Tuesday, April 27, 2010


One key pillar of Singapore society is the principle of justice. There are written laws in Singapore and legal cases to determine what is legally right and wrong and what are crimes (which has to be prosecuted by the state) and what are civil wrongs (which has to be taken up by the plaintiff in a civil suit).

For example, murder, robbery and violent assault are crimes that has to be investigated and prosecuted by the state. It is not possible for a small citizen to find the money to carry out the investigation and to prosecute the offender. Even if the citizen has the money, they do not have the state power to carry out the investigation and gather evidence. These matters have to be handled by the state.

Cheating cames in a grey area. If one person claims that another person has cheated him, it could be considered as a civil offence that has to be prosecuted individually.

However, if several people complained that they have been cheated under a common mode of operation, it warrants investigation by the authority. This is more urgent when the target of the complaint had advertised their product in the mass media to reach out to a large number of people and continues their mode of operation after complaint has been received.

If the authority carried out an investigation, this mere act would probably put the party under alert and prevent them from continuing their activity blatantly. At the least, it would prevent other ignorant parties from being harmed.

Another option for the police is to carry out the investigation secretly and gather evidence. In some cases, they may carry out what is called a "sting" opertion, i.e. to simulate a case and gather the evidence.

The attorney general in a country is not only the lawyer of the government. This office is also the lawyer of the people. It has the duty to ask for potential wrong doings to be investigated by the police and to prosecute the offender, if sufficient evidence is gathered.

This would strenthen the rule of law and uphold the principle of justice in a country. It is important that all citizens should have access to justice and fairness, regardless of their financial wealth and ability to pay for a civil suit. If you look at the scale of justice, it has to be balanced and not weighted in favor of the rich and powerful.

Tan Kin Lian


Anonymous said...

The problem is that for a layman, even though by common sense he thinks it is a matter the public servant should help or affirm, but if he approaches one, most likely they will tell him to get a lawyer.

If he sees his MP, his MP will just write a letter on his behalf to the authorities. And the outcome of such were never statistically revealed by the majority seat PAP. Maybe it is not positive, that's why not revealed.

So the layman most likely faces a dead end at this point. Unless got money and engage a lawyer.

Few or even none of the public servants, even senior ones, want to stick their neck out of the box to help so they will go and quote strictly by the book, even if it end up plain ridiculous in specific cases. You need to get a lawyer to interprete it differently or beyond the book, they will advise you. And these public servants are among the best paid, if not the best in the world!

I know this through first hand experience.

Anonymous said...

Sad to say there is little justice in Singapore, when you see how "justice" is meted out to those competing against the PAP in the political realm. Everything else is token lip service.

StFual said...

There are Singapore companies offering investments in land plots and wholesale shipments of lubricant products where the underlying product either does not exist or is grossly and fraudulently mis-represented.

This is obvious to anyone with some experience yet these companies continue to operate for many years propped up by TV advertising, celebrity endorsement and even assocation with reputable Singapore government organisations.

They use large and amoral lawyers supported by strict Singapore defamation law to threaten anyone who attacks their business model.

They also make international press claims that because they are allowed to operate in Singapore it is proof that they are ethical because Singapore is so regulated.

All it would take is for a member of the authorities to make a single trial purchase from one of the companies and they would see how fraudulent the whole sales process is.

In other countries which operate an independent media these kind of investigations are often conducted by the TV or Print Media. It would seem that no such activities are allowed in Singapore.

It is highly frustrating to know a scam is operating and be able to do nothing about it.

Justice must be seen to be done in Singapore or individuals and the community will have no respect for the justice system.

Anonymous said...

MOM said in this article that job losses are less than feared. Not sure if they are massaging the figures.


Anonymous said...

Rex comments as follows on anon 11.19 post.

