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Saturday, August 31, 2019

6 months’ jail for Malaysian who overstayed in Singapore for 23 years

Malaysian Choo Juan Suan had been working hard to support his family, his lawyer told the court.
KUALA LIMPUR: Malaysian Choo Juan Suan, 64, who overstayed in Singapore for 23 years and built a life with his family there, was sentenced to the maximum six months’ jail yesterday.
Today Online reported that Choo was also ordered to pay a fine of S$2,000 (RM6,061) in lieu of at least three strokes of the cane, as offenders above 50 cannot be whipped by law.
Choo had pleaded guilty to entering Singapore without a valid pass around mid-1995.
According to the report, records indicate that he last left Singapore through Woodlands Checkpoint on July 6, 1995. There was no record to show he had lawfully re-entered the republic.
Choo was arrested on Nov 15 last year by Singapore’s Immigration and Checkpoints Authority officers at Block 44 Beo Crescent. The court was told he could not produce evidence to show he was staying in Singapore lawfully.
Today Online reported Choo’s lawyer, Wee Hong Shern, as telling the court that Choo had illegally entered Singapore with the “sole intention to take care of his wife and young child, who was then only three or four months old” and that he had had no ulterior motive for overstaying.
In pleading for a lower sentence of four months’ jail, Wee said Choo’s priority had been caring for his wife and children. The citizenship of Choo’s wife was not mentioned.
Wee said: “Remarkably, he has not left Singapore since coming here. He has dedicated his whole life to working hard and supporting his family. This is a responsibility he hopes he has fulfilled, as his son has served his National Service and is gainfully employed..
“Due to his age, he is now beset with some illnesses. He spent the majority of his life in Singapore and now has to be uprooted and sent back to Malaysia.”
In objecting to a lower sentence, Singapore’s Immigration and Checkpoints Authority prosecutor Syed Mubaruk told the court the fact remained that Choo had entered the country illegally.
“As of now, we don’t know why he had to enter in this manner. We should not condone such an action, bearing in mind the current security climate,” the prosecutor was quoted as saying. - FMT

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