joke ?
Law ? You get a great lawyer to defend you and you get away with murder ! Period :)
18. 2008-11-07 09:46  
Is anybody really surprised ? Honestly, are you surprised ?

I doubt it.

Murder in Singapore = death by hanging ( execution)
Possesing drugs in Singapore over a certain amount = death by hanging ( execution)
Possessing drugs under a certain amount of drugs= 10-20 years in prison

Murder ( by any other name) of a gay person = maximum 4 1/2 years in prsion .

It was intersting to note that I did not see any of this reported in the Channel News Asia website recently. This organisation which is the window from which the outside world learns about the wonderful, idealistic, clean, prosperous and advanced nation in Asia. ( Or so the govt controlled media would have you believe)

And the unfortunate thing, in this 'democratic advanced' country, people are too scared to protest.

Nice one Singapore !

19. 2008-11-07 09:51  
Totally support what "bluebond" said. What is LAW nowadays?
Why was the initial 1st degree murder reduced? Why isn't the reason of the trivialisation of the crime explained to the public?
This is really HIDEOUS. You killed someone, you get life imprisonment or you get hanged - it's that SIMPLE!!! A mere 4 to 4-1/2 years in prison with 6 to 8 strokes of the rotan is a JOKE!!!
Please don't say, "Oh, they're still young. They don't know what they were doing. It was an impulsive move."
The argument is: The six boys should have reported "the offer" to the police and walked off. NOT TURN AROUND AND BRUTALLY KICK SOMEONE UNTIL THEY DIE!!!
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21. 2008-11-07 10:07  
lol....Singapore law.
And Jupiter101, Singaporeans are not so much scared, just not very confident in dealing with Big Brother. Think its prolly the govt taking good care of all their 'business' for them the minute they are in diapers- like retirement savings, housing blah blah blah..so they think they should not be 'disrespectful' n shouldn't ''act smart' in
'big stuff' like law & politics. How did I know this much? Heheheh...my Singaporean ex ;)) The poor girl- she still has many personal issues & her self-esteem is not very strong...every step she takes, she will practically tremble from worry what other people will think.
22. 2008-11-07 11:04  
Sad to read such new !
23. 2008-11-07 11:26  
With these token punishment. Singapore proves that its Gays are third class citizens barely worth protection of the law. Your government could not be more clear; gay peoples lives are of little consequence or value.

Sadly, you get what you deserve. My guess most of Singapores gay community will cower, be invisible, pretend they are straight so they don't disappoint the very people who are quite comfortable to hear a gay person has been savagely beat to death.. You get what you accept.
At this moment as I write, in Los Angeles the gay community is marching down Wilshire Blvd. protesting the passage of Prop. 8 that will prevent gays from Marrying. This is an angry community and we are all ready to make some noise.
Singapore stand up for yourselves ; when you allow yourself to be treated like crap. Then that is what you become..
At the end of the day, its better to be hated for who you are than to hate yourself for what you are... grows some balls Gay Singaporeans.

24. 2008-11-07 11:45  
DumbF*CKS! Hope they get gamngraped in prison....
25. 2008-11-07 14:49  
People out in the world don't know what's going on. Tell all your overseas friends about this so that the outrage grows....

The S'por govt might take notice. It is often more concerned about it's international image than the rights of its poor cowed 3rd class gay citizens!

