In the first such case, a part-time security guard was fined $ 1,000 yesterday for destroying an election poster.
Lim Song Huat, 48, had previously pleaded guilty to violating the law on parliamentary elections. Two other similar charges were considered in sentencing.
The incident happened at around 9:30 a.m. on July 3 last year, a week before the general election was held in Singapore.
The Singaporean was walking along Woodlands Street 13, where he lives, when he spotted People’s Action Party (PAP) posters on streetlights.
Lim walked over to the one with the image of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and tried but failed to tear him apart with a stone.
Deputy Attorney General Selene Yap said: “He then threw stones and used his hands to forcibly remove (the poster) from its holder, causing more than half of the poster to detach from his. support.”
Police were alerted the next day and officers from the Woodlands Police Division Headquarters arrested him around 6:30 p.m. that day.
Yesterday, DPP Yap urged District Judge Marvin Bay to sentence Lim to a fine of up to $ 1,000, stressing that such offenses were difficult to detect.
She told the court that Lim was only found after “heavy trawling” of CCTV footage.
Lim, who was not represented, told Justice Bay he was not against the PAP and had done a “stupid thing”.
Before sentencing him, the judge said the courts must send a “clear and unequivocal message” that the damage, destruction and degradation of posters is “completely unacceptable”.
He added: “While a person may have strong political views, these should be expressed through their vote at the ballot box or other legally sanctioned means.”
In an unrelated incident, another Singaporean – Constantine Paul, 51 – is accused of removing two Progress Singapore Party posters from the lampposts of Bukit Batok East Avenue 5 around 8 p.m. on June 30 of last year.
Paul, who also faces charges under the Act, is expected to plead guilty on April 5.