Category Archives: Uncategorized

oh, joy!

I was very pleased to learn that Singapore will have an uncharacteristically cool CNY season this year, thanks to stronger Northeast monsoon winds. In fact, I haven’t perspired much (if at all) this month! It’s usually impossible to go down for a drink without drenching your entire shirt. I know this great weather won’t last for long though. Just look at my 2011 post below. So I’ll just bask in this while it’s still here. Gloomy skies, billowing winds, a hibernating sun.. Certainly my cup of tea.

Yesterday over lunch, one of my fellow interns told me how her mentor, a former prosecutor, believed his primary aim as a lawyer was to “uphold the administration of justice“. It’s an oft repeated phrase amongst the legal fraternity. Most self-respecting lawyers see themselves as instruments of the State, protecting and championing not just their clients’ interests, but also the interests of society. Which is why most would also agree that gunning for a victory at the expense of all else is usually unethical, sometimes disgraceful.

Her mentor had a point to make when this statement was made. As someone with an intimate knowledge of the workings of the AGC, he is well aware of the immense power the prosecution holds with regard to prosecutorial discretion. Essentially someone’s fate can be dramatically altered with the stroke of a pen. Arbitrary it may seem, but the grounds for it have been robustly defended. Agree with it or not, barring any new developments in the legal landscape, prosecutorial discretion is here to stay, and hence it is more productive to consider the role prosecutors play in the light of these circumstances. Certainly, there is potential for a lot of good to be done on their end. No two cases are alike: perhaps there may be extenuating circumstances or mitigating factors that warrant a lesser charge. It is then up to the prosecution to keep an open mind when approaching the material facts of a case and summon their courage to exercise their discretion when the situation calls for it, even if it means a lesser sentence or an acquittal for the accused. It is the prosecution’s careful use of this power that helps demonstrate the principle mentioned above.

I was discussing this with another intern of mine when he pointed out that some prosecutors could potentially see this “administration of justice” in a totally different light. Perhaps these prosecutors see themselves as enforcers of the law, agents to do the State’s bidding to send evildoers to where they rightfully belong, isolated from society for as long as possible within the constraints of the law. While this may sound idealistic or even naïve, it is not without reason. In a mature judiciary which holds evidence and logic above all else, it is sometimes the case where individuals do not get the verdict they deserve due to a lack of evidence, poor witnesses or whatnot. It is hence in the interest of the prosecution to proceed on the most convenient or efficient charge, especially if they are most convinced of the guilt of the accused. This might even extend to selectively presenting evidence in a way that favours them. After all, the prosecution does not owe a duty to the accused person. That duty solely rests with the defence.

While the second view is all well and good, the prosecution must remember that already, the scales are tilted in their favour before the commencement of a trial. Granted, the onus is on them to prove that the accused is “guilty beyond reasonable doubt”, but the power of prosecutorial discretion gives them the privilege to play both barrister and judge at the same time. And so this power must certainly give one pause before he sets out to demolish a person. Besides, if we hold the mantra to be true (surely it must be, it’s become a cliché!), then are not accused persons members of society as well whose interests deserve due consideration? While we have seen presumably guilty individuals get away with their misdeeds, there have also been instances where individuals have been acquitted on appeal due to deliberate lapses in procedure from the prosecution stemming from a zealous urge to secure a conviction at all costs.

In conclusion, the hallmark of a good judiciary is one that allows everyone to have their field day in court, no matter how damning the circumstances may be. And the prosecution ought to support this cause. While not a perfect system, the alternative would be the kangaroo courts so commonly seen in dictatorships or tribal communities, which assign verdicts based on pre-judged ideas. If ever our society adopts this alternative it will be most saddening indeed.

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alyeska

This photo’s a rather accurate representation of my class’ Retarded Quotient, don’t you think! Note Hongyi’s cheeky grin as he moves into position- and why on earth do I look like I’m in complete agony! (From this description you should’ve figured that the obvious star of the picture is of course, Minyee) :D She doesn’t read this blog (I hope!) so hey I think I won’t get slaughtered for doing this!

Ah what will I ever do without my wonderful class (:

The madness of CTs is over for now, and there’s lots of stuff I wanna get done, and this includes figuring exactly what to do with my hair. (which is, btw, giving me tonnes of problems) Like I told Rachel and Anna on Wednesday, having the only hairstylist who understands your hair quit her job is akin to having your wife (who happens to be the only person in the world who cooks edible food) get a divorce on you.

