Monday, June 07, 2010

A fine society

Singapore used to be a "fine" society. There is a fine for littering and for jay-walking (i.e. crossing the road against traffic regulations". This has been relaxed for the past one or two decades. Nowadays, jay-walking is no longer enforced.

The environmental agency is now taking action to enforce littering. It is time to take action to enforce other aspects of our law, such as jay-walking and cheating. We need to revert back to our fine and orderly society.

Tan Kin Lian


Anonymous said...

It is a shame that with years of education, we still need these basic rules on no littering, no jay-walking, no cheating etc to guide us on the right track.

Anonymous said...

REX comments as follows,

I was so surprised today to read that the government will spent TWELVE MILLION DOLLARS on the campaign to enforce no-littering habits. TWELVE MILLION DOLLARS. Oh my god. The already filthy rich newspaper, topnotch media comapanies, are no doubt the main beneficiaries, carrying full page advertisements, creating commercial clips run on prime time TV.
In my opinion, Singapore is just too filthy rich a country, lots of money don't know how to use wisely. We have no idea what is the value of money. TWELVE MILLION DOLLARS is surely going overboard. Anyone disagree>?


Tan Kin Lian said...

The ideal situation is for people to be educated and well behaved. However, we still need to have laws to tell me what is right or wrong (legally) and for the laws to be enforced.

We cannot allow each person to have the freedom to do what he or she likes, regardless of the views of other people. Laws, and their enforcements, are needed for an orderly and peaceful society.

Ideally, most people should be sensible and do not need to be told about what is wrong under the law. But, in any society, there are odd people who want to behave in our own way.

Anonymous said...

Mr Tan,
We know that littering, jay-walking, cheating etc is wrong in the first place.
From young, we were taught in schools and at home on all these. Why when we become adults, we forgot about these and need law-enforcers to put us back on the right path?

Anonymous said...

When the young commit such anti-social behaviour like littering, we always blame the parents and the schools in their failure for educating them.
Perhaps our youngsters commit them just to rebel against conformity and society. If such a case, then there is no other way better than hitting their pockets by imposing heavy fines.

C H Yak said...

REX comments as follows,

I was so surprised today to read that the government will spent TWELVE MILLION DOLLARS on the campaign to enforce no-littering habits.

How do you think the SPH can still pay for an "overbid" for the development of an suburban mall by over 20% and still report good profits for some dividends to the shareholders?

Funds must be officially transferred for a long haul ... and shareholders also must be dragged into it for a long haul.

For anti-littering, CWO in the city area is a good punishsment I suppose.

For "jay-walking", the roads are too pro-drivers and quite a number of pedestrains (particularly old folks) are technically dragged into it.

Roads are made smooth for drivers, but pedestrain crossings may not be user-friendly enough for the old. The best illustration is the late Olympic medal winner Tan H L's case. There are accident cases that are technically not jay-walking, but they are reported and commonly argued as "jaywalking" by inconsiderate drivers; to escape "tortious" responsibility under the Road Traffic Acts. If it is a civil suit, responsibilty is simply pushed to their Insurers...and they are happily back on the road to speed.

To avoid or lessen compensation to victims, the Insurers' lawyers would somehow "assist" any guilty driver to push off "tortious" responsibility under the Road Traffic Acts first to strengthen the civil case for the Insurer.

The LTA should take some blame generally but they are technically protected even if the blame could be pinned on them.

To fight need, to get "reputable lawyer" (See other pose in this blog)..then case of "small" lawyer vs "reputable" lawyer...and the Insurer's lawyer is very likely to be "reputable".

I think while "fine" should be advocated against true "jaywalkers", we should also strongly advocate "jail" against true "errant tortious" drivers...and the LTA should be made responsible to answer for bad decisions and implementations even in a civil suit.

Chee Ming said...

It's strange that we have to enforce law to deter littering when we have litter bin all around Singapore. In fact, I suspect Singapore is the country that has the highest proportion of rubbish bin to population. Ok, let's do a comparison of the cleanliness and the number of rubbish bin between Singapore and Taipei.

I must say, the streets of Taipei is clean (or should I say "was" clean, because I went there quite some time ago), as you don't see rubbish all over the place, neither do you see rubbish bin all over the street. Well, that's strange, where's all the tissue paper, wrappers, cans and bottles went? Apparently, Taipei citizens pack up their rubbish, dispose of them at home and keep their streets clean. That's the hard way out, I think the "Leave nothing but footprints behind" slogan I saw on Bukit Timah Hill applies to Taipei citizens. Singapore? We put more rubbish bin on the street, hired more cleaners to clean the streets and use law to deter littering. That's the easy way out.

Since we were well-educated from young not to litter, I think the fine imposed on littering is targeted at Singaporeans who are less well-learned, or well-taught, or both. Oh, and don't forget the 20% of the population whom we called "foreign workers".

Jay-walking. I have some friends who were caught by Traffic warrants for jay-walking and paid the fine. So I wouldn't say the law enforcing agencies are not enforcing the law. Jay-walkers (I do not know is this the correct word to describe them) are playing with their lives and when they commit the act, maybe we can lessen the motorist's legal responsibility if jay-walkers are knocked down? I know I sound cruel, but it's their lives at stake, why should others be the ones safe-guarding their lives?

JSLEE said...

If 12 million can create jobs even for this issue..deter littering...then go ahead...people need to be credited for anything even if its for a zero sum cause, to get paid.

