Singapore has been called many things. Tourists know us for our good food and plentiful shopping, but writer William Gibson preferred “Disneyland with the Death Penalty“.
But home of a “hardcore prison”, tougher than those in England or Germany?
Seems a bit of a stretch, really.
But former professional footballer Lutz Pfannenstiel reckons there are few tougher prisons than Queenstown Remand Prison, where he spent a 101-day stint for alleged match fixing.
His case was later thrown out for a lack of evidence, but not before he faced physical abuse and rape threats, even having a penis on his head on one occasion.
The Singapore Prison Service have called his accusations “baseless and unfounded”, while the former Sembawang Rangers and Geylang United FC (now known as Geylang International) goalkeeper has chosen to move on and make a difference to the society.
He says that his experience in prison was life-changing, inspiring him to give up “the parties, the cars, and the girls”, leaving him to focus on things that are truly important instead.
The German later became the only footballer to play in all six of FIFA’s confederations (Europe, Asia, North America, South America, Africa, and Oceania), eventually turning out for 25 clubs in his 21-year career.
Now in charge of scouting and international relations with German club Hoffenheim, the 41-year-old is also raising awareness for climate change, which has led to him live in an igloo for five days. He is also planning a football match to be played in Antarctica, with his charity, Global United Football Club.
Just don’t expect him to reappear in a Singaporean prison anytime soon.