By Khushwant Singh
A DISTRICT Court on Wednesday decided to fine instead of jail a 71-year-old illegal drug peddler, who is dying of colon cancer.
See Toh Kan Fatt, who is said to have only 15 months to live as his advanced intestinal cancer has spread to his lungs and liver, was fined $9,000 and allowed to pay it in instalments.
Since April, at least seven men, aged from 36 to 71, were jailed between a month and a year for such offences.
See Toh had pleaded guilty to selling more than 600 sexual enhancement pills from a makeshift stall in the back lane of the red-light area of Desker Road on March 10.
He told police that he had bought the tablets from a Chinese national here.
His wares included 12 Power 1 Singapore, a sexual-enhancement tablet laced with a diabetes drug. It is a variation of Power 1 Walnut, which has been linked to several deaths.
See Toh's lawyer Chuang Wei Ping asked District Judge Roy Neighbour to 'exercise mercy for a very sad old man', who probably has about 15 months to live.
Mr Chuang is representing See Toh for free under the legal aid scheme of Association of Criminal Lawyers of Singapore.
See Toh, who was selling the sex drugs as a livelihood, could have been fined up to $5,000 and jailed for up to two years on each of the six charges.
Since January, seven men have slipped into a coma after taking dubious sexual enhancement drugs such as Power 1 Walnut tablets. Four, including a man in his 20s, died.
[Sad case. Mercy shown. Pity about the victims. Well, the victims should have known better.]