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Monday, November 09, 2009

My NEW favourite part of the Penal Code

"All human situations have their inconveniences. We feel those of the present but neither see nor feel those of the future; and hence we often make troublesome changes without amendment, and frequently for the worse." - Benjamin Franklin

***

Outstanding.

My favourite part of the Penal Code used to be Section 509, Word or gesture intended to insult the modesty of a woman (the section that can send you to jail for 2 weeks for sending 2 SMSes).

However, this is now my second favourite section, as it has been eclipsed by Section 508, Act caused by inducing a person to believe that he will be rendered an object of divine displeasure.

"Whoever voluntarily causes or attempts to cause any person to do anything which that person is not legally bound to do, or to omit to do anything which he is legally entitled to do, by inducing or attempting to induce that person to believe that he, or any person in whom he is interested, will become or will be rendered by some act of the offender an object of divine displeasure if he does not do the thing which it is the object of the offender to cause him to do, or if he does the thing which it is the object of the offender to cause him to omit, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both.

Illustration
(a) A performs a ceremony at Z's door with the intention of causing it to be believed that by so doing he renders Z an object of divine displeasure, unless Z does something he is not legally bound to do. A has committed the offence defined in this section.

(b) A threatens Z that unless Z performs a certain act, A will kill one of A's own children, under such circumstances that the killing would be believed to render Z an object of divine displeasure. A has committed the offence defined in this section."


Under a broad interpretation of this law, then, evangelism (with the threat of hellfire and damnation) would be a criminal offence in Singapore.

After all, divine displeasure in the afterlife is still divine displeasure.

On a broader level, would threatening Singapore with disaster for having abortion "as the contraceptive of choice" also qualify?
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