THE three youths arrested last week over racist activities on social networking site Facebook have been punished, but they will not face criminal sanctions as their offences do not merit such draconian action.
In a statement, the Police said that the unnamed teen who started the racist group has been placed on the Ministry of Community, Youth and Sports' (MCYS) Guidance Programme.
According to the MCYS website, the programme started in 1997 is for first-time offenders that commit minor offences, offering them an 'opportunity ... to make amends and resolve against re-offending in the future.'
The youth will undergo a 'voluntary six-month programme that focuses on counselling and rehabilitation with the active involvement of parents ... If the juvenile completes the Guidance Programme successfully, he will not be charged by the Police' but issued with a caution instead.
The two youths who acted as administrators for the group, 17-year-old Sam Soo Siu Weng and 18-year-old Goh Jun Yi, have also been let off with a caution.
The Straits Times understands that a caution is less serious than an official Police warning. Those cautioned will not be considered to have a criminal record, although it does become part of their history and can be taken into account if the they are found to have committed similar offences in future, like say, setting up racist blogs