Tommy Koh, Singapore’s ambassador-at-large, has said that he wants to see Singapore implement an ombudsman system.
With an ombudsman system, individuals can have a process to have government decisions reviewed.
An ombudsman is an independent reviewer who can take up complaints and review whether certain decisions were equitable.
Koh said that having such a system is one of his “unfulfilled dreams”.
Despite Singapore’s good public service and low corruption, he explained that an ombudsman can step in where mistakes are made that are beyond the scope of judicial review.
Ombudsmen usually have more flexibility than judicial review and therefore they can apply decisions in a more just way, without suffering from having to work with technicalities.
They are also usually faster than going through the judicial system and can be dealt with more casually.
Koh who was a lawyer in the past said that he is too old for the role now, even though it was something he aspired to be when he was younger. He is now 76.