(p.s. I am Singaporean but I got out be4 they kicked me to death!)
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27. 2008-11-07 15:24  
People: Let's ponder for a while, would the consequence turned out differently if it was a GIRL who offered oral sex in a public toilet to the fu*cking 6 sonnova biatch???
I seriously hope they get R*PED in jail or the so-called reformative training centre.
One more thing. I kinda look at Singapore very differently now. Why are Singaporeans so homophobic???
28. 2008-11-07 15:32  
'girlongirl' post # 16 I beg to differ. I think that many singporeans ARE afraid. And now have even more reason to be afraid. In Australia we have many of the same benefits they have in Singapore, including retirement saving scheme implemented by the govt and even FREE medical care. But that doesnt stop minorities from speaking out, rallying, protesting without any fear from reprisals.
All this came about by brave people from many years ago standing up to be counted. The government in Singapore will eventually have to capitulate to the will of the people wanting free-will and equal rights if they want to be accepted and taken seriously by the rest of the free word.( And believe me the Singapore Govt want to be taken seriously by the west)

I agree with 'feelNiceNyou' post #18 "grow some balls Gay Singaporeans"
Well said!
29. 2008-11-07 17:22  
it's rather sad. if it was a lady or even a str8 man getting bashed to death, am sure the sentence would have been very much different. causing grievous hurt carries a term up to 10 years. it's only 4.5 years. really funny.

let's all go out in full force at speaker's corner! and it will be a long way till spore is recognised as a first-world nation.
30. 2008-11-07 17:54  
This case is blatant discrimination and I feel sorry for Suhaimi and his family.

However, the one thing I still to this day don't understand is why are gays still looking for their next thrill in a public area?!?

It's not the 60s anymore. There are gay places you can go for your needs.

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32. 2008-11-07 18:43  
is it becomming clear yet? HOMOSEXUALS are not considered equal anywhere in the world. At best, we are "tolerated" and offered token, second-class "benefits". And at worst we're kicked to death, tortured or beheaded. This will not change until those who oppress us are silenced and stopped by whatever means....hopefully peaceful. At the same time it's our responsibility to behave ourselves, act as exemplary role models a little more often, stop shopping for sex in public spaces...dial back our "fabulousness" just a bit so we're not so scarey and threatening to those who still need some time to educate themselves and "get used to the idea of us"...the "in your face" tactics just won't work boys and girls.
33. 2008-11-07 19:15  
I don't understand why the Singaporean prosecutors did not insist on charging these thugs with murder. It is clear they kicked an innocent guy to death. That's murder!
34. 2008-11-07 20:07  
its a good improvement in the singapore law system though. good job!
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40. 2008-11-08 10:16  
on gymhotbod's

" Geez, offer heads to young boys is bad enough, insulting straights by asking them to give the old queen heads .... that is an ultinmate insult. Doesn't the victim have any shame ??"

if they were old farts, that would be ok ? ... violent homophobic old farts are entitled to beat you to death if you, so, by chance flirt with them? ... is that what you are saying ?

everyone has their own preference, for Suhaimi, he could find the younger attractive

and you dont call people Old Queen ... where is the respect for the dead ? are you not insulting too ?

whether or not the victim had shame, he was killed, read BEATEN TO DEATH, thats wrong by any measure

i do not believe you are good news for us ... you really are someone from the past ... or someone along his line ... we should all be cautious of you ...
41. 2008-11-08 10:55  
re post #28... i'm not quite sure how believable you are... your account of caning differs vastly from that of Michael Fay (the American teenager sentenced to caning for vandalism in 1994)... his four strokes were delivered in 5 minutes and he walked away unaided... a wee bit different than your laughable suggestion some prisoners prefer to be hanged rather than endure the unbearable pain of caning... it's also interesting to see that his four strokes for spray painting and throwing eggs at cars was worth just two strokes less than beating a fag to death... hmmmmm.

i would also like to point out that the dignity and value of gays was only acknowledged by the general public (and by homosexuals themselves) in the usa, europe and australia after a long campaign of in-your-face militancy... to be accepted we must be visible and not ashamed of ourselves... straight societies only consider us when we challenge or shock their conscience and we give them the opportunities to re-examine their homophobia...and it's not a matter of integration or segregation... it's matter of dignity and freedom to be what we are... once we have that dignity, we can either choose to fit in with straight society or live happily and freely in our own gay world... but without dignity and freedom, there can be no choice...without dignity and freedom, there is only shame and hiding.

