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An online petition to implement harsher sentences on a couple who caused the death of an intellectually disabled waitress after eight months of torture has garnered over 24,000 signatures.
Housewife Tan Hui Zhen and husband Pua Hak Chuan pleaded guilty on Monday (Nov 27) to various charges for the extensive torture of Ms Annie Ee Yu Ee in their Woodlands four-room flat.
Tan was sentenced to 16 years’ jail while Pua was sentenced to 14 years and 14 strokes of the cane on Friday (Dec 1).
The petition also listed the extensive damage the two had inflicted on Ms Ee.
To date, it has garnered over 24,578 signatures, 2,000 short of its goal: 25,000 signatures.
Once the goal is reached, a letter would be forwarded to the Attorney-General’s Chamber, Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam, Deputy Senior State Counsel, Ms April Phang, and State Counsel Ms Claire Poh, wrote the post.
The letter reads:
"I am writing in on behalf of those who have signed the petition on Change.org to mete out harsher punishment for the abusers who tortured an intellectually disabled waitress to death."
The founder of the petition also thanked netizens for their support and reiterated that the petition was started to raise public awareness and prevent such tragedy from happening in the future.
The lawyer representing both the accused told Shin Min Daily News that the judge had taken various factors, including public interest, into consideration, before deciding on the sentence.
When asked whether his clients would make an appeal against the sentence, he said that the two must make their decision to proceed with an appeal before Dec 15, but said that he would not recommend for them to do so.