Mr Muhamad Faisal Bin Abdul Manap: At last year’s Committee of Supply debate, my colleague, Mr Pritam Singh had proposed to consider the option of offering an automatic instalment plan for minor traffic offences, especially for those low-income who may not have the ability to pay up their fines in the single payment. In response, the Minister for Home Affairs mentioned, he is of the view that the fine framework should be kept intact.
I am calling upon Minister to reconsider in allowing instalment payments for traffic fines specifically for first-time offenders that belongs to the low-income group and our beneficiaries of Government’s financial assistance scheme such as ComCare.
Understandably, the intended effect of penalties is for offenders to be remorseful and regret their irresponsible acts and as a deterrence to ensure our roads are safe for all users. Having said that, we should consider looking from the compassionate perspective, to minimise unintended effect of pushing this already struggling individual deeper into financial predicament.
I believe we are aware of the circumstances where low-income Singaporeans had resorted to borrowing in order to pay for the traffic fines, when their appeal for instalment payment was unsuccessful. I feel it does not lessen the intended effect of fines by allowing instalment payment for this group as eventually, they still have to bear the full amount. On the other hand, such compassionate consideration will be much appreciated as this will avoid further aggravation of their financial struggles.
Ministry of Transport
1 March 2021