Singapore Set To Cane Another American

Singapore is about to cane another American – the first since Michael Peter Fay, then 18, received four cane strokes in 1994 for theft and vandalism. Kamari Charlton is a former Florida State basketball and football star. He was originally arrested for overstaying his visa (beyond the permitted 90 days). The caning is due to the visa violation.

He is also charged with fraud involving payments from an Australian man of 17,145 Australian dollars ($16,853).

Arrested while trying to leave the country, the officials found he had stayed 169 days rather than the maximum of 90 days.

Charlton was in Singapore to be with his wife who needed medical care. He was originally born in the Bahamas and runs a construction company in the Bahamas.

In June 2010, Singapore caned Swiss IT consultant Oliver Fricker, who was sentenced to 5 months’ jail and three strokes of the cane.

Charlton will be strapped to a wooden frame and lashed across the bare buttocks with a long rattan stick under Singapore’s caning provisions.

Source: Telegraph

18 thoughts on “Singapore Set To Cane Another American”

  1. Nate –

    I appreciate your comment. Unfortunately, thanks to Mespo, I am totally rethinking my position on physical punishment for little kids. I think that’s what smart folks do – they reconsider.

    One reason is, I’ve done a little background on Michael Fay (who was caned as a teenager in the 90’s) and he can’t seem to stay out of trouble in Florida.

    So in all honesty, that swatting didn’t seem to create a better adult.

    The reality is, spanking works on some kids. (it certainly worked on me. I got spanked exactly twice by my dad, and I recall both of them vividly. I never needed to be spanked again)

    But it probably also contributes to some pretty messed up people later in life. So what I have to decide, is whether I believe spanking should NEVER be done. That’s my challenge, because there are serious flaws in absolutes.

    You all have a safe week.

  2. Tomdarch –

    I don’t know where you live, of course, but I know where I live (southern California Riverside area)

    I have also spent quite a lot of time in Southeast Asia, specifically in Vientiane,Laos, all over Thailand, Malaysia & Singapore.

    And southern Cal, where I call home now, is by far the most dangerous place I’ve ever lived. It’s a place where people kill people they don’t know; home invasions; sexual assaults, “road rage,” etc, etc, etc. I can’t say Los Angeles invented the high-speed chase, but it might as well have. When it comes to the daily news, “If it bleeds, it leads,” and boy, does it ever.

    We have dozens of Paramedic units in the San Diego/Greater L.A. corridor that run 12-16 calls a day EACH. These teams see more crappy human behavior in a week than the typical citizen experiences in a lifetime. This kind of volume gives medics a view from the inside out, and after a while you’re in a pretty fair position to draw some conclusions. In my case, I’ve kept good notes over my years, and I’ve run 12,200 EMS cases. What staggers me, is the way the ‘categories’ of cases have changed.

    We’ve gone from the standard ‘vehicle accident’ ‘medical illness’ etc, to a arm-long check-off list that includes ‘auto-erotic asphyxia’ and ‘school shooting incident.’

    So to get back to the original subject, I suspect many other countries look at the social breakdown of America and – in Singapore’s case – probably decide our way doesn’t work very well.

    I happen to believe that – day in and day out – my family would be safer in Singapore.

  3. I have a friend who has raised three beautiful, successful and talented children. (They’re also kind, compassionate, law-abiding, and civic-minded.) She’s also worked with troubled youth, over the years, with great success. When she sees children in trouble, she often says, “They just need more love.”

    Corporal punishment isn’t something she supports, nor do I. It doesn’t work and, as Otteray Scribe noted, it often has the reverse effect — abuse often begets abuse. (The phrase “transgenerational migration of values” comes to mind.)

    Children need love, consistency, positive role-models, and to be a part of a loving, caring, nurturing community, among other things. “It takes a village”, not a cane, to raise a child.

  4. My reaction was, “Yep. That’s Singapore. You had better know that that’s what you are getting yourself into if you set foot there. It’s a scary, Orwellian place.”

    I was pretty surprised by PatricParamedic’s response to the effect of “Wow! Look at how great Singapore is!”

  5. Mr. Patrick,

    I’d been having thoughts that you’d be eating Mespo for lunch one of these days, or maybe just breakfast.

    I love hearing your voice and prefer you don’t go there.

  6. PatricParamedic:

    I understand that personal experience may sometimes color one’s view of peer-reviewed opinions. That said, I believe one should always keep in mind that personal experience is, by its very definition, a limited view of the problem. I don’t think anyone here would be suggesting that what happens to one, happens to all. My point is simply that the greater weight of medical knowledge comes down squarely on the side of condemning corporal punishment as ineffective and counter-productive. That’s good enough for me.

  7. Culhealth –

    “I happen to believe we can move beyond that kind of self-defeating problem solving.”

    I personally see societies slowly disintegrating, so a big part of my cynicism is that I wish we could, but doubt that we will.

    Mespo –

    “One would think a person in the medical field charged with “investigat[ing] physician misbehavior” would, at a minimum, know the medicine before rendering judgment.”

    Oh, I well know the opinions. I don’t always agree with them. After all, I live in a world where CPR, snake bite & chest pain protocols change more often than Lady Gaga’s meat fashions.

    We are all products of our own experiences, and a big part of mine is responding to & dealing with well over a thousand domestic abuse cases. But since those cases also included a ton of child abuse, I’ll rethink my comments.

