Monday, September 24, 2012

The Police does not know the law!

The quality of governance in Singapore has been deteriorating over the past two decades. Here is another example of a shameful state of affairs ....

A report in the newspaper about "rent-a-mob" said,

"Check with lawyers first, police say. Want a flash mob? Speak to a lawyer first. This is the advice from the police .... To avoid running afoul of the laws, organizers and participants should seek advice from their own legal counsel before organizing or participating in flash mobs. "

If the police, who is supposed to enforce the law, does not know what is or is not legal, how would an ordinary lawyer know? How would the public know? How would the police react, if a complaint is received from the public?

Is this a satisfactory state of affairs? We have seen many examples about one government agency pushing responsibility to another, and that has become the standard operating procedure in Singapore.

I leave it to Prime Minister Lee to reflect on this state of affairs, and to instruct his Law Minister and Home Affairs Minister to do something about making the law clearer to the citizens and to the law enforcers.


Tan Kin Lian said...

here is another shameful state of affairs. There were a few letters written in the newspaper about the difficulty in getting enforcement of court orders. If I remember correctly, the consumer bought court order against furniture dealers to repay back their deposits or purchase. The furniture dealer refused to respond. The consumer is not able to get the police or the court to enforce the order. The impression is that the consumer has to act as his own law enforcer.
I may be mistaken, but so far, I have not seen any reply from the law enforcement agencies on whether they have a duty to enforce the court order on behalf of the public.

Tan Kin Lian said...

I know that the police force is short handed because many citizens do not want to take up this job. They prefer to work in the finance sector and to sell insurance and property. This is not good for the country. Surely our government ministers know that?

sgcynic said...

The signal the public gets from the situation in your first comment is that the law and law enforcement in Singapore is useful is helping one to seek redress.

Similar situations and injustices abound, especially in the areas of foreign labour where unscrupulous agents fleece the foreign workers and the latter finally complain out of desperation, the officers from MOM and the police at best do not help, if not add on to the woes of the foreign workers.

Build a Singaporean identity, they say, based on values. Lol, if I could.

Tan Kin Lian said...

A helpful reply from the police will go along this lines ... "A flash mob is all right, if it is just for fun or for publcity, provided it does not lead to damage of property or cause sever disturbance to the public. There are laws that deal with these matters. "

This is what a responsible police spokesman, who is willing to accept responsibility, should say.
Sadly, it is a national culture in Singapore to avoid responsibility and to push the matter to another person, such as "ask the lawyer".

I have seen matters deteriorate in a shameful manner for 20 years, under the PAP style of government.

yujuan said...

Used to be good till mid 1990s, and it goes down hill thereafter, and when the new age Ministers come into picture, the taichi style of pushing away responsibility to the other Agency or to another person is the norm now.
It's getting worse under the LHL's Administration.

sgcynic said...

The problem with pushing the onus to the lawyer is that different lawyers may have different perspectives and interpretation of the law. Then what? The police to censure the lawyer who gve the "wrong" advice? Or the police hope that with such a vague and noncommital stand, the public would not dare to test a potential OB marker?

Spur said...

It seems like we are becoming a fascist corporate state where money, power and social standing can often determine what is right and what is wrong. S'pore will end up like the societies in movies like Total Recall and Robocop.

Afterall we already worship those who are rich, stay in bungalows, drive ferraris, or who are CEOs of big companies, have multi-million dollar salaries. We call this meritocracy -- those who are able will make it, and those who make it are able. The insidious message is those who don't make it are stupid or lazy.

Bai Hu said...

That's why we have storylines of different ministries pushing their responsibility to each other in movies. Go & watch Jack Neo's movie "Just Follow Law". Gurmit & Fann Wong just wanna put up an advertising banner & the different ministries from LTA, SMRT, BCA, URA, HDB, etc said they it's not under their purview. OMG!!!

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