Imprisoned for Shirts, Sex and a Mont Blanc Pen: The Corruption Case of Singapore Legal Academic Tey Tsun Hang
19 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2014 Last revised: 6 Aug 2014
Date Written: June 24, 2014
The use of criminal sexual allegations against political opponents is a familiar tactic in parts of South-East Asia. This article examines the corruption charges against Singaporean legal academic Tey Tsun Hang, who recently spent five months in prison on charges of corruptly obtaining gifts and sexual favours from a student, Darinne Ko, before being acquitted. It considers the judgments at both trial and appeal level, which closely analysed such questions as the voluntariness of incriminating statements made by both Tey and Ko in police interrogation, and the legal requirements for a corruption conviction in the context of an academic-student affair. Did the Singaporean courts unfairly conflate questions of moral and legal guilt in considering Tey’s case? Why was Tey proceeded against through the criminal courts rather than by way of internal university disciplinary action? This article considers such questions against the background of the overarching issues the case raises about the balance between individual and social rights in the Singaporean state.
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