Lee Keng Guan and Others v Public Prosecutor

JurisdictionSingapore
CourtCourt of Three Judges (Singapore)
JudgeChua F A J
Judgment Date26 May 1977
Neutral Citation[1977] SGCA 2
Citation[1977] SGCA 2
Subjectss 321, 324 & 511 Penal Code (Cap 103, 1970 Ed),Whether charge ultra vires Federal Constitution,art 8(1) Federal Constitution [Mal],Equal protection of the law,Statutory offences,Allegation that charges could have been brought under Penal Code,Charges under s 4,Use of firearms,Republic of Singapore Independence Act 1965,Criminal Law,Arms Offences Act 1973,Whether ultra vires as being in violation equality provision,Constitutional Law
Date26 May 1977
Plaintiff CounselDatuk David Marshall (David Marshall)
Docket NumberCriminal Appeal No 7 of 1976
Defendant CounselJS Khosa (JS Khosa & Co),Tan Teow Yeow (Deputy Public Prosecutor)
Publication Date19 September 2003

Cur Adv Vult

The appellants at a joint trial in the High Court were convicted of offences under the Arms Offences Act 1973 and sentenced to death. The first appellant Lee Keng Guan, was convicted on the following three charges:

First Charge

That you Lee Keng Guan on or about 19 October 1974 at about 10.25am at the car park, Rose Garden, Amber Road, Singapore, did use an arm, with intent to cause injury to one Tjong Sauw Yoong and you have thereby committed an offence punishable under s 4 of the Arms Offences Act, 1973 (No 61 of 1973).



Second Charge

That you Lee Keng Guan on or about 19 October 1974 at about 10.26am at the car park, Rose Garden, Amber Road, Singapore, did use an arm, with intent to cause injury to one Tjong Gjok Hua, and you have thereby committed an offence punishable under s 4 of the Arms Offences Act, 1973 (No 61 of 1973).



Third Charge

That you Lee Keng Guan on or about 19 October 1974 at about 10.30am at Mountbatten Road. near the junction with Amber Road, Singapore, did use an arm, with intent to cause injury to one Low Meng Hoe and you have thereby committed an offence punishable under s 4 of the Arm Offences Act, 1973 (No 61 of 1973).



The second appellant, Ho Joo Huat, was convicted on the following two charges:

First Charge

That you Ho Joo Huat on or about 19 October 1974 at about 10.25am at the car park, Rose Garden, Singapore, were an accomplice in a robbery committed by you, one Lee Keng Guan and one Wong Loke Fatt in which an arm was used by the said Lee Keng Guan with intent to cause injury to one Tjong Sauw Yoong and that you were present at the scene of the said robbery and may reasonably be presumed to have known that the said Lee Keng Guan was carrying the said arm, and you have thereby committed an offence punishable under s 5 of the Arm Offences Act, 1973 (No 61 of 1973).



Second Charge

That you Ho Joo Huat on or about 19 October 1974 at about 10.26am at a car park, Rose Garden, Amber Road, Singapore, were an accomplice in a robbery committed by you, one Lee Keng Guan and one Wong Loke Fatt in which an arm was used by the said Lee Keng Guan with intent to cause injury to one Tjong Giok Hua and that you were present at the scene of the said robbery and may reasonably be presumed to have known that the said Lee Keng Guan was carrying the said arm, and you have thereby committed an offence punishable under s 5 of the Arms Offences Act, 1973 (No 61 of 1973).



The third appellant, Wong Loke Fatt, was convicted on the following two charges:

First Charge

That you Wong Loke Fatt on or about 19 October 1974 at about 10.25am at the car park, Rose Garden, Singapore, were an accomplice in a robbery committed by you, one Lee Keng Guan and one Ho Joo Huat in which an arm was used by the said Lee Keng Guan with intent to cause injury to one Tjong Sauw Yoong, and that you were present at the scene of the said robbery and may reasonably be presumed to have known that the said Lee Keng Guan was carrying the said arm, and you have thereby committed an offence punishable under s 5 of the Arm Offences Act, 1973 (No 61 of 1973).