Littering..think about the oil spill...

Anonymous said...

REX comments as follows,

I can't imagine permanent jobs being created in this anti litter campaign. From observation, most campaigns last at most 3 months. Some temps. will be hired to run around and organise shows and contests at malls, no doubt about it. But they are very low value chain.

Now i had to think again. Twelve million dollars.

Let's say the campaign lasts 3 months.
$25,000 for full page ads on Saturday and Sunday over 12 weekends =$600,000
Add Berita Harian, Zaobao and the Tamil papers. Total newspaper advertsing $2.4 million.

TV advertsing to produce a phua chu kang skit on anti littering: say $600,000. (cumulated total now $3m).

Road shows at shopping malls 6 times, say $100,000 each road show
(cumulated total now $3.6 million).

Lucky draw prizes for the public for this antilitter campaign, say $400,000
(Cumulated total $4 million)

Steering Committee Expenses, say $1 milion. (expensive minister calibre people you know, time is money)
(Cumulated total $5million).

But it's a TWELVE MILLION dollar project. How on earth can we spend the remaining $7 million?

Anyone who can provide a logical reasonable calculation deserves to get TKL's Sudoku puzzle book, Tangram book and Financial Planning book free of charge : )

PS>CHYak's fascinating theory that the whole exercise is to transfer money legally to another GLC may be correct. It reminds me of the SISTIC case, left hand fine right hand. JUST A NUMBERS GAME. The kidney patients, the poor etc are never figured into the richness of this country. Money grows on trees in Singapore but :see no touch: for those who have greater pressing needs.

Anonymous said...

Jay walking is mostly safer than following traffic regulations

Our Singapore roads is not safe, that's because of how LTA is designed it. I myself drive to and fro work everyday, and i know the dangers associated with following the traffic regulations

The zebra crossings is trap to get pedestrians killed. Some of these crossings are right at the slip road turning into the expressway

Sometimes, you will see traffic lights at roads used less frequently in those quiet neighbourhood. These are not cross junctions, just a normal road. I have seen cars who just drove past a red traffic light unintentionally as it is the place you least expect a traffic light.
I myself has been guilty of that. At least where there are schools, LTA now paint the road red to highlight traffic lights, but not all roads are painted red

At the cross junction, you see the green man traffic light appears and you think it is safe to cross. But the vehicle that is turning right into the lane is standing by to speed into you as soon as there is no on-coming cars travelling down in the opposite direction. Usually, these drivers are only engrossed in looking out for on-coming traffic and missed out the innocent law-abiding pedestrains who are crossing the roads. by the time they spotted the pedestrains, they either speed up and hit the pedestrains as they do not want to get knocked by the on-coming traffic travelling down in the opposite direction

Some Traffic Lights also display "Turn Left on Red". Yes this is exactly what it says. Lousy drivers will literally turn left on red with no regard to traffic coming from right or looking out for pedestrains

Are we any safer crossing the roads following the regulations? I really doubt so


Anonymous said...

To Rex:

Yes, I agree singapore is a country with wealthy people.
The poor exists but are not the same as the poor in many other urban cities like Paris, London or New York.
Even then, here they are few in numbers.. ( my estimate is less than 15,000 having less than $500 per month )

Lots of wealthy people here.
But the littering is done mostly by regional tourists and foreign workers and PRs..
Enforcement officers would find it easier to traget home grown citizens because we all have NRIC and cannot run away.

In the USA, if you were caught speeding and issued a fine but did not pay it within 2 weeks ( depending on the state you commited the violation) and you try to leave, you will be caught at the passport controls.

If for some reason you manage to escape, a warrant of arrest will be waiting for you if you should attempt to enter USA in future.

Anonymous said...

REX, you are right "TWELVE MILLION DOLLARS is surely going overboard".

Seriously, I find it difficult to understand the logic of our government ministries in solving issues in recent years.

Flyers and advertisement papers are pasted on the lamp posts and structures near the mrt stations. This is illegal. But what did LTA do? They spend money to come out with lamp posts whose surface that is "anti-stick".

Littering is illegal. What did ministry of environment do? Spend $12 million on education campaign?

In my opinion, in both scenario stated above, I am pretty sure that an all out enforcement with constant media coverage over a period say 6 months will be very effective to stop such illegal behaviour.

A serious problem that we have these days is the enforcement of the law. Anyone disagree?


Lye Khuen Way said...

Yes, like Mr Tan, I have come to believe that for the last 1 decade or so, Singapore has de-generated.
The Government wanted to be "more-liberal", so "let-go" many previous restrictions without thinking.
1) if there is no rules or laws that specifically say "no" , go ahead !
2) give a "lighter-touch"

All the above were "calibrated" to win over the younger Singaporeans.

After one decade, I believe they have finally come around to the conclusions, that Singaporeans are ungrateful, not disciplined enough, overwhelm with too many FT, so much so that a return-to-the Good-old days is needed. In a way, I'm all for some Law & Order.

Anonymous said...

We have prostituted our island to the world.

We attract all and sundry. 3rd world people spitting and loitering 1st world criminals selling products that suck us of our retirement funds.

All for the sake of economics.

Well, it will provide jobs and keep the money flowing.. no financial crisis here!!

Anonymous said...

It is very unfair for Singaporean to put blame on foreigners for the woes they face. You have the best government in the world, don't you think you are very lucky to have such a government ?

We foreigners are here because we love your government too.

Blog Archive