Blogger Alex Au Wai Pang or known by his Internet nom de plume as Yawning Bread has been fined $8,000 on Thursday (5th March) for contempt of court.
The 62-year-old was found guilty over a post he made on 5th October 2013 which the High Court had ruled in January to have “scandalized” the judiciary and cast into doubt the integrity and fairness of the court system.
In the post, Alex had implied that the courts were deliberately changing hearing dates for a constitutional challenge against Section 377A of the Penal code, a law which criminalizes gay sex.
He also suggested in the post that the court dates were changed so that a specific judge could preside over the case.
Alex was originally facing 2 charges of contempt over 2 blog posts, but the court ruled that 1 of the blog posts titled “Church Sacks Employee and Sues Government” was a matter of opinion and thus not guilty of contempt.
In the post which was exonerated, Alex had said that his confidence in the judiciary was “as limp as a flag on a windless day”.
For the remaining post titled “377 Wheels Come Off Supreme Court’s Best Laid Plans”, Justice Belinda Ang had ruled that the article 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.