And please please please, gymhotbod, let's not launch into another foaming-at-the-mouth attack on Suhaimi... the only evidence of the behaviour that you accuse him of comes from the thugs who killed him... it's pretty obvious that anyone faced with a murder charge doesn't always tell the truth if lies will get them a more lenient sentence, no?... especially if those lies tap into widely held and unchallenged prejudices and irrationalities... it's a sad commentary on you and on Singapore that such accusations can be so readily believed and so easily used to excuse murder.
42. 2008-11-08 23:02  
A few things about caning:
1. No installments. Up to 24 strokes given at one session
2.Normally reserved for those between 16 and 50, although Malaysia changed that for rapists stating that if they can rape they can be caned. Another message here.
3.In 1987 604 canings in Singapore
In 2007 there were 6,404
4.In 1999, a boy 14 received 5 years jail and ten strokes for kicking and robbing an elderly man
5.August 2004 a rapist gets 50 strokes
And of course these numbers are not reported in Singapore but are published in the Human Rights Report from the UN
43. 2008-11-09 02:32  
The insidious self hating trash bag loser-#28, who claims to know everything about nothing, is on the prowl here once again. Yawn...

The sanctity of a precious life lost and the integral self respect we attribute to our own gay community through grief sharing, means nothing to this poor excuse of existence, who is only obsessed with her own lame terrorist agenda.

What goes around comes around, and the sooner it does, the better it is for all to see.

Expect more garbage from this snake, it needs to feed and excrete more s.h.i.t from both its trash holes to feel important.

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55. 2008-11-09 17:12  
gymhotbod, wow, which Singapore you live in?
I would love to visit.

The last Singapore I know cancelled an AIDS fund raiser, a gay "picnic", etc all in the name of "against public interest".

Yes this has nothing to do with the judiciary system but it does reflect on the attitude the govt has towards homosexuality.

You seem to paint a very rosey picture of what it's like to be gay in Singapore. Yes, saunas are allowed. Tab & St. James open. The message is clear. It's ok to be gay as long as you do it at night but by day time please act accordingly to "public interest".

I suppose underground freedom is better than nothing.

56. 2008-11-09 20:45  
Post #24 rider26 says it all. As much as the Singapore legal system got it imorraly wrong it amazes me that gay men are still cruising public toilets for sex. Beleive it or not some straight guys just want to take a piss there. I don't condone any violence but I can understand why straights get upset if they are cruised in a dunny. For your own safety go to a sauna or a gay bar. Gays are constantly stating that what we do in the privacy of our own home (or gay sauna) between consenting adults is ok. It is ok. What is not ok is doing it in public and still expecting to be left alone.
57. 2008-11-10 00:23  
The Singapore penal code - Murder, Culpable Homicide or causing grievous hurt, with or without provocation ??

Punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
304. Whoever commits culpable homicide not amounting to murder shall be punished
(a) with imprisonment for life, or imprisonment for a term which may extend to 20 years, and shall also be liable to fine or to caning, if the act by which death is caused is done with the intention of causing death, or of causing such bodily injury as is likely to cause death; or
(b) with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 10 years, or with fine, or with caning, or with any combination of such punishments, if the act is done with the knowledge that it is likely to cause death, but without any intention to cause death, or to cause such bodily injury as is likely to cause death.
Punishment for voluntarily causing grievous hurt.
325. Whoever, except in the case provided for by section 335, voluntarily causes grievous hurt, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 10 years, and shall also be liable to fine or to caning.
Causing grievous hurt on provocation.
335. Whoever voluntarily causes grievous hurt on grave and sudden provocation, if he neither intends nor knows himself to be likely to cause grievous hurt to any person other than the person who gave the provocation, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 6 years, or with fine which may extend to $10,000, or with both.

