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My life experience in Changi Prison (Cluster B)

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 23 Aug 2011 6:49 am

Where do we get the memory power to remember all of lifes history as we live it. Or to member the lyrics of hundreds of songs, or all the minutae of any subject without referring to notes? I'm sure each & every step of the way was firmly imprinted on the guys mind. That or he's a shill.

Gotta remember, this one is not a hardened criminal, but a businessman caught up in the new casino crap and busted due to gambling addiction. He'd had a successful business, so he did have something on the ball at one point.

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Postby Inmate » Tue, 23 Aug 2011 8:04 pm

Chapter 3.4: About My Past

Most of the readers should be curious on CPC Cluster A. Like most of you, I am curious on Cluster A as well after my few days lock-up in Cluster B. Wondering what is the difference of Cluster B compared to Cluster A, why am I lock-up in Cluster B instead of Cluster A and what type of prisoners are lock-up in Cluster A. This is the best details description which I had received so far after spending time gathering information from inmates, readers and ex-convicts:

Please note that information shared before have not been edited and is only for reader’s reference, which may not be 100% accurate (I welcome any readers whom wish to provide and share more details on Cluster A)

[b]“Old CP have a few blocks which I think most old birds will remember. A, B, C, D, E and F if I'm not wrong. I was from the old CP and was also one of the first to move to cluster A.

In cluster A, there are 5 divisions. A1 to A5. Each Division has 3 housing units and are normally called as HU1 to HU3.

A5 Is for laundry workers, pre release and staff cafe.

A4 is for kitchen workers, RTC and Section 55.

(Section 55. The famous detention without trail. 55 drug cases will all be housed in cluster A4. All the SS for section 55 will be transferred to Tanah Merah Prison. Minimum for 55 is review every 4 years with no remission. Some I know in a4 have already served 9 years or more and these were well known drug lords in Europe but sadly made their way back to visit family and got thrown in with insufficient evidence.
The terror section 55 is house at the famous mas selamat place.
Hokkien lingo for 55 is "ko chap ko".)

A3 is for bakery and some industrial work and can't really remember.

A2 and A1 is basically the hardcore ones from CP. The blue collar and red collar ones. Means Blue collar is PD. Preventive detention means no remission. 10 or 20 years means they have to sit it straight out. Red collar are those with more than 20years sentence like the SIA cheating case guy.

Condemn prisoners are also in cluster A. Can't really remember which division and hu is from which old prison as I was out for more than 6 years.

As for shaving of armpit and pubic hair is because of hygiene. All disposable shavers have a 2 week shelf life. All are labelled with the inmate number and stored into a box like a key press. That is why no shaving is allowed.

I had stints in A3 during transfer from old CP as part of the first kitchen crew needed to start up the new kitchen from the old CP. Then to A4 when the rest of the CP shifted in. Then to A5 as part of the staff cafe inmate serving the staff. As for my long story I'll prob meet TS and let him write my story.”

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Postby Inmate » Tue, 23 Aug 2011 8:05 pm

Chapter 3.5: Number 1 Killer

In June 2010, a month which most Singaporeans are waiting for. Great Singapore sales event, school holiday and overseas holiday trips. But to me, this was the month that had changed my ‘normal’ life and make me suffered!

Marina Bay Sands (MBS), opened in April 2010, the casino-resort’s revenue about US737.6 million (from opening till july2011), was the 1st casino I’ve ever been to. My first visit to MBS was due to my boredom , curiosity and sightseeing.

I have won some money and I returned to the casino again the next day within my 24 hours entry permit as it was my off day. Luck was more my side, I won a total profit of 11k within 2days. Soon I visited both MBS and RWS (Resort World Sentosa) mostly everyday throughout the month of June, and in the end I lost a total amount of about $130k back to the casinos. I have lost my hard-earned savings, my company, my lifestyle and making myself in debts, all thanks to the hunger of my greed!

I ended my business soon after. I felt regretted, depress, anger, sad, stress, hopeless in life to the stage that I thought of ending my life and had locked myself up in my room for days, trying to end my life by drinking dentol, swallowing pills and cutting my pulse (click here to view my scar) . After 2 attempts of commit suicide, I was still alive but had only made my life even worse, making my family members sad, hurt and cried for my doings!

