Blogger Alex Au Wai Pang was on Thursday (Jan 22) found guilty of scandalising contempt over a blogpost in which he discussed challenges of the constitutionality of Section 377A.
However, High Court judge Belinda Ang found that a second post by Au was not in contempt of court.
The Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) took action against Au, 61, over two articles on his Yawning Bread blog in October 2013, arguing that the articles were not fair criticism and risked undermining public confidence in judiciary. The AGC also charged that the articles were baseless attacks against the authority of court and crossed the legal line.
Justice Ang found that Au’s first article, 377 Wheels Come Off Supreme Court’s Best Laid Plans, had imputed judicial partiality and impropriety on the part of the Chief Justice, and risked undermining public confidence in the administration of justice in Singapore.
However, she ruled that the AGC failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt the charge of scandalising contempt on the second post titled Church Sacks Employee and Sues Government – on one ground right, on another ground wrong.
In this post, Au wrote that he did not have high hopes that former Robinson & Co employee Lawrence Wee’s application for a court declaration that Article 12 of the Constitution prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, “mostly because my confidence in the Singapore judiciary is as limp as a flag on a windless day”.
Justice Ang disagreed with the prosecution that Au’s graphic description of his lack of confidence in the judiciary “stems from the judiciary’s inadequacies, incompetence and/or partiality against cases which relate to issues of sexual orientation”.
Sentencing for Au’s conviction in relation to the first article will proceed at a later date.