Behind The Smile

It’s not even a month after reports on Joshua Robinson’s apparent slap on the wrist for “sexual assault” had Singaporeans up in arms. Now, we’ve got another case of a seemingly inadequate punishment for a foreigner who have committed a serious crime and the “alternative media” is milking the controversy for all that it’s worth.

A Thai woman was sentenced to 5.5 years’ jail for stomping (literally) her 55-year-old Singaporean lover to death. According to reports in the Chinese media, the couple had been in a seven-year relationship plagued by frequent arguments and fights. The final fatal encounter happened in the wee hours of March 1, 2015.

The 55-year-old Singaporean man Lee Yang Boo was a maintenance worker. Before the fight, he got angry when he saw his girlfriend, Sukanya Praphuttha, 43, dancing with a man in a bar earlier that night. He made a scene at the bar but they left the bar without further incident. Back in their rental unit on the 16th floor of Block 8, North Bridge Road, they drank again.

Intoxicated, Lee’s temper flared up again. He accused Praphuttha, who was working as a part-time salesgirl, of trying to seduce another man. He went to bed, but soon woke up and restarted the quarrel Praphuttha. The verbal exchange escalated into a fight. Lee was kicked down to the floor. Praphuttha stomped on his head, crushing his skull.

When she saw him bleeding in his left ear and having difficulty breathing, she sought help from her neighbours and called the police. Lee was sent to Tan Tock Seng Hospital where he was pronounced dead two hours later at about 6.45am. While Lee had sustained 47 bruises all over his body, an autopsy revealed that the fatal blow was the skull fracture. She was also hurt in the fight with injuries on her shoulders and arms.

Well, is there any point on contention here vis-a-vis the 5.5 years imprisonment? I’m not in the legal profession, but I may know a thing or two about what was going on in this woman’s mind.

When faced with an awkward or challenging situation, Thais would tend to flee or abandon ship. Such habits will make them feel cornered and helpless if they cannot escape. When flight is not possible, a desperate, totally unrestrained fight ensues. This is an awful tragedy, no doubt about it, but it should be obvious to any clear mind that it’s not cold-blooded murder.

© Chan Joon Yee

Dewdrop Books