Singapore — An 18-year-old youth charged in last year’s Nasi Lemak scandal was on Wednesday (Dec 2) put on probation for a year.
The youth, who was 17 when he was arrested last year, is the youngest of four people behind the SD Nasi Lemak chat group on the messaging app Telegram which shared obscene photos and videos.
At one point, the group had more than 44,000 members.
As he was still a minor at the time the offences were committed, the youth cannot be named under the Children and Young Persons Act.
He is now required to attend psycho-education sessions about healthy sexuality and responsible sexual conduct, according to a report on channelnewsasia.com. He must also do 40 hours of community service.
To ensure his good behavior during the period of his probation, the youth’s parents put up a bond of S$5,000.
On Oct 21, he pleaded guilty to possessing 59 obscene films.
Two other charges were taken into consideration in his case: Possessing 388 obscene images in his phone for the purpose of transmission and sending a photo of nude women to the chat group.
His home was raided on Oct 14, 2019, the day he and the other three people were arrested. The raid yielded obscene video files in his phone and hard disk. He then admitted to the police that he was a member of SG Nasi Lemak.
When the youth pleaded guilty to possessing the obscene films last October, Mr Muhammad Hasif Abdul Aziz, his lawyer, had said: “He’s currently still pursuing further studies. There’s a whole future ahead of him.”
The lawyer called for rehabilitation to be the predominant sentencing policy, since the youth had a “family support system that’s quite suitable for probation”, including his mother, who took “very, very serious actions against him” after his arrest. He is “very remorseful”, he added.
Had he not been placed on probation, the youth could have received the maximum jail sentence of six months, a S$5,000 fine for each of the films up to a total of S$20,000, or both.
In March last year, the police began receiving reports about SG Nasi Lemak allegedly sharing pornographic material through the chat app. They received 35 reports in all concerning the chat group.
Police officers from Ang Mo Kio division determined the identities of the four people during investigations from March through October.
The three others charged were 19-year-old Justin Lee Han Shi, 26-year-old Leonard Teo Min Xuan and 37-year-old Liong Tianwei.
Investigations showed that Teo and Liong were the administrators of the group, while the two youths were the distributors of the obscene material.
Police officers seized more than 10 electronic devices, including a central processing unit, a laptop, a hard disk and several mobile phones.
The four were charged with conspiracy to commit distribution of obscene material under Section 292 (a) read with Section 109 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224.
So far, only Lee has been sentenced, also receiving one year of probation for the possession of obscene films. The cases of Teo and Liong are pending. /TISG