Unsolicited waivers by authorities when law is broken

by Sean

On the evening of June 18, an uncle of mine was cycling from his condominium at The Estuary towards Khatib Central, on the way to have dinner. As he was cycling near Block 845, he was stopped by two town council officers and a policeman.

He was questioned by them that cycling was prohibited in that area, and pointed out a signboard displayed prominently nearby to him that showed this law. My uncle was then given a fine of $100 since he has broken a law, and there were no qualms about that. He has since went on to pay his fine dutifully.

However, what disturbed me were the unsolicited words said by the town council officer. He told my uncle that he was fined because a law was broken, and he could always look for Lee Bee Wah, who is the MP for his constituency, to waive off the fine.

What is the point the town council officer was trying to make? Is he trying to imply that an exception can always be made with the powers of an MP, even though a law has so blatantly been broken? Moreover, my uncle did not plead for any waivers. He accepted that a mistake was made, and was willing to pay the fine. It was the town council officer himself who initiated the wavier without any prompting.

Authorities must be careful with comments they make because it may send the wrong signals. In this case, it is oxymoronic for the town council officers to issue the fine and inform the offender that the fine can be waived if he looks for the MP. Does it mean that law enforcers themselves are not confident whether a law has been broken? After all, if it is clear-cut that a law has been broken, like in this case, the officer does not need to initiate a possible wavier, especially when it is unsolicited.

This was sent to Nee Soon Town Council last Friday (3.30pm) and there has been no reply from the TC since then.