The Quality of Mercy Is Not Strained - PP vs Wu Tze Liang Woffles

The Quality of Mercy Is Not Strained - PP vs Wu Tze Liang Woffles
01 Jul 2012

In June 2012, world renowned plastic surgeon Dr. Woffles Wu was fined S$1,000 for agreeing to an elderly friend and employee taking the rap for two speeding offences. Dr Wu pleaded guilty to abetting another to provide misleading information to the police. The incidents took place in 2005 and 2006.

The apparently light charge and sentence caused a social media storm. This led to a rare move by the Attorney General Chambers to issue a public statement on June 17. "On the facts of this case, as there was no major accident or injury, it was considered appropriate to proceed under section 81(3) of the Road Safety Act rather than invoke the general provisions of the Penal Code, such as section 182. Other sections have their own requirements, which would not have been met on the facts of the present case. Prior to 2008, offences of this nature were generally dealt with under section 81(3) of the Road Traffic Act.”

The Minister of Law also echoed similar comments on the case in response to many dissident voices. What many interested onlookers missed is the fact that there is still a place for mercy in our frenetic society, and that a person’s good character and social contributions are always necessary considerations in a Judge’s decision during sentencing. In this case, the Firm had made copious representations to the Attorney General’s Chambers and presented rigorous mitigating factors including but not limited to the many societal and global contributions ‘paid forward’ by Dr Wu in juxtaposition with the absence of harm in the present case.

The efforts put in by the Firm to highlight these compelling mitigating factors shows our dedication to uphold the Rule of Law and emphasizes that Justice can still be tempered by mercy in Singapore.


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