I refer to The Hon NCMP Tan’s maiden speech yesterday and Indranee Rajah’s
I applaud the WP’s present willingness to actively engage the government on
tough issues as well as comments by Fatimah Lateef to WP’s Faisal on the lack
of suggestions he has proposed in our lopsided parliament. I think Fatimah
Lateef (as a 3 term MP) is still blurred on the line of the roles the
government and Opposition MPs play and perhaps its better for voters to
retire her at the next poll so she can concentrate on serving her patients at
SGH in addition to fixing serious lapses in MOH.
Back to the focus of NCMP Tan’s speech of the day, I will highlight why
Indranee’s reply was flawed and at most, in severe state of denial on our
unbalanced Legal and Judicial system here.
On the front of Legal Aid, the Bureau has since ‘tightened security’ and
entry is only by appointment via an MP’s recommendation or phone call. One is
no longer able to directly proceed and apply even if the appellant is
illiterate, they will be turned away by hostile guards. So much so for my own
MP assuring me “there is no such thing” and “we can still walk in and be able
to apply for Aid”.
On access to Justice, let us closely scrutinize 2 key issues that is,
amendments to the Third Party Risk and Compensation Act Cap 189 and POHA
which was ‘singled out’ by Indranee. When the Bill was rubber stamped in
2013, MP Sylvia Lim seriously questioned:
the repelling for protection of accident victims by our so called “Public
Trustee” which may now see rouge lawyers and vehicle owners trying to bypass
fair reimbursements for their victims. Large conglomerates like Comfort
DelGro which are insured by Canada’s Fairfax Financial Holdings and
represented by troublesome lawyers from ULA (flagged by the High Court), are
very pleased with the shedding of social responsibility. Someone I know who
broke his leg during a traffic accident 4 years ago has had his case
adjourned numerous times due to the financial might of the insurance agency.
Such delaying tactics are often used to pressure victims into receiving
significantly lower amounts of their sufferings or they will ‘suffer’ even
more if they choose to take on the insurance companies for what they should
rightly be accorded!
POHA is another big joke altogether. One will have to make a Magistrate’s
Complaint at $20 and the tedious process of obtaining and producing evidence
to the Magistrate and POHA registrar is enough for one to give up and either
allow the transgressions to continue or take matters into your own hands as
suggested by PAP MP Seah Kian Peng! Police who are in possession of the
evidences will often not cooperate in releasing them to Court.
Lastly, we do not have an ombudsman like that in many First World Countries
to concurrently review the conduct and decisions of judicial officers. The
most citizens can do is ask their MP to make representations to MINLAW which
usually relies on template responses to redirect them away. MPs are also
unable to write directly to the Chief Justice for a reasonable review too.
As we move on from GE 2015, let us ponder on what kind of society we want to
shape until 2021 with these imbalances instead of talking about ‘SG 100’.
There’s a saying that goes of “not counting your chickens before the egg
From: A disenchanted Marine Parade resident