No more attempts to review conviction, man told

For three years, Mr Mah Kiat Seng was on a one-man crusade to get the courts to review his conviction for refusing to cooperate with the police.

He launched attempt after attempt to overturn it, and even took the case to the highest court of the land.

Yesterday, the High Court decided that enough was enough. He had exhausted his right to appeal, and will no longer be able to take further legal action on his conviction without the court's permission.

Mr Mah's persistent legal proceedings were "vexatious", said Justice Lee Seiu Kin in a judgment published yesterday.

They were also "without any reasonable ground" and took up the court's valuable time and resources.

It all began in 2009, when Mr Mah, now 39, was arrested for causing grievous hurt.

At the police station, he refused to have his fingerprints, photograph and blood sample taken.

The following year, he was convicted by a district court for one charge of refusing to have his fingerprints and photograph taken by the police and one charge of refusing to give a blood sample.

Mr Mah, who is now unemployed, was fined $500 on each charge.

He paid but appealed to the High Court in 2010 and succeeded in being acquitted on the blood sample charge as proper procedures were not followed.

But Mr Mah would not let the matter rest.

On the other charge, he twice applied to refer questions of law to the Court of Appeal.

Both bids - one to the High Court and one to the Court of Appeal - were dismissed in 2011.

Even after the apex court had ruled on the issue, he resuscitated his campaign by filing an application to the High Court in June 2011 for his case to be reheard.

This was dismissed. In March last year, he filed another application to review that decision.

This prompted the Attorney- General to apply to the court to restrain him.

In all, his case was the subject of no less than four written court judgments.

In his judgment, Justice Lee said Mr Mah had "habitually and persistently and without any reasonable ground instituted vexatious legal proceedings".

The judge noted that the court would never stop a person from defending himself when he is prosecuted, or from bringing a proper appeal.

However, Mr Mah has exhausted all possible recourse to the courts.

Justice Lee said that instituting further proceedings was not only in vain, but also a diversion of the court's time and resources.

"The essential theme of his submission is that no judge is correct unless that judge rules in his favour.

He is unable to accept the possibility that he is wrong," he said.

Justice Lee added that Mr Mah needs assistance and perhaps even counselling for him to come to terms with life.

selinal@sph.com.sg


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