Under Singapore Law these men should have been charged with culpable homicide, with a far bigger sentence. The authorities obviously didn't consider that the 'under provocation' defence was applicable as they were sentenced to caning, not allowed for 'causing hurt under provocation'. In that case why were they not charged with culpable homicide, as "the act by which death is caused" was by "causing such bodily injury as is likely to cause death". The authorities dropped the murder charge without explanation, but why not culpable homicide ? In similar cases in the West such acts have always been charged as homicide. The ONLY explanation is the victim was gay and therefore not entitled to the protection of the law.
58. 2008-11-10 00:27  
Also Note -
"Code 99. (3) There is no right of private defence in cases in which there is time to have recourse to the protection of the public authorities."
These men did have time to do this. The dead man didn't. Even in death he has been denied this. Whatever his actions, no matter how offensive, is no defence or justification for the actions of these six young men.
And - Under the Penal code for attempting to procure sex -
"(Outrages on decency 377A -) .. shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 2 years."
Two years - not death. The relatives and friends of the dead man should be suing the authorities for failing to prosecute for homicide.
59. 2008-11-10 00:48  
And gymhotbod - " If the gay movements want a better standing in Society , we should concentrate on intergration rather than segregation. "

Idiot what you are saying is this "old queen" should not be making sexual advances in public, in other words he should keep to his "own kind" hidden away - so much for integration. How can gays integrate with str8's when they get the excessive violent reaction he did ? Don't you know that str8 men can be just as sexually annoying and "immoral" ? Ask some women what they have to put up with in str8 bars and clubs. Men are men - gay or str8 so stop condemning gay sexuality as immoral you str8 poser you !
You want to see true integration - go to Sweden, no gay venues there because being gay is totally accepted, you can approach a str8 guy in a bar and he'll be flattered, he may say no thanks politely and that is all. He won't get his mates to kick you to death.
60. 2008-11-10 04:41  
I'll take the UN's word over that of your media controlled state when it comes to the facts on corporal punishment. I can see a popular notion in Singapore is that gays are a subservient class of people in Singapore and should be accepting of sitting at the back of the bus, never looking a straight boy in the eyes, and blindly following along never disturbing anyone and hiding in the closet,and always feeling ashamed .
The other premise so well spoken in so many of the responses here is one of equal human rights, with fairness and justice for all. I think this one makes a better movie and I'll stand there.
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63. 2008-11-10 16:33  
Post #22 jupiter101 - Well I'm no Singaporean- though I did live there for a couple of years- so I try not to make presumptions. From my observation here though- & my experiences with my Singaporean exes- I think it's really not worth fighting for them- they've stated very clearly,
sometimes very loudly- that they are happy being in the envirornment they are in, so it's best we leave them to face the battles themselves.
For other Singaporean PLUS who do not agree, well there's always migration :))

PnCGWMen- Sweden sounds like such a nice place. :) Here in Indonesia after news of the Bali bombers execution, jihadis are going really wild.
I fear for my future...time to make plans to settle in somewhere less hostile- as I'm sure the anyone will do in any envirornment that is not friendly towards them .
64. 2008-11-10 17:23  
Perfectly fine and being gay in Singapore ? No you are perfectly fine as long as you stay hidden and out of sight, as long as you accept being less entitled to protection of the law and grateful for the few crumbs offered by the establishment like - 'we won't repeal code 377 for gay sex but we won't prosecute anyone under it' but we will repeal acts against nature such as anal and oral sex for str8 people.
Fine only as long as you behave yourselves and stay marginalised. as long as you accept the media's portrayal as being sex obsessed and lacking any morals at all.
You complain of negative publicity but that is ALL the media wants to portray, they are not interested in portraying gays as normal human beings living normal lives, having relationships, you are not allowed to promote gay lifestyles on TV so programmes that do this such as Will & Grace are banned.
There are no gay revolutions in any countries, simply those who value human rights, achieving equality after a long struggle.
Sadly this is impossible in Singapore as long as the narrow minded right wing religious groups hold sway.
Justice ?
Straits Times, Singapore, 21 April 2001
Lounge manager (37) was stabbed to death by gang (aged 28/47) for allegedly molesting one of their women friends
Charge: CULPABLE HOMICIDE Sentence: 10 years' jail and 10 strokes of the cane.
The New Paper, Singapore, 2 April 2001
Killed over a pot of curry - A 45-year-old illegal immigrant was clubbed to death by three others, all Burmese aged 20 - 31.
Charge : MANSLAUGHTER. Sentence: 7 years jail and 6 strokes of the cane.
Straits Times, 8 May 1999
Jail for man who ran den for male whores
Between April 24 and 30, Tan, 46 gave free food and lodging to the Malaysian male prostitutes, who provided services such as oral sex and masturbation to male clients. Pleading for leniency, the father of two said he was a bankrupt and a divorcee.
Charge : 8 counts of abetting male persons to commit acts of gross indecency. Sentence: 4 years jail

