The law has destroyed me

September 29, 2003
Singapore Democrats

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29 September 2003

Dr Chee Soon Juan,

With reference to your website, I find the topics here very interesting.

My name is Chan and I am in my mid-30s. I graduated with 2 diplomas in Electronics and Computer Science.

I used to believe in PAP’s so-called democracy when I was younger. As time went by, however, I began to think otherwise.

Two years ago, I was struggling with my one-man business. My sole proprietor company was doing Audio/Visual system sales & installation to local customers. The business was not that profitable, I just managed to survive.

I was driving a 1000 cc van, to transport all my tools and equipment as I do not have a office, something like a mobile workshop. Everyday I have to worry about getting new projects and customers. So I forgot about my van insurance which had expired. However, by the time I realized was a month later and I quickly renewed it.

After few months later I scrapped the van as the CEO had ended and purchased other second hand van.

I thought that everything was fine but a year later I received a warrant of arrest letter from Traffic Police which stated that I had to surