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Man jailed and caned for vandalising public areas in Geylang with racial, vulgar slurs

SINGAPORE — Over the course of about a week, Chen Jianbang scrawled racially charged and vulgar phrases on pillars outside Aljunied MRT Station and in other parts of Geylang.

Chen Jianbang, 31, pleaded guilty to three charges under the Vandalism Act and two charges of wounding racial feelings under the Penal Code.

Chen Jianbang, 31, pleaded guilty to three charges under the Vandalism Act and two charges of wounding racial feelings under the Penal Code.

SINGAPORE — Over the course of about a week, Chen Jianbang scrawled racially charged and vulgar phrases on pillars outside Aljunied MRT Station and in other parts of Geylang.

Chen was finally arrested on Jan 7 this year, after a police officer patrolling the area noticed his graffiti on a traffic-light control box along Geylang Lorong 24.

On Monday (June 17), the 31-year-old was sentenced to one year and one month behind bars, as well as nine strokes of the cane, for his actions.

The Singaporean pleaded guilty to three charges under the Vandalism Act and two charges of wounding racial feelings under the Penal Code, with another 12 similar charges taken into consideration for sentencing.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Shen Wanqin told the court that Chen broke the law again shortly after being released from serving 21 months in prison for housebreaking.

On Monday, he was given another 60 days in jail, because he had breached his remission order by committing his most recent offences.

His past offences, dating back to 2005, included theft in dwelling, mischief and cheating.

KEPT ON WRITING 

The court heard that on Jan 3 this year, at about 6pm, Chen began his vandalism spree by writing phrases such as “Dave is sick” and “Gary is a b***h” on a wall at Lai Ming Hotel in Geylang and a traffic light control box.

His actions were captured by a closed-circuit television camera at the hotel. After the incident, hotel employees painted over the words on the wall.

Town council employees also removed his writing on the traffic-light control box with thinner.

The next day, he wrote several similar phrases on a pillar located along a walkway between Geylang Lorong 18 and 20.

A few days later, on Jan 7, Chen scrawled a vulgar phrase targeting the Malay community on a banner hanging outside Aljunied MRT Station.

The banner, which belonged to the Land Transport Authority, was later replaced at a cost of S$240.

Later that day, at about 11am, a woman walking along the sheltered walkway from the MRT station towards Geylang East Library noticed blue graffiti on a pillar.

Again, Chen had written a racial slur on the pillar targeting the Malay community. SMRT employees later covered the words with a fresh coat of paint.

Court documents showed that he wrote several similar racist remarks on other pillars along the sheltered walkways, including “Malay mati” (“Malay die”).

A few hours later, Chen proceeded to the void deck of Block 122 Geylang East Avenue 1, where he wrote “All Malay fight lose Chinese” on one of the walls.

He was finally arrested an hour later. Police officers seized a blue permanent marker, a red sling bag and several items of clothing from him.

DPP Shen sought 14 months’ jail and nine strokes of the cane, noting that Chen was recalcitrant and committed multiple offences across several areas.

“The accused chose to inscribe racially charged words onto private and public property, thereby allowing the words to be viewed repeatedly over a period of time. The accused also incorporated implied threats of death into the words that were inscribed,” she said.

Chen, who was not represented by a lawyer, would only say in mitigation that “nine strokes is okay”.

For each charge under the Vandalism Act, he could have been jailed up to three years or fined up to S$2,000, as well as given up to eight strokes of the cane.

For wounding racial feelings, he could have been jailed up to three years, fined, or both.

Related topics

crime court vandalism racist racial

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