Friday, September 10, 2010

Charged for drug possession and repercussions

Reported in the wee hours of Friday, September 10, 2010, Dr Stuart Koe was charged in court on Wednesday for drug possession.

Here are the 2 articles:

Channel NewsAsia: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/1080239/1/.html (retrieved Sep 10, 1pm)
Gay portal CEO and founder charged in court with drug possession
By Ong Dai Lin and Sharon See | Posted: 10 September 2010 0024 hrs

SINGAPORE : Chief executive and founder of a gay web portal, Stuart Koe was charged in court for drug possession on Wednesday.

The 38-year-old Singaporean was charged with possessing 0.01 gramme of methamphetamine and utensils used in drug consumption.

The drug and items were found in a flat in Holland Avenue on May 27 this year.

For these charges, he faces a combined jail term of up to 13 years, or a maximum fine of $30,000, or both.

Koe could not be contacted for comments. - CNA /ls

Today online: http://www.todayonline.com/Singapore/EDC100910-0000070/Fridae,com-founder-charged-with-drug-possession (retrieved Sep 10, 1pm)
Fridae.com founder charged with drug possession
by Ong Dai Lin

Chief executive and founder of lifestyle portal Fridae.com, Dr Stuart Koe, was charged in court on Wednesday with possessing 0.01 gram of methamphetamine.

The 38-year-old Singaporean was also charged with possessing utensils used in drug consumption like a plastic dropper and an empty straw that was stained with methamphetamine.

The drug and utensils were found in a flat in Holland Avenue on May 27 at 12.55am.

Dr Koe faces a jail term of up to 10 years or a maximum fine of $20,000 or both on the charge of drug possession.

On the other charge, he can be jailed up to three years or fined up to $10,000 or both.

Dr Koe told the court that he will claim trial and will be engaging a lawyer.
ONG DAI LIN

The Straits Times:
Gay website's founder faces drug charges (Sep 11, 2010)
The founder of gay website Fridae.com has been charged with drug possession.

Stuart Koe, 38, was charged in court on Wednesday with possessing 0.01g of Ice.

He was also accused of having utensils - an empty plastic dropper and an empty straw allegedly stained with the drug - which are commonly used to help consume Ice.

The evidence was allegedly found in Koe's possession, at a Holland Avenue flat in the early morning of May 27. It is not clear if the flat belonged to him or someone else.

Koe is currently on bail of $10,000.

He founded Fridae.com, an online website for the gay community, in March 2001 and is also its chief executive officer. The website features news, lifestyle recommendations and personal listings.

Koe has also been a activist for gay rights. In October 2007, he had tried to petition Parliament to make it legal for gays to have sex with each other, but failed to get the particular section of the Penal Code repealed.

Ice, which is the second most commonly abused drug here after heroin, usually comes in a crystalline form and is snorted, injected or smoked.

It is consumed as a party drug as it increases libido and gives the user a rush, among many things, even if taken in small doses.

But in high doses, it can cause strokes, heart attacks and brain damage. It is also highly addictive.

If convicted of drug possession, Koe faces a jail term of up to 10 years, a fine of not more than $20,000, or both.

For the charge of possessing drug-related utensils, he could be jailed up to three years, fined up to $10,000, or both, if found guilty.

Ted Chen

Meth (or speed) is illegal in Singapore. http://www.cnb.gov.sg/drugs/bannedsubstance/methamphetamine.aspx

This news is not going to help public perception of gay people in Singapore, with reports that Koe is the CEO of Fridae.com, a "gay web portal" (reported by CNA). Moreover, given his high profile status, the media has to report his background as such.

For many years, the media (in particular the Straits Times) have reported LGBT people in relation to sex, paedophelic and drug crimes, plus sexually transmitted diseases (for gay men), violence, arson and suicide (for lesbian women), diseases (for bisexual people), and medical and psychiatric norms, plus light-hearted and humorous "soft news" (for transgender people).

The layperson, fed on a diet of these particular LGBT representations will be led to believe that LGBT people are essentially insane, immoral, violent, trivial, sex-crazed, diseased, susceptible to crime, and can be laughed at.

Meth is a stimulant which has properties that, among other effects, heighten sexual pleasure. Layperson (normally homophobic and/or ignorant) understanding of gay people is more than often dominated by the discourse and imagination of sex, because that is basically the difference between self-identified heterosexuals and homosexuals - sexual preference.

These reports cannot confirm that for an act of indiscretion, that all gay people use drugs. It is a ridiculous generalisation derived from a perceived association (of gay men and drugs).

Whatever readers may want to infer, it has to be clear that drug possession and use are in no way, associated with sexual orientation.

And it is also important to note that Koe will be claiming trial, and that he remains innocent until a decision has been made by the Court.

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