After reading Joe Green’s Looking For Alaska, I feel rather inclined to name my hypothetical future daughter Alyeska! Or at least date someone with that name – do you not agree Aleut/Inuit names sound so adorable!

And no that’s not the only takeaway I got from the book, thankfully. More than just being a piece of teenage high school fiction (I outgrew that when I was 12, I think) it makes you think about relationships, living life and the purpose of it all really. Not to the Ishiguro kind of depth, though, but still it makes for a nice, relaxed read you can finish in an hour or two. Do note that the content’s not PG-rated though- if that bothers you.

“the only easy day was yesterday”

Yessshh I feel so accomplished today! :D Dashing through the MacRitchie woods today evening with Andrew capped off what was a horridly lazy morning spent on music and videos. I absolutely hate Doing Nothing, just so you know. And the poems we looked at today were simply beautiful, never mind the sexual innuendoes.

you

by Carol Ann Duffy

Uninvited, the thought of you stayed too late in my head.
so I went to bed, dreaming you hard, hard, woke with your name,
like tears, soft, salt, on my lips, the sound of its bright syllables
like a charm, like a spell.

Falling in love
is glamorous hell: the crouched, parched heart
like a tiger, ready to kill; a flame’s fierce licks under the skin.
into my life, larger than life, you strolled in.

I hid in my ordinary days, in the long grass of routine,
in my camouflage rooms. You sprawled in my gaze,
staring back from anyone’s face, from the shape of a cloud,
from the pining, earth-struck moon which gapes at me

as I open the bedroom door. The curtains stir. There you are
on the bed, like a gift, like a touchable dream.

It’s probably gonna be a while before I get to experience the emotions captured in this poem though. (Do I want to?)

Also, I’ve adopted the Navy SEALS motto for my own, because I think it details the kind of life I want to/should be living.

ǝlqıɹɹǝʇslǝǝɟsıɥʇ

I’m glad I (literally) dragged myself out of bed today morning to get to 9am. (: Let’s hope I can keep this up! Also, it was great to see everyone in LYnC again. Going to LYnC does make me feel like I have the strength to conquer this screwedup world I’m in, I think.

In other news, Liangwei asked if there are people who “make you feel sad when you look at them”. The pity- kind of sad, right? Well I can’t remember anyone like that, but there exists people who make me feel grief when I get glimpses of them. I’m not sure if you can picture this, but this grief is to the extent that I’ve concluded that it would be better if I didn’t have to see them anymore. By no fault of theirs, really. I wonder if this makes me selfish.

This message is addressed to no one in particular.

Where are you??

fall asleep/sleep satisfies

This picture was taken with my webcam when I was out with the bumbleapplebee one evening. Guess where this place is!

Also, Coldplay has apparently posted a terribly cryptic silent video on Youtube, which hints of an imminent album/single release. Hopefully I’ll get to go to my first ever Coldplay concert! (It’s a shame Coldplay’s been here three times but I’ve missed all their gigs ><).

I’m not sure if the message that accompanies their cryptic video is meant to be decoded though. I turn the music up / I got my records on / I shut the world outside until the lights come on. For some reason those words look like they can be rapped, but I think it’ll be very weird to watch Coldplay rap. (After hearing too many Asians attempt to rap I concluded that only black people should rap)

Ah well.

Does anyone want to go for the Air Force open house/tea session on Saturday!

a little glimpse of heaven

I’ve got a thing for Negro spirituals ;)

Not that this song is very Negro-Spiritualish in the Mr Toh’s “big woman” kind of way with soaring voices and swing rhythms, but still!

I reproduce the song description for Sometimes I Feel Like A Moanin’ Dove from the Tapestry Chamber Singers.

The words of this song ring so true in this human life we live, this life full of heartaches, disappointments, ups and downs. “Sometimes I feel like a moanin’ dove… Sometimes I feel like a motherless child… Sometimes I feel like I gotta no home, wring my hands and cry.” Surely this isn’t the life we were really made for. We long, perhaps unconsciously, for something better, for heaven. On the other hand, “Sometimes I feel like an eagle in the air, spread my wings and fly.” Thank God for these glimpses, however minute, of what heaven will be like! These moments when we soar on eagle’s wings.

Doesn’t life feel like it’s full of crap sometimes? But hey the moments when good things happen, no matter how brief they are, they’re reason enough for celebrating life, I guess.

On another note, the extract from Philaster is so much fun to read, but ahh how do you write a Drama PC about it! If assessments were oral instead of written I think I’d have a much easier time.

I shall survive!