Zeng Guoyan ... an independent candidate who once went to jail for 3 months, instead of paying $3,000 fine for misusing banners of Mas Selamat??

Zeng Guoyan or to be precise 'Professor' Zeng Guoyan (Like many others, I'm interested to learn from which university he earned his title) is making to the top story with his intention to be an independent candidate for the coming General Election.

A lot of aura of mystery about him, alright. When I seek to google 'zeng guoyan' to find out more about him, I came across this rather unflattering article about him.

The title is "Ex-WP candidate fined $3000" and here's the excerpt:
A BUSINESSMAN who put up banners of escaped Jemaah Islamiah detainee Mas Selamat Kastari without permission was fined a total of $3,000 yesterday.

But Zeng Guoyan chose to go to jail for three weeks instead of paying the fine of $1,000, the maximum, on each of the three charges.

The 56-year-old was convicted by District Judge Jasbendar Kaur after a six-day trial.

He was found guilty of having put up a notice which had a picture of Mas Selamat and the word 'DEAD' on the wall outside a shop in Tai Thong Crescent on March 20 last year. Mas Selamat escaped from detention at the Whitley Road Detention Centre in February.

Zeng did not have the permission of United Premas, the occupier of the building, for his act.

On Dec 22, while under police investigation for that offence, Zeng hung a banner with a picture of the detainee in the common corridor outside his shop selling hair products at Block 69, Lorong 4 Toa Payoh.

A week later, he attached another banner, together with a charge sheet from the prosecutor against him, to a pillar at the same building.

A Workers' Party candidate in the 1991 elections, Zeng claimed he was not the person who put up the banners, and that he did not know who had done it.

At first, he said that the police were trying to frame him.

He also claimed he was entitled to a quarter share of the $1 million reward for the capture of Mas Selamat, now in detention in Malaysia after being caught in Johor on April 1.

Pressed by the court on who he suspected had put up the banners, Zeng claimed he had many enemies, and that someone was trying to be 'funny' with him.

In his closing arguments, Deputy Public Prosecutor Eugene Lee said the man was clearly a witness of little credit, levelling numerous unfounded allegations against the police and other witnesses from the prosecution.

He also argued that Zeng was 'constantly shifting his evidence' and showed a blatant disregard for the truth.

Zeng, who was unrepresented, has claimed trial to three other charges of failing to turn up at Tanglin Police Division for interviews between August and September last year over the Tai Thong Crescent incident.

A pre-trial conference has been set for Dec 23.

He has past convictions for outrage of modesty in 1988 and 1996, criminal intimidation and causing hurt.


Interesting if the article is indeed true, can one who had such criminal convictions in the past be running for a post of MP? I don't know. Of course there's a possibility the article is incorrect.

So let's google for 'zeng guoyan molest'. There's one result catches my eyes. It's from one work by Jack Tsen-Ta Lee from Singapore Management University. The article published in January 1999 is titled, "Workplace Sexual Harassment in Singapore: The Legal Challenge".

The name 'zeng guoyan' appeared twice in the footnote of page 71 (footnotes 188 & 190).

From footnote 188:
Chandresh Patel, supra n 186, affirmed in Lee Kwang Peng v Private Prosecutor [1997] 3 SLR 278 (HC) and Zeng Guoyan v Public Prosecutor [1997] 3 SLR 321 (HC). Caning will only be ordered where the act of molest involves the complainant’s private parts: Zeng Guoyan, ibid. In the latter case, the defendant was sentenced to 3 strokes of the cane for touching the complainant’s breast, and another 4 strokes for touching her groin.


From footnote 190:
Zeng Guoyan, supra n 188 (the conduct of defendant, who represented himself during the trial, was characterised by the court as “reprehensible” — among other things, he alleged the complainant was a “willing partner” although his defence was one of denial, humiliated the complainant on the witness stand, asked her irrelevant questions, and badgered her to such an extent that she broke down on two occasions)


The fair question we need to ask is whether this is the same Zeng Guoyan? Of course there may be different Zeng Guoyan. And yes, we should be learning more about him (in fact about all the candidates) without any prejudice.

So who can answer the above question then? Anyone? Mainstream media?

RETIRED acupuncturist Zeng Guoyuan, 57, who had announced his plans to contest the May 7 elections as an independent candidate said that he would vote for the People's Action Party (PAP) in his own ward, in Toa Payoh Central.

Mr Zeng who greeted the PAP MPs of Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC during their walkabout on Friday morning told Dr Ng Eng Hen that he would be probably be contesting in Mountbatten. But in Toa Payoh, the PAP will have his vote.

Later he told reporters that he supports the PAP team as it had done a good job in the Bishan-Toa Payoh constituency.

'Mr Wong Kan Seng had done a good job. He had looked after the people well,' he said, with one of his pet parrots perched on his shoulder.

Mr Zeng, who was a Workers' Party candidate in Bukit Timah in 1991, said he will stand in Mountbatten as long as there are no more than three candidates standing there.

The father of two was last in the news in December 2009, when he was fined $3,000 for putting up banners - featuring a picture of terrorist Mas Selamat Kastari - without approval. He said the banners were sunshades to protect his shops.

From Straits Times, "Independent candidate wants to vote for PAP".

With his grand master-like appearance, Professor Zeng Guoyan exuded an aura of mystery when he appeared at the Elections Department to pick up his nomination form on Thursday.

The owner of a chain of medical shops called Prof. Zeng Medical Centre, Zeng revealed that he will be contesting as an independent candidate come May 7.

"It is better for me to run single. I do not need anybody behind me. I can stand alone on my own feet," said the 57-year-old.

Zeng, who is apparently a retired professor from the Open International University, is not new to Singapore politics. He contested in the Bukit Timah ward in the 1991 General Election under the Workers' Party (WP).

When asked why he left WP, Zeng gave a cryptic response, "Put it this way, in politics, all the crows are black.

"You either run a party for yourself, or for the people. You can only serve one master, not two. A lot of politicians, at the end of the day, end up serving themselves," he added, before clarifying that he was not referring to the people from WP.

Keeping his cards close to his chest, Zeng declined to reveal which constituency he wants to contest, only replying "we will see".

"The opportunity this time is very good. People know an opposition is required. Absolute power corrupts absolutely."

He told reporters that Singapore's high property prices is the main issue he would like to champion.

"Housing is unaffordable. I pity the young people who are unable to buy their own flat. Now, all you can do is 'rent' a flat from the government for 99 years, and that is too much.

"Last time, whatever we touched turned to gold. But now, what you touch, like your COE, ends up being worth zero after a few years," said Zeng.

He indicated that he will behave like a "philosopher" if voted into Parliament, where he will "say one thing and stick to it regardless of time", as opposed to being a "politician" who makes different promises to different people.

From Yahoo! News, "Medical shop owner to contest in SMC?".

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