Lua Lay Eng v Public Prosecutor

CourtMagistrates' Court (Singapore)
JudgeEric Tin Keng Seng
Judgment Date10 December 2003
Neutral Citation[2003] SGMC 39
Citation[2003] SGMC 39
Publication Date15 January 2004
Plaintiff CounselHarvin Bath (Surian and Partners)
Defendant CounselRamesh Shanmugam (Official Assignee)

1 This is an appeal against sentence by Lua Lay Eng (“Lua”) who pleaded guilty before me to the following charge (“P11”):

You…are charged that you, having been adjudged a bankrupt on 28th day of January 2000 and having not obtained a discharge from bankruptcy, did leave Singapore, on or about 10th day of December 2001 for Malaysia without the previous permission of the Official Assignee and have thereby committed an offence punishable under section 131(2) of the Bankruptcy Act (Chapter 20).

2 I ascertained that she understood the nature and consequence of her plea.

Summary of facts

3 Lua admitted without any qualification to the statement of facts (“A”). She was adjudged a bankrupt by the High Court on 28 January 2000 in Bankruptcy No. 3818 of 1999. At the material time, she was still an undischarged bankrupt. She was aware of the requirement to seek the Official Assignee’s prior permission before leaving Singapore. On 29 February 2000, she acknowledged receipt of the Bankruptcy Information Sheets which notified her that it is an offence for an undischarged bankrupt to leave Singapore without the previous permission of the Official Assignee. On 14 March 2000, she applied for and was granted permission by the Official Assignee to leave for Indonesia for 11 days from 20 April 2000 to 30 April 2000. On 10 May 2000, she applied for and was granted permission by the Official Assignee to leave for China, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Malaysia, for more than 2 months from 16 May 2000 to 25 July 2000. On 24 July 2000, she applied for and was granted permission by the Official Assignee to leave for China, Indonesia, Malaysia for more than 5 months from 29 July 2000 to 28 January 2001. On 26 September 2001, she applied for and was granted permission by the Official Assignee to leave for China, Indonesia and USA for one month from 27 September 2001 to 27 October 2001.

4 However, when the Official Assignee inspected her international passport on 2 June 2003, it was discovered that she left Singapore on 10 December 2001 for Malaysia without the permission of the Official Assignee.

Charges taken into consideration

5 After I pronounced her guilty and convicted as charged, Lua admitted to 10 other charges and consented for them to be taken into consideration for the purpose of sentence. These charges alleged that she left for Malaysia without the Official Assignee’s permission on 4 November 2001 (“P1”), 5 November 2001 (“P2”), 15 November 2001 (“P3”), 18 November 2001 (“P4”), 19 November 2001 (“P5”), 24 November 2001 (“P6”), 1 December 2001 (“P7”), 3 December 2001 (“P8”), 4 December 2001 (“P9”), and 8 December 2001 (“P10”).

Antecedents

6 Lua admitted to her criminal record (“B”). On 30 April 2002, she was fined $5,000 for acting...

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