S'porean gets two-year probation for racist blog

Judge recommends youth builds "positive interaction" with the community he made nasty remarks about.

SINGAPORE--A 17-year-old who had been charged for making racist remarks against Malays and Muslims in his blog, escaped jail but will spend time interacting with the very community he condemned.

The student, who last month pleaded guilty to two charges under the Sedition Act, was sentenced to two years of supervised probation with several conditions, according to local media reports. The conditions include counseling sessions to correct his resentment towards Malays, psychiatric evaluation and follow up to address his brother's death, and performing 180 hours of community service. In addition, his parents were made to post a S$10,000 (US$5,901) bond.

The judge recommended that the youth be given opportunities for "positive interaction with the Malay community", such as having a Malay probation officer, and serving part of the 180 hours of community work at Malay or Muslim welfare organizations.

The court had earlier heard that the youth harbored ill-feeling towards Malays since the age of seven due to an incident that resulted in his brother's death. He and his mother had tried without success to persuade a Malay couple to let them board a taxi first, to rush his then one-month-old brother who was having breathing difficulties to hospital. The baby died before he could receive medical attention.

On Oct. 7, a 27-year-old blogger was sentenced to one month in jail for inflammatory remarks against Muslims in his blog.