For your information, commit suicide in Singapore is a serious offence.

Legal gambling may not be a offence, but make sure you must have your limit. Cases like me are very common in Singapore nowadays. If you choose to exceed your limit, make sure you are ready to face the consequences!

For those who have not been to casino but intending to go, I would advise you to stop visiting after your first visit.

For those who have visited regularly to pass time, those as ‘part-time’ / ‘full-time’ gamblers and those whom have already ‘donated’ a huge sum of your hard-earned money to the casinos, my advice to you is to stop and wake up to your sense while it is still not too late.

I apologise if I have offended some of you. You may disagree and negative thoughts on my comments. Although I know myself very clear that I am nobody and have no rightes to tell you what to do and what is best for you, but I really hope readers who are gamblers, please spend 5 minutes to think about what I have wrote! I had went through the gambling experience and suffering moments personally, I can totally understand your feeling of winning and losing. Please spend your free time read through past newspaper and don’t be surprise that almost every day, there were reports on all sorts of people from different backgrounds end up bankrupt, divorce, borrowing loan sharks, ran away leaving debts to their family, commit suicide and crimes because of gambling (The Number 1 killer).

Still not convincing enough? I hope my Q&A theory below can convince you!

What will you do if you lost $500 to casino?
You will withdrawn money from atm and gamble, hoping just to win back whatever you lost. (This is how you will fall into the trap of anger, panic and greed)

What will you do if you won $500 from casino?
You may stay longer or leave immediately, but very high percentage in returning to casino again due to the lure of easy money. (This is how you will fall into the trap of greed)

What happen next is unexplainable and I will not to comment more on it. You may be the lucky one or end up like me. The choice is yours and blame no one on the path you choose.

Spending months living in the worse moment of my life and owning a sum of outstanding debts to banks and companies after the incident, I tried to be strong and spend most of my time working hard in taking up 2-3 jobs. While trying hard and find ways to settle my debts as soon as possible, I worked from one company to another that provides better income.

In April 2011, I returned to the MNC company which I had used to work with after my national service. I thought my burden will be lesser as the salary offered upon confirmation after the 2 months probation is sufficient for my daily living expenses and paying off debts. But soon after I started work, ‘something’ happened unexpectedly which required me a sum money to settle it urgently. Under the stress and depression, with other resource in gathering the funds I needed, I secretly use company’s funds to settle my problem. I know what I am doing is a crime. But at that moment, I would rather choose to end up in jail than get involved with loan sharks to settle the problem. I turned myself in to the company soon after my crime and I was summoned to Cantonment Police Station soon after!

I kept asking myself and heaven why the world is so unfair to me? Why is my life in a mess since young? I want to change but why there are no choices for me? I need ANSWERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I assumed that it would be the end of my life after going to prison. But I was wrong, I had found my answers in prison! In prison, I am convince and positive in what I see , hear, experienced it personally! Now I am happy that I am lucky enough not to get myself killed! I am lucky enough to have my hands, legs, eyes, ears, etc.. with me properly function while there are people whom don’t. I may be poor and still in bad financial status now but not as poor as people from third-war countries who have to fought for food for survival! I am not suffering alone, there are others who are facing the same fate and other’s even worse till we can never imagine! I will never blame on others for the things I do. I am the one whom have destroyed myself and I will be the one who will going to fix it back!

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Postby Inmate » Tue, 23 Aug 2011 8:07 pm

Chapter 3.6: Criminal Breach Of Trust

Criminal Breach of Trust (CBT) is one of the most common crimes in Singapore. So what exactly is CBT and what are the punishments for the offenders:

Whoever, being in any manner entrusted with property, or with any dominion over property, dishonestly misappropriates or converts to his own use that property, or dishonestly uses or disposes of that property in violation of any direction of law prescribing the mode in which such trust is to be discharged, or of any legal contract, express or implied, which he has made touching the discharge of such trust, or wilfully suffers any other person to do so, commits Criminal Breach Of Trust (CBT)



Illustration


(a) A, being executor to the will of a deceased person, dishonestly disobeys the law which directs him to divide the effects according to the will, and appropriates them to his own use. A has committed criminal breach of trust.

