1. We refer to the media reports about the case against Woffles Wu.
2. Woffles Wu was charged for abetting his employee Kuan to give false information to the police about the commission of speeding offenses in 2005 and 2006. Kuan gave the false information. Woffles Wu, who did not give any information to the police, was charged with abetting Kuan to do so, which is an offence under Section 81(3) of the Road Traffic Act. There was no evidence of payment or gratification given to Kuan. Kuan, who is 82 years old, was given a stern warning.
3. In general, fines or short custodial sentences are imposed for wilfully providing false information, under Section 81(3) Road Traffic Act. Custodial sentences are typically imposed under this section when there are aggravating features, such as many instances of the offence committed by the same person.
4. Some media reports refer to cases in which imprisonment term has been imposed under Section 204A of the Penal Code. The accused could not have been charged under that provision for intentionally perverting the course of justice (which is a more serious charge compared with Section 81(3) of the Road Traffic Act). This is because the accused committed his offence in 2006, before Section 204A of the Penal Code was enacted in 2008. The position of the accused is therefore different from others who were subject to Section 204A and who have been punished with a term of imprisonment.
5. The charge preferred against an accused person would be calibrated to reflect the seriousness of the criminal act and the fact situation, and whether the legislation in question provides a specific provision dealing with the criminal act or whether reliance has to be placed on general legislation such as the Penal Code. On the facts of this case, as there was no major accident or injury, it was considered appropriate to proceed under Section 81(3) of the Road Traffic Act rather than invoke the general provisions of the Penal Code, such as Section 182. Other sections have their own requirements, which would not have been met on the facts of the present case. Prior to 2008, offences of this nature were generally dealt with under Section 81 (3) of the Road Traffic Act.
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Li Jin Haw (Ms)
Assistant Director, Corporate Communications Unit
Attorney-General’s Chambers, Singapore
Email: [email protected]
Tel: 6332 4693