Second Charge

That you Wong Loke Fatt on or about 19 October 1974 at about 10.26am at a car park. Rose Garden, Amber Road, Singapore, were an accomplice in a robbery committed by you, one Lee Keng Guan and one Ho Joo Huat in which an arm was used by the said Lee Keng Guan with intent to cause injury to one Tjong Giok Hua, and that you were present at the scene of the said robbery and may reasonably be presumed to have known that the said Lee Keng Guan was carrying the said arm, and you have thereby committed an offence punishable under s 5 of the Arm Offences Act, 1973 (No 61 of 1973).



The relevant provisions of the Arms Offences Act 1973 read as follows:

2. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires -

`arm` means any firearm ... from which any ... bullet can be discharged ... ;

`use`, with its grammatical variations, means -

(a) in relation to a firearm ... from which any ... bullet ... can be discharged ... - to cause such bullet ... to be discharged with intent to cause physical injury to any person;

4. Subject to any exception referred to in Ch IV of the Penal Code which may be applicable, any person who uses or attempts to use any arm shall on conviction be punished with death.

(5) . Where any arm is used by any person in committing or in attempting to commit any offence, each of his accomplices in respect of the last mentioned offence present at the scene of such offence who may reasonably be presumed to have known that such person was car in or had in his possession or under his control such arm, shall, unless he proves that he had taken all reasonable steps to prevent the use of such arm, be guilty of an offence under this Act and shall on conviction be punished with death.



The prosecution evidence can be stated shortly. A male Chinese, Low Meng Hoe, left his flat, which is on the second floor of a block of flats facing Mountbatten Road and Katong Shopping Centre, at around 10.25am on 19 October 1974. He proceeded to his car which was parked at a car park situated behind this block of flats. As he was about to open the front offside door of his car he saw two strangers approaching him, one from his left and the other from his right. The one approaching him from his left was the first appellant and the one approaching him from his right was the third appellant. The first appellant held him up with a gun telling him not to move. At the same time Low felt someone relieving him of his wallet which contained money and two cheques. At this moment Low saw a third person whom he identified as the second appellant walking towards his car. He was told to open the door of his car and he was pushed into the rear seat. The appellants also entered the car, the second appellant occupying the driver`s seat and the first and third appellants occupied the rear seat with Low sandwiched between them.

While this robbery was taking place, Low`s wife witnessed it from the rear verandah of their flat. She saw two persons searching Low`s shirt pocket and suspecting a robbery she telephoned the police and then returned to the rear verandah from where she saw Low seated in his car between two persons and another person driving Low`s car. At that time she saw Low`s nephew, Tiong Sauw Yoong, who was staying with them, about to park his own car No SV 9467. She signalled to Tjong to stop and then she came down to where Tjong had stopped his car and jumped into the rear seat immediately behind the driver`s seat and told Tjong to follow Low`s car. As Tjong was about to reverse his car, she saw her husband`s car approaching them and on seeing this told Tjong...

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4 cases
  • Public Prosecutor v Taw Cheng Kong
    • Singapore
    • Court of Three Judges (Singapore)
    • 22 Mayo 1998
    ...is arbitrary and unsupportable. For an elaboration on the principles of the presumption of constitutionality, see Lee Keng Guan v PP [1975-1977] SLR 231 at pp 237 which we shall refer to shortly. 61.We moved on next to the standard of validity. It was apparent that s 37(1) differentiated Si......
  • Ramalingam Ravinthran v Attorney-General
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    ...2 SLR 830 (refd) Law Society of Singapore v Tan Guat Neo Phyllis [2008] 2 SLR (R) 239; [2008] 2 SLR 239 (folld) Lee Keng Guan v PP [1977-1978] SLR (R) 78; [1975-1977] SLR 231 (folld) Lee Tat Development Pte Ltd v MCST Plan No 301 [2009] 1 SLR (R) 875; [2009] 1 SLR 875 (refd) Lim Choon Chye ......
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  • Public Prosecutor v Taw Cheng Kong
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    • Court of Three Judges (Singapore)
    • 22 Mayo 1998
    ...is arbitrary and unsupportable. For an elaboration on the principles of the presumption of constitutionality, see Lee Keng Guan v PP [1975-1977] SLR 231 at pp 237 which we shall refer to shortly. 61.We moved on next to the standard of validity. It was apparent that s 37(1) differentiated Si......

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