A leading international contributor that was secured in Singaporean prison has actually shared his individual experience of what occurs when an individual mosts likely to jail in the prohibiting tyrannical state.
Five Melbourne young adults, aged 14 to 16, were apprehended for supposedly theft Victoria’s Secret underwear and also Crocs shoes throughout a tour to the city-state, and also are implicated of being captured on CCTV tucking away the costly underwear away.
Peter Lloyd, a previous ABC press reporter, was notoriously apprehended, incarcerated and also intimidated with caning in Singapore, when he was billed with trafficking the medication ice in 2008.
Lloyd informed Daily Mail Australia the ladies would certainly have gone through a frightening experience and also might deal with an embedded society of public shaming amongst Singaporean police.
Lloyd, after that aged 41, wound up investing 10 months in infamous Changi Prison on ownership, usage and also medication paraphernalia offences – after facing a maximum penalty of 20 years in jail and 15 lashes of the feared rattan cane.
There, he was locked up in a communal cell and slept on a straw mat on a concrete floor.
ABC correspondent Peter Lloyd (above at a Singapore court after his arrest on drug trafficking) initially faced 20 years in Changi and 15 cuts of the rattan cane, but he spent less than a year behind bars
Kampong Java precinct police patrol the area around Singapore’s swanky Orchard Road shopping precinct where the exclusive Melbourne schoolgirls were arrested
Lloyd said the schoolgirls arrested at Victoria Secret on Orchard Road (above) would have ‘the fear of god’ put in them, and been publicly humiliated by police who do not regard shop stealing as a petty crime
Victoria’s Secret – the iconic brand. Above, model Heidi Klum in 2003
Lloyd described the experience of arrest, detainment and deliberate public humiliation by Singaporean police which he said the girls from exclusive Bacchus Marsh Grammar would have experienced.
He said the shop’s location meant the girls were arrested by the Kampong Java police precinct, which employs officers not much older than the teens but with steely determination and little sympathy.
‘Their encounter with Singapore’s front-line cops would put the fear of god into them,’ Lloyd told Daily Mail Australia.
‘There is no such thing as a petty matter, a ‘lapse of judgement’ that could all be over with an apology and quick exit.
‘To Singapore, they’re simply bad guests, of poor moral character, regardless of the value of the property stolen, or the nature of it.
‘A period of intended public shame would be just the start of their days of humiliation.
The Kampong Java cops (above) are not much older than the teens they arrested but are utterly serious and determined about controlling crime, including those offences some may think of as minor
Peter Lloyd (right) detailed his humiliating interrogation by Singapore cops after his arrest for drugs while suffering PTSD from being a war correspondent, then spending months locked up in notorious Changi prison (left)
‘They’d be corralled in a shopping centre public space – ‘Attention Shoppers – suspects on display, Level 2 – and deliberately so.’
Lloyd said that ‘let the world know they’ve been caught’ was ‘a fundamental operating procedure for the police in Singapore, who love being seen to do their job, and who seem, frankly, to sometimes get a thrill from the shaming of foreigners.
‘I know that from personal experience, having once been arrested in Singapore and enduring a series of unrelated and shockingly lurid questions about “what kind of gay” I was – the man, or the woman.’
Lloyd had spent years as a foreign correspondent for the ABC, based in Bangkok and New Delhi with his then wife Kirsty McIvor and their young sons, before coming out as gay a few months before his arrest.
He had covered the 2002 Bali bombings and their confronting aftermath of carnage at Sanglah Hospital.
Lloyd said the Singaporean cops who arrested the schoolgirls would have subjected them to a period of intended public shame which would be just the start of their days of humiliation (pictured, a Singaporean police officer)
Pictured: Guards lookout over the Watch Tower at Changi Prison where razor wire surrounds its perimeter
Notorious Changi prison (above) in Singapore was where Peter Lloyd spent many months locked up and where prisoners can be subjected to canings by the feared rattan
He had literally slipped in the blood of the victims after earlier trauma when he narrowly missed being blown up in the first assassination attempt on Pakistani leader, Benazir Bhutto, in 2007.
Eight months later, suffering from PTSD, he was caught with 0.41 grams of methamphetamine, a pipe and six syringes after a tip-off to Singapore’s narcotics bureau.
Singapore imposes severe penalties for drug use and ownership, including a mandatory death penalty for anyone caught with more than 15 grams of heroin or more than 500 grams of marijuana.
‘Singaporeans are natural born dobbers,’ Lloyd said.
‘In Singapore, the regime relies on eagle eyed grandmothers, taxi drivers … and a wider community reared on a fear of state authority.’
He said Singaporeans like to outwardly display ‘good citizenship’ and avoid the dreadful fates of ‘citizens who’ve challenged the system and wound up in ruin or exile … too many to mention’.
Caning in Singapore is done with a 1.2metre rattan stick, 12mm thick, soaked with water to add weight on male offenders (above, a dummy is used) aged 16 to 50, with a maximum of 24 strokes in a single session
Correspondent Peter Lloyd arrives at a Singapore court in 2008 charged with trafficking ice, but had the charge dropped and served less than a year in Changi
He said the Melbourne teenagers probably wished now they’d seen the Kampong Police station social media posts which tell citizens ‘your life is a result of the decisions you make. Make good decisions today so you don’t regret tomorrow.’
Lloyd said: ‘In typically well crafted, mechanistic Singapore, police outposts are deliberately inserted in the local community they serve, to consolidate the founding ideal of a state of security, secured by a community partnership, from the grassroots up.
‘Community policing is one of the key thrusts of the Singapore Police Force’s policing strategy.
‘It helps to build the public’s trust and confidence in the police and to actively involve the community in combating crime and terrorism.’
Principal of Bacchus Marsh Grammar school Andrew Neal (above) said he hoped all 18 of his female students would return from Singapore after the sobering experience of being arrested for allegedly shoplifting lingerie
Lloyd was released from Changi in June 2009 and returned home, having been sacked from a proposed job co-hosting an ABC’s breakfast show. He was still employed as a producer.
He was never caned, though the practice of judicial caning considered by many as barbaric and a form of torture continues. Caning in Singapore is done with a 1.2-metre rattan stick, 12mm thick, which is soaked with water to add weight to it.
Offenders convicted of medication trafficking, vandalism, rioting, or even just overstaying a visa are tied face-first to a wooden lattice with the buttocks exposed.
Only male offenders aged 16 to 50 are caned, with a maximum of 24 canings in a single session – meaning if found guilty the young women would not face such a fate.
Likewise, while the girls could face up to three years’ imprisonment if found guilty, actual jail time for adolescents is unlikely.
The principal of Bacchus Marsh Grammar school, Andrew Neal, said he hopes all 18 of his students – who were on a basketball tour when six were arrested – will be returning home to Melbourne as scheduled on Friday.
PREVIOUS INCIDENTS INVOLVING YOUNG PEOPLE IN SINGAPORE
In 2020, a former British public schoolboy Ye Ming Yuen was flogged the maximum 24 times in Singapore with the rattan for drug trafficking around 120g of cannabis and also 15g of ice
In 2015, two young German men who broke into a Singapore train depot and also spray-painted a MRT commuter train with graffiti were sentenced to three strokes each of the cane.
In 2020, a former British public schoolboy, Ye Ming Yuen, was flogged the maximum 24 times in Singapore with the rattan for medication trafficking around 120g of cannabis and also 15g of ice.
Yuen was left bleeding and also unable to walk after the caning, which caused a diplomatic row between Singapore and also the UK.