Student gets probation for making anti-Islam remarks on Instagram

A student was sentenced to 18 months’ for making offensive about in Instagram posts that went viral.

Sun Sicong, 21, a student at Temasek Polytechnic, also made insensitive comments about a rape victim.

He pleaded guilty last month to one charge of making the posts with the deliberate intention of wounding the religious feelings of Muslims.

Another two charges, for his comments about rape and possessing obscene films, were considered for sentencing.

The court heard that Sun, a Chinese national who is a permanent resident of Singapore, made the religiously offensive Instagram Stories posts between 2018 and 2019.

In the posts, he described acts of violence against Muslims, threatened to burn religious texts and insulted Islamic teachings.

He also said he would have “no problem committing genocide” if he were “in a position of power”.

At the time, no police reports were made in relation to the Instagram Stories posts, which are temporary posts that get automatically deleted after 24 hours.

But they resurfaced online around Jun 7, 2020, after Sun took a screenshot of a rape victim’s account of her ordeal and posted it with his insensitive comments.

Other Instagram users were upset with these comments and responded to Sun. They referred to screenshots of the religiously offensive posts in the process.

The religiously offensive posts then went viral, with the police receiving 62 reports from members of the public about them.

Under his probation conditions, Sun must remain indoors from 10pm to 6am and perform 60 hours of community service.

His parents also paid a bond of S$5,000 to ensure his good behaviour during the period.

In response to CNA’s queries, a spokesperson for Temasek Polytechnic said that Sun was suspended for two semesters following investigations by the school in June 2020.

“Temasek Polytechnic does not condone any action or behaviour that incites hatred and violence. The polytechnic will not be taking further disciplinary action,” said the spokesperson.

Probation is a community-based sentence under which offenders can continue most daily activities such as school and work.

Community-based sentences were introduced in 2010 to give the courts greater flexibility for minor offences.

Offenders retain no criminal records for the offence if the sentence is successfully completed.

The penalty for making with the deliberate intention to wound religious or racial feelings is jail for up to three years, a fine or both.

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