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01 Oct 2020  (706 Views) 
Ministry of Law

Pass law but do not enforce it
Someone asked.
Mr Tan
Why do we have laws that are NOT exercised? How is it possible for a minister to appear to be "above" the law of the country by claiming he does not plan to prosecute offenders? Then why do we have the law in the first place? Would it lead to abuse as to who they choose to prosecute? No wonder we are timid as a rabbit and we are poor as a church mouse.

Singapore has no plans to fine those who display the national flags beyond Wednesday (30 September), said Edwin Tong, the Minister for Culture, Community and Youth.

In a post put up on his Facebook page on Wednesday, Tong addressed recent media reports that those who continue to fly the national flags after 30 September will risk being fined up to $1,000 under the rules of the Singapore Arms and Flag and National Anthem Act.

“Let me assure you: as far as I know, no one has ever been fined for this, nor do we plan to do so,” he wrote in his post.

“There’s no reason to ‘punish’ those who treat it with respect and dignity, and are proud to showcase the Singapore spirit.”

TKL reply

I do not agree with the approach of the minister. It is a bad practice to pass laws and not enforce it. After a while, people will not know if they should respect the law.

If the government decides not to enforce the law, they should pass a law to suspend it for the time being. At a later date, they should pass a law to remove the suspension.

Under the rule of law, there should be certainty on the law. 

The law should not be administered on a arbitrary basis, i.e. for the law enforcer (or the government) to decide whether or not to enforce the law. This "flexibility" could lead to corrupt practices - i.e. the law is not enforced if the offender pays a bribe.

Tan Kin Lian

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