(b) A is a warehouse-keeper. Z, going on a journey, entrusts his furniture to A, under a contract that it shall be returned on payment of a stipulated sum for warehouse room. A dishonestly sells the goods. A has committed breach of trust.

© A, residing in Singapore, is agent for Z, residing in Penang. There is an express or implied contract between A and Z that all sums remitted by Z to A shall be invested by A according to Z’s direction. Z remits $5,000 to A, with directions to A to invest the same in Government securities. A dishonestly disobeys the direction, and employs the money in his own business. A has committed criminal breach of trust.

(d) But if A, in the last illustration, not dishonestly, but in good faith, believing that it will be more for Z’s advantage to hold shares in the Bank X, disobeys Z’s directions, and buys shares in the Bank X for Z, instead of buying Government securities, here, though Z should suffer loss and should be entitled to bring a civil action against A on account of that loss, yet A, not having acted dishonestly, has not committed criminal breach of trust.

(e) A, a collector of Government money, or a clerk in a Government office, is entrusted with public money, and is either directed by law, or bound by a contract, express or implied, with the Government, to pay into a certain treasury all the public money which he holds. A dishonestly appropriates the money. A has committed criminal breach of trust.

(f) A, a carrier, is entrusted by Z with property to be carried by land or by water. A dishonestly misappropriates the property. A has committed criminal breach of trust.


Punishment of Criminal Breach Of Trust

406. Whoever commits criminal breach of trust shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 7 years, or with fine, or with both.
Criminal breach of trust by carrier, etc.


407. Whoever, being entrusted with property as a carrier, wharfinger or warehouse-keeper, commits criminal breach of trust in respect of such property, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 15 years, and shall also be liable to fine.
Criminal breach of trust by clerk or servant.


408. Whoever, being a clerk or servant, or employed as a clerk or servant, and being in any manner entrusted in such capacity with property, or with any dominion over property, commits criminal breach of trust in respect of that property, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 15 years, and shall also be liable to fine.
Criminal breach of trust by public servant, or by banker, merchant, or agent.


409. Whoever, being in any manner entrusted with property, or with any dominion over property, in his capacity of a public servant, or in the way of his business as a banker, merchant, factor, broker, attorney or agent, commits criminal breach of trust in respect of that property, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 20 years, and shall also be liable to fine.

I was charged under section 408 and there were another 2 roommates of mine in B4 who had commit CBT as well:


6xx1 is a 26 years old Chinese guy who worked as a accountant in a shipping firm. He earned about $1600 per month, was divorced with his wife and had a 5 years old daughter under the care of him. Due to his addiction of gambling of illegal soccer betting, his monthly salary was never enough to pay for his loses. Till one day, he got no chance but to loan from licensed money lenders and loan sharks to settle his debts. He ended up in deeper debts due to the high interest rates of both money lenders and loan sharks. Feeling lost and unable to undertake the mental stress, he choose to settle his debts using company funds. He turned himself shortly after he commit the crime.

Just like me, gambling had ruined 6xx1’s life. I hope he had learn his lesson and take care her daughter well after his release from CPC.

6xx3, age about mid 30s, is a soft spoken decent guy. He was requested by his ‘sworn’ brother to act as guarantor for loans. He agreed due to their years of friendship and his trust to him. 6xx3 never expected his ‘sworn’ brother went missing shortly after he got the loans. Betrayal by his ‘sworn’ brother caused him in debts. Weeks of feeling regretted, anger, depress and stress that caused him to settle the debts using the company funds secretly.

He somehow managed to repay back the funds he stole from the company without being caught in weeks later. Thinking nothing will happened to him. Till the day of company’s internal audit check, his doing was found out by the auditor and he was reported to the police by the company thereafter.

A advice for readers: Friends may be important, but be careful in how you help them. Sometimes even your nearest one will be the one hurting you most and destroy your life.

You can still be charged for CBT even if you had returned the sum of money which you had took from your employer for personal uses.

I received a email from a reader recently and here’s what he wrote:

[b]“Hi Bro

I have a wife and 2 sons which are still very young. 3.5yrs old and 1.5 yrs old. I am currently working ok with a ok salary.

