Not for love of money, but of Humanity. "Greater is he who works for the good of all, then he who works for the good of himself only" ~ Matthew 25:40: "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'"- (NIV). I live in Singapore where the Emperor must not be disturbed.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Is the Law/ Justice in Singapore inaccessible to foreign/ local poor?

No point law society of Singapore have increased pro-bono legal services if recourse for injustice is foreign to the poor.
In the following case in which Md Raibul was jailed 7 months for attacking Mr Md Tofazzel in the head "with a 50cm metal rebar twice, resulting in acute haemorrhaging and bone fractures... He (Tofazzel) was hospitalised from March 25 to April 30 (~34days)".

The case of Md Raibul voluntarily causing grievous hurt reveals some systematic legal blindspots/ concerns that I feel begs response.
1) What is the legal procedure (contract)/ status of a private sale of a simple appliance (e.g. laptop) between private individuals?
2) What affordable legal recourse other than physical violence is available to claimants especially where the buyer defaults on payment or simply refuses to pay (?cheating?).

In the unfortunate case of Md Raibul the buyer of his laptop not only refused to pay as promised but also taunted: ‘I am not going to pay and, if you can, try to collect it from me.’ Even as a born Singaporean, I am currently not certain that the police would investigate such a claim of non-payment: and neither am I educated about the contractual particulars integral for such a contract of sale (2nd hand goods) between private individuals (personal particulars (name, IC, address), item description (serial number), date of transaction, warranties included etc).

It remains an unfortunate fact that blue collar foreign talents in Singapore perceive that justice is either inaccessible or that the police/ legal establishments are distant/ indifferent to financial disputes involving poor people.

Private citizens and social workers should have the confidence that the police is able (in simple clear cut cases such as 2nd hand goods sales) to firstly provide sensible (respectable) suggestions/ recommendations to disputing parties to resolve disputes and where offending parties are recalcitrant/ obviously corrupt/dishonest, press deterrent charges of cheating etc with the consequence of jail, fine, work-permit cancellation etc.
Complainants involving less than clear cut cheating may be referred by the police to the small claims tribunal (complaints against non-corporate individual accepted?)/ ?social services department of MOM for resolution depending upon the particulars of the particular case etc.

Justice should be affordable accessible to one and all. The case of Mr Md Tofazzel Abdul Hossain I believe, suggests that the Singapore Police Force and Justice system needs to be more attentive/ present to resolve disputes amongst the local/ foreign poor.

415. Whoever, by deceiving any person, whether or not such deception was the sole or main inducement, fraudulently or dishonestly induces the person so deceived to deliver any property to any person, or to consent that any person shall retain any property, or intentionally induces the person so deceived to do or omit to do anything which he would not do or omit to do if he were not so deceived, and which act or omission causes or is likely to cause damage or harm to any person in body, mind, reputation or property, is said to “cheat”.
Dispute over cash gets worker 7 months in jail
SINGAPORE — Incensed with a fellow construction worker who had bought his laptop, but had not paid up “for over a year”, Md Raibul Islam Abdur Rashid Moral struck Mr Md Tofazzel Abdul Hossain with a 50cm metal rebar twice, resulting in acute haemorrhaging and bone fractures.
BY KELLY NG -04 JUNE 2015.
SINGAPORE — Incensed with a fellow construction worker who had bought his laptop, but had not paid up “for over a year”, Md Raibul Islam Abdur Rashid Moral struck Mr Md Tofazzel Abdul Hossain with a 50cm metal rebar twice, resulting in acute haemorrhaging and bone fractures.
For voluntarily causing grievous hurt, the 38-year-old Bangladeshi national was today (June 3) sentenced to seven months’ jail.
The court heard that Md Raibul launched his attack at about 7.25am on March 23 at the carpark of Cochrane Lodge 1, along Admiralty Road West.
Armed with a 50cm solid metal rebar wrapped with newspapers, he hit the left of Mr Md Tofazzel’s head twice.
Mr Md Tofazzel was taken to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital and Md Raibul was arrested at about 10.05am the same day.
A medical report from the hospital showed that Mr Md Tofazzel had sustained bone fractures with acute haemorrhaging and a 3cm-by-3cm swelling near the left side and top of his skull. He was hospitalised from March 25 to April 30.
During the course of the investigation, Md Raibul admitted that he had ambushed Mr Md Tofazzel in his anger over their dispute about the sale of his laptop to the latter.
Today, pressing for a jail term of six to eight months, deputy public prosecutor Claire Poh said Md Raibul’s attack was premeditated, unprovoked and targeted at a vulnerable part of the victim’s body.
In mitigation, Md Raibul, who was unrepresented, said he had always maintained his remorse.
“I sold my laptop to him and he owed me some money and cheated me over the year.He always said he would pay, but he never paid ... He refused and told me, ‘I am not going to pay and, if you can, try to collect it from me.’ Hence, I became angry and beat him. But I know I shouldn’t have done that,” he said through a Bengali interpreter.
Md Raibul’s sentence will be backdated to March 24, when he was first remanded. He could have been jailed up to 10 years, with a fine or caning.

No comments:

Post a Comment