Today's straits times again carry another strangely titled article :Job losses last year less than feared:

Let's see.
2008 total jobs lost 6200+1920+8770=16,890.
2009 total job lost 23,430
Increase in jobs lost 6,540 jobs lost.
That means 6540/16820 =38.9% more jobs were lost!

That's a lot by any standards. ALMOST FORTY PERCENT MORE JOBS LOST IN 2009 THAN 2008 year!!

But in Pap-speak, in Straits-Times-speak, it is trivial, because they anticipate for example 60% job loss, so 40% loss is peanuts you daft citizens. Nothing to worry. "It could have been worse, so there."-logic.

Perhaps a more responsible way to report is to say the fact: "40% more job losses last year. Minister urges workers to be patient as world economy continues to recover", something like that (just suggestion).

The editors somehow, have a phobia to speak the facts. This is terrible, even small issue like this has to be covered up to look some people appear smart.

Brian Ti, if you are reading this, pl add to your collection of evidence on the manner in which the mainstream media operates. Q.E.D.


Steve Wu said...

I have previously written about the criminal offense of cheating and why it applies to the structured noted debacle (see http://tankinlian.blogspot.com/2009/08/adjudication-by-fidrec.html?showComment=1250392252861#c670341124295874529 ).

I wish to emphasize that the Penal Code makes a provision that any organization may be prosecuted:

11. The word “person” includes any company or association or body of persons, whether incorporated or not.

I contend that these agencies have a statutory obligation to investigate and to prosecute if the evidence warrants. It is NOT up to the individual or organizational discretion. However, it is now clear that the CAD and AGC do not want to pursue this matter.

The situation being that, if the agencies fail in their duties, it may call for the application for an order of mandamus to compel the agencies to perform their duties, which should have been done voluntarily in the first place. Relief may be sought under Order 53 of the Rules of Court. Order 53 is set up such that any such application must first be granted by the court:

1. —(1) No application for an order of mandamus, prohibition or certiorari shall be made unless leave to make such an application has been granted in accordance with this Rule.

In any country governed by the "Rule of Law", the availability of mandamus would have ensured that government agencies perform the statutory duties correctly, and without delay nor interference.

Anonymous said...

Walter Woon's media speech to the Press on the eve of relinguishing his post as AG says a lot of what he thinks about the Justice System in Singapore.
We wish he could be more explicit in his views, but alas he is the typical Singaporean who has to look behind his back, for fear of antagonising the Establishment Elites. What a pity. Even afraid of stepping on the toes of Dr. Lee Wei Ling, the daughter of our great MM.

Anonymous said...

DBX until now still has not provide explanation on why they reject our applications on refund on the failed "bondS" investment. We have been interviewed by DBX's representatives, our complaint processed by DBX and rejected by DBX. Could you call this fair investigation?

With the new revealation of Golman Sach fraudulant conduct, may I know who in the authotity should initiate "investigation" Since MAS can only regulate and facilitate and not investigate and prosecute?

Anonymous said...

Of course one has to be extremely careful on his or her views expressed in the public. Otherwise a defamation suit is on its way.

Anonymous said...

Actually there is no justice. I know of case 1st time offender sentenced 8 mths, 2nd time he was given 7 mths both for conning > $20,000. Released after 3 mths. We are encouraging this profession. Email of this case send everywhere, all 'bo chap'. Suspected working as syndicate, the police 'bo chap'. Maybe such cases does not justify getting 'PBM' etc, so all do not bother. Very sad

Anonymous said...

SIN is a country rule by Laws.

However and unfortunately Laws do not equal Justice.

Justice means no one gets bullied, cheated or wrongfully blamed

and whoever does wrong will be made to be answerable and punished if need be.


Anonymous said...

And to add on to patriot 11:42PM,

Laws means that you need to have the money to hire lawyers to fight for your justice.

So no money means no justice. Unless it is obvious crime whereby you are already grievously hurt, broken bones, blood gushing out, paralysed, murdered, raped. Then AGC will be your lawyer.

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