Interesting, killing a str8 man, even an illegal immigrant, in similar circumstances of provocation, and the charge is more serious and the sentence higher. These young men got only a slightly bigger sentence than the guy just for running a gay brothel. They even received less than half the maximum penalty (10 years) for the lesser charge of grievous hurt, and yet they killed the man.
So the message is if you commit a gay sexual offence which hurts no one, that is more serious than violently taking a gay life.

Now tell us that Singapore Justice is fair and equal for all.
65. 2008-11-10 17:46  
I have a dream for Singapore:

Full detail list of all gays in Singapore.
Make that list available to public and media.

Watch the fanfare and maybe we will have the first gay parade on Orchard :)
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70. 2008-11-11 11:14  
Pleaes keep safe by using gay venues... straights or gays .. their genitals are alike. It is unlucky of him to meet anti-homos!
71. 2008-11-11 13:01  
Mmm gymhotbog you don't read do you.
I did not say I liked Sweden but you should because it is an example of the integrated gay/str8 society you aspire to but then you think violence is an appropriate response to an unwarranted sexual advance so it wouldn't suit you at all.
The issue is not one of whether the victim should have acted as he did, it's the response of the young men and the charge and sentence they were given. He broke the law and they had recourse to it. The first advance was made in the bar, the second was in the toilet, either way they had three choices that most civilised people would make - they could have simply ignored him, reported him to the bar manager or to the police. They chose to attack him and commit a vicious hate crime and when they had identified him as gay by asking him. God knows I, and millions of others, including str8 women, have had to put up with sex pests in bars/clubs touching you up etc persistently so in some cases, but we don't find it necessary to kick them to death.

If it is not a gay vs str8 issue then kindly explain why they were not charged with homicide as happens in other attacks that result in a death, even when the attack was provoked ? The only difference is the victim was gay and perpetrators were str8.
And if it is not a gay vs str8 issue why do you keep blaming the 'gay world' and it's so called lack of morality rather than the young men whose testosterone and doubtless alcohol fuelled prejudice inspired them to gang up on one man and kill him ?

You don't hide ? So gay people party and meet sexual partners anywhere in Singapore do they, openly in any bars and clubs the same as str8 people ? Or do they do this only in gay venues where they are safe from possible attack ? The West was exactly the same 20, 30 years ago and gay victims received the same negligent treatment from the authorities then. If people had responded as you do, they would still be beaten to death and little done about it today. This is just one example of the homophobic actions of the authorities in Singapore. The message sent out to society is the same as when Nation 4 party was banned, as when a gay teacher was sacked the parents wanted everything in the school he touched replaced in case he had HIV, they justified it on the grounds that if being gay was no problem "why was that party banned" ? Gay characters banned from TV, gay picnics banned, foreign HIV+ gay deported, no subsidy for HIV drug therapy etc all create an atmosphere of repression that sadly contrasts starkly with the civilised sophisticated image Singapore likes to display.
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