MAN KENA SAMAN FOR PARKING OUTSIDE MOSQUE DURING PRAYERS

Dear Editors,

On 28th June 2014, I went to Ar-Raudhah Mosque located along Bukit Batok East Avenue 2 for 'terawih' prayers. I parked my vehicle along Bukit Batok East Avenue 2 like many others did. The prayers ended late on that day as it was the first day of 'terawih' prayers for Muslims around the world and the Singapore Islamic religious leader, the Mufti, was there to give a pre-Ramadhan sermon.

Upon reaching my vehicle after the prayer and sermon ended, I was shocked to find a 'Notice Of Traffic Offence' on my windscreen. As there was no fine amount displayed on the Notice, I treated it as a warning and brushed it off. However, I was infuriated when I received a 'Notice Of Traffic Offence' letter from the Land Transport Authority (LTA) on 3rd July 2014. My father, the vehicle owner, called up the LTA hotline immediately and was greeted by a Malay lady. She asked my father to appeal and that there is nothing she can do to help. She even said that I was at fault and as a result, I had to face the consequences. My father then asked to speak to a person of higher authority. She said she will arrange for her superior to revert back to my father. Adding to that, she did mention that LTA practises a 'soft ruling' that allows worshippers to park their vehicles along the side of the road adjacent to the place of worship.

On , a Malay male officer contacted my father and asked him what his complaint was. My father had to repeat the whole incident to him. He was not helpful and he too, asked my father to send in an appeal to get the fine waived.

My questions are:-

1) Why should I take the trouble to appeal when it is understood that worshippers of any faiths are allowed to park their vehicles along the side of the road adjacent to their place of worship?

2) Why are there double standards when it comes to this 'soft ruling' set by LTA? Eg. I have witnessed vehicles double-parked along Mandai Rd and even at the slip road to SLE during the Qing Ming Festival but there were no actions taken by the Certis Cisco officers on duty.

I have attached the Notice Of Traffic Offence for your reference. I would like to reiterate that I do not, in any way, intend to stir racism into the picture. Like everyone, I wish for equality regardless of race, language or religion.

Hoping for your kind attention. Thank you.

Regards, 

Muhammad Shah 

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