    Great points, both. Please do keep writing.

  8. I discipline a child in order to teach him/her self discipline. I want him/her to recognize dangerous behavior, poor behavior, rude behavior and stop said behavior on his/her own. It flies in the face of common sense to expect that child to slap, pinch, or whip himself. I have no studies to back up that claim … only my own unwillingness to slap, pinch, or whip myself when considering my own bad behavior.

    I fully understand there are those around me who teach their children that physical abuse of others is an acceptable behavior … if they don’t actually say it they practice it through the use of corporal punishment. Thus their children, wanting a particular ball on the playground, see nothing wrong with smacking the child who has possession of the ball and taking it from him. So I must now teach my child how to discipline himself when confronted with such bullying behavior.

    As Hamlet says: ” ay, there’s the rub ” (sadly, this ain’t no dream)

    Discipling one’s own anger so that one may see all options available is the key to making a proper decision on the playground, on the street, in the office, or in the home. Corporal punishment has no constructive value in teaching or learning how to discipline one’s own anger. Once again I am relying on my own experience in that I have never been willing to beat anger out of myself. (I suppose I would make a very poor member of certain religious orders)

    In the end I have determined that teaching self discipline is part and parcel of teaching a child how to reason … it makes no sense to me that reasoning is best taught through inflicting physical pain.

    If there is a study that proves otherwise, please note it and I will read it.

    My views on the use of physical punishment in the rearing of children carries over and expands when viewing society in general. Thus it should come as no surprise that I frown upon the use of caning, body part removals, and executions.

  9. Many years ago, Dr. B. F. Skinner proved conclusively that punishment does not work. It may actually make the problem behavior worse. The problem personality does not go away, it just takes a different form. More covert and less overt. Beat someone and they will behave in a way that avoids future beatings, but since it increases anger and resentment, the antisocial behavior may emerge as more subtle sociopathic activity.

    And BTW, what mespo said. I could not agree more.

  10. Mespo: Yes. Not to mention that caning is NOT spanking.

    PatricParamedic: Thanks for your reply.

    Google caning (using moderate safe search settings) and look at the pix.

    How do you feel about amputation of hands for theft? All we’re talking is degree, the principle of physical punishment itself is wrong, in my opinion. The message asserted by endorsing corporal punishments is that violence works. I happen to believe we can move beyond that kind of self-defeating problem solving.

  11. “In the end, my personal take is, misbehaving young people need to be smacked now & then, just to remind them there are consequences. Otherwise, they just might grow up to be white-collar, thieving politicians.”


    “The American Academy of Pediatrics concludes: “Corporal punishment is of limited effectiveness and has potentially deleterious side effects. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents be encouraged and assisted in the development of methods other than spanking for managing undesired behavior.”

    One would think a person in the medical field charged with “investigat[ing] physician misbehavior” would, at a minimum, know the medicine before rendering judgment.

    It’s just the lawyer in me wanting to know what I’m talking about (and to consider opposing points of view) before reaching a decision on my “personal take.”

  12. Culheath –

    When an 18-year old runs around damaging property for the fun of it, I would argue that the “social breaches” go beyond superficial, because if nothing else, it is sowing the seeds for a future of societal disrespect. And when he does this in another country, the ripple affect makes his behavior carry even more weight. Flaunting disrespect in other countries leads to wars (and God knows, the Ugly American has done enough damage)

    I do share your repugnance for much of what we “civilized humans” have become. In fact, I’m often embarrassed by it. I happen to investigate physician misbehavior for a living, and nobody in our society does more damage than the errant doctor population. But I see little “atavistic” behavior in governmental response to crime, because our penchant for pain & suffering has been with us throughout history. I see no fallow or “enlightened” period at all.

    Neither do I see “conformity & control at any cost” – certainly not in this country. Far from it. We as Americans endure an appalling lack of discipline among our neighbors, and one need only look as far as the “me-first” mentality of freeway traffic and illegal border crossings, for proof.

    We now live in a country where a young woman beat the hell out of a McDonald’s drive-thru window, because she couldn’t get McNuggets at 7:00 in the morning. I’m betting she hasn’t been spanked in a while.

    When it comes to physical punishment – as anything else in life – relativity is critical. There is a huge difference between “beating a child,” and swatting a tush to get their attention.

    In the end, my personal take is, misbehaving young people need to be smacked now & then, just to remind them there are consequences. Otherwise, they just might grow up to be white-collar, thieving politicians.

    Maybe that’s why the United States ranks 19th on the international corruption scale, and Singapore ranks 3rd.

  13. What is perverse is the degree of sadistic willingness to rend flesh for superficial social breaches.

    There are many ways to be coax people to good social consciousness, fear of being brutalized seems to me to be an incredibly atavistic approach. A society based on conformity and control at any cost is a game not worth the candle. Some people feel that beating a child is the only way to teach it to behave, I happen to believe that is cruelly misguided and ultimately perverse in itself.

  14. Culheath –


    I suggest you take a good long look at their crime rate, and then take a look at ours.

    You may want to take a peak at their level of social problems, high school drop-outs an just crappy human behavior in general.

    For those of us who have been there, the true perversions in law enforcement are considerably more evident here.

    Or, you could just ask Michael Fay if he’s vandalized any cars recently.

Comments are closed.