Australian Man Faces Caning, Jail Time for Swearing in Singapore

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By Gilda Galang | January 23, 2013 1:52 PM EST

Swearing while onboard a plane is already enough to be charged with penalties in Singapore, and this includes caning.

Bruce Griffiths, an Australian maritime worker, learned this the hard way as he was arrested for allegedly swearing while aboard a Tiger Airways plane, reports Sydney Morning Herald.

Based on Singapore laws, Griffiths has been charged with "outrage of modesty" as he was part of an altercation on board, according to The Australian.

Brisbane Times reports that the argument broken out after a female passenger at the window seat of Griffith's row wanted to go to the toilet. When Griffiths moved to give way to the female passenger, it angered the man on the row's aisle seat, provoking an argument.

Though the man first swore at Griffiths, the other replied with another abuse, which called the attention of the cabin crew.

The matter is still under police investigation, while Tiger Airways has also launched its own investigation of the matter.

"Tiger Airways has a zero tolerance policy towards inappropriate behavior on board our aircraft. Safety and security of staff and passengers underpins the operations at all times and is something we will not compromise," a spokeswoman of the airline said as reported by Melbourne Times Weekly.

Singapore has always had tough laws, and outrage of modesty crimes are counted even on board registered planes in Singapore, reports Sydney Morning Herald.

This is not the first time that caning was implemented as a punishment even for foreigners visiting the country. Daily Mail reported the case of British businessman Austin Cowburn, who allegedly pinched the buttocks of a woman while in Boat Quay, and was charged with outrage of modesty.

Jail time for Mr Cowburn was set for two years, with a fine of £6,000 or a sentence of lashing with a rattan cane.

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