8 August 2012
I read the the letter from Mr. Lim Biow Chuan, President of the
Consumer Association of Singapore (Tutor breached law: Case, ST 8 Aug 2012) with
Mr. Lim said that the tutor, who had falsely advertised his qualification, had
breached Section 4(b) of the Consumer Protection and Fair Trading Act and asked
consumers to take legal action for the breach.
In my view, a breach of a written law, is usually an offence that should be prosecuted
by the relevant authority. In this case, the law is administered by the Consumer
Association, which should be the party to take the appropriate action.
Even if CASE does not have specific responsibility to enforce this law, it should be the
party to act on behalf of consumers on a matter of public interest and knowledge. CASE
should not expect ordinary consumers, who do not have financial and legal resources,
to take legal action on their own.
There is a potential criminal offence of cheating, when a party
knowingly put up false statements to take money from the unsuspecting public. It
would be appropriate for CASE to put up a complaint to the Police that this matter
to be investigated.
In recent years, the standard of business ethics has deteriorated in Singapore due to
weakness in enforcement of the law. It is time to review the situation and revert to a more
Tan Kin Lian