Facebook users were rife with disbelief and disapprobation when the news of a lorry driver who killed three may evade due punishment because he “blacked out” behind the wheel.
State Coroner Kamala Ponnampalam released her findings on Wednesday (15 July) stating that Xu Kai Xiang’s congenital heart disease could have led to his black out at the time of the accident on 23 April 2018.
Xu is a Chinese national who became a Singapore permanent citizen.
On 3 Oct 2019. he was issued a discharge not amounting to an acquittal pending the coroner’s inquiry. The findings came nine months later.
It was an “unfortunate road traffic misadventure,” Ms Ponnampalam said in her findings, adding that there is “no basis to suspect foul play”
The users on social media called issues on mainly three premises: driving without a relevant licence at the time of the accident, a light sentence dealt after causing the death of three people, and being able to ‘evade’ punishment for medical reasons.
Driving without a relevant licence
Netizens such as Max Chionh and Xlent Low who commented on Today Online’s Facebook post of the case, questioned the licensing rules of allowing people with medical conditions that could cause accidents to drive.
Others felt the offences of driving without a valid licence and insurance should be the main focus of preventing road accidents.
Injustice over light sentence
Another group chastised the injustice over the judgment. A small fine and a short one-year ban from driving did not seem to fit the crime of killing three people.
Outcry over the way the law and justice system in Singapore works was a point of contention among the discussion too.
Appropriate punishment not feted out due to medical reasons
The circumstance of the accident declared by the coroner also provoked fervent furore.
Many challenged the notion that an offender can go ‘scot-free’ over medical reasons, and demanded stricter laws on the entry of foreign talent.
Some went further to question the truth of his medical condition.