18 months' probation for Temasek Polytechnic student who posted anti-Islam remarks online

Shaffiq Alkhatib
The Straits Times
June 23, 2022

A youth who had posted anti-Islam remarks on social media platform Instagram was sentenced to 18 months' probation on Thursday (June 23).

As part of his probation, Chinese national Sun Sicong, now 21, has to remain indoors from 10pm to 6am every day and perform 60 hours of community service.

His parents are also bonded for $5,000 to ensure his good behaviour.

The Temasek Polytechnic (TP) student, who is a Singapore permanent resident, pleaded guilty in May to uploading online remarks with the intention of wounding the religious feelings of others.

He committed the offence between 2018 and 2019.

Two other charges, including one count of harassment, were considered during sentencing.

Initially, no police reports were filed over the offensive Insta-story posts on Sun's Instagram account.

The court heard that Insta-story posts are automatically deleted after 24 hours.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Senthilkumaran Sabapathy had told the court: "The offensive posts, however, resurfaced online some time around June 7, 2020, after the accused created and uploaded online further insensitive Insta-story posts... containing a screenshot of a rape victim's recount of her rape ordeal along with (lewd and obscenity-laden) comments."

Other Instagram users became upset when they saw Sun's posts and responded to him.

They then referred to screenshots of his earlier anti-Islam posts, which went viral soon after.

The posts were widely disseminated over the Internet and police later received 62 reports from members of the public who felt threatened and alarmed after seeing the anti-Islam posts.

In an earlier statement, the police said that in June 2020, they received "many reports regarding an Instagram user who had posted insensitive comments and threats that could incite violence against the Muslim community".

The police added that the posts contained hate comments that could wound religious feelings.

In their statement, the police also said that they take a serious view of acts that have the potential to damage racial and religious harmony in Singapore.

Defence lawyer Justin Ng told District Judge Kessler Soh in May that his client was around 18 when he made the posts and had committed the offence due to "youthful immaturity".

Earlier, TP told The Straits Times that Sun had been suspended for two consecutive semesters following investigations in June 2020.

An offender convicted of uploading online remarks with the intention to wound another person's religious feelings can be jailed for up to three years and fined.

The Straits Times

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