I have been to the casino also hoping to win some money to make ends meet.
I did not lose much and got worried when I lose coz I have kids to feed and pampers to buy. I end up borrowing from legal money lenders to make ends meet again and currently trying to stay afloat. I hope I can clear them all by this month end.

My wife doesn’t know about this lending though and I know she will be very angry if she got to know about me borrowing monies.

There are days before I get my salary I buy a loft of bread and kaya and have them as my meal for a few days. When she ask if I have eaten, I always say yes. I try to think that I am just fasting…. Sigh…

Bro, sorry to brood to you my story too. Just wanted to talk to someone who been to hell and back. Your story have encouraged me somewhat and made me more aware not to do anything illegal just to fulfill my needs. There are times when I am so tempted to do so. But thinking of my sons and my wife, I refrain. My only worry now is my credit cards debts which I have not been able to pay for a long time… there are suicidal times as well for me but only reason why i am alive is becoz of my 2 sons.

Anyway, thanks a lot for your story. I hope to be able to make things right again.”

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Postby JR8 » Tue, 23 Aug 2011 8:57 pm

Any reason you're posting this on an expat's forum? Just wondering.

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Postby Tigerslayer » Tue, 23 Aug 2011 9:36 pm

He is posting in a lot of Singaporean forums.

I find his posts compelling, very revealing, and actually quite scary. They are relevant for anyone staying in Singapore who might wonder what the penal system is like from a first hand experience, expat or not.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 23 Aug 2011 10:33 pm

Glad he is. I've only deleted one short one where he was advertising his blog. Otherwise, with two Casinos here now, I find the topic very relevant.

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Postby JR8 » Tue, 23 Aug 2011 10:43 pm

Doesn't add up to me.

But I suppose that's just how my personal radar responds.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 23 Aug 2011 10:48 pm

Why do we give back what we have learned the hard way over the many years of being here. Because it might help someone. There's been a number of ex-offenders who have set up half-way houses here as well. If he can turn but one away from what he's done, he will have been a success. I personally wish him well.

And I though "I" was the cynic.......
:P

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Postby nakatago » Tue, 23 Aug 2011 11:21 pm

Well, I was skeptical seeing this stretched for this long. But seeing people find it inspiring and with no overt commercial tones, I'm letting it slide as well (TL;DR).

I'm still on the lookout though (formatting looks like it's for a book) but right now, I think it's more beneficial than anything.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 23 Aug 2011 11:26 pm

It probably will be once it's finished and polished up. It might be a good seller here as well.

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Postby Inmate » Wed, 24 Aug 2011 12:24 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Glad he is. I've only deleted one short one where he was advertising his blog. Otherwise, with two Casinos here now, I find the topic very relevant.

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Thank you for allowing me to post my story here :)

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Postby Koalabear » Wed, 24 Aug 2011 10:29 am

Something tells me the government is using very creative methods of preventing Singaporeans from committing casino-related crimes but want to keep the upside of earning foreign currency from foreigners. Nice try but I don't buy it. :P

You want upside you will get the downside. No free lunch on this planet.

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Postby nakatago » Wed, 24 Aug 2011 10:36 am

Koalabear wrote:Something tells me the government is using very creative methods of preventing Singaporeans from committing casino-related crimes but want to keep the upside of earning foreign currency from foreigners. Nice try but I don't buy it. :P

You want upside you will get the downside. No free lunch on this planet.


Reminds me of the story of how Singapore didn't want the F1 here, until they saw what it did to Malaysia.

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Postby Inmate » Wed, 24 Aug 2011 11:17 am

Chapter 4.1: 'Yard' Time

[b]“A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life, and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it, and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water. In the first pot, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs and the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil without saying a word. In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me what do you see?" "Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied. She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they got soft. She then asked her to take the egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, she asked her to smell and sip the coffee. The daughter smiled, as she smelled and tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, "What's the point, mother?"

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity- boiling water-but each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water they had changed the water.

"Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When trials and adversity knock on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?"

Think of this: Which am I?

Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a passive heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside, am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart?

Or, am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavour. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you become better and change the situation around you.

When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate to another level?


So readers, how do you handle adversity?
Like the CARROT, the EGG, OR the COFFEE BEAN?”


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