Some individuals have “gone too far” in their reactions against the unethical practices of the errant retailer at Sim Lim Square, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office S Iswaran, as he said that police have begun looking into reports on the case, as well as a related report on harassment.
In a Facebook post on Saturday (Nov 8), Mr Iswaran, who is also Second Minister for Home Affairs and Trade and Industry, spoke up about the recent incident at Sim Lim Square. He urged people to “exercise restraint” and not to take matters into their own hands. “Let due process take its course,” he wrote.
Mr Jover Chew, owner of the shop Mobile Air at Sim Lim Square, was in the spotlight recently following reports of Vietnamese tourist Pham Van Thoai going on his knees to beg for his money back, and that the shop refunded a customer more than S$1,000 in coins.
On Thursday, a T-shirt printed with an expletive was placed outside his shop, which was closed. Mr Chew’s particulars, which were leaked online, were also reportedly used to order three large pizzas to his home on Wednesday. His private photos were also leaked.
Mr Iswaran said that the Government is looking into measures to protect consumers better but this may “take some time”, especially if the laws require amending.
“More immediately, we are working with CASE and other stakeholders to educate consumers on their rights, so that they do not fall prey to such sales tactics, and know where and how to seek recourse when necessary,” he added.
Member of Parliament Vikram Nair also wrote on Facebook on Saturday of his interest in looking into Singapore’s consumer protection laws. Referring to an article by TODAY, he singled out the suggestion by a lawyer to give the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) additional powers to administer fines to errant businesses.
“Although it is highly unusual to give a consumer association such powers, I believe the public expects CASE to not only be a consumer advocate, but also to intervene more directly in cases where consumers are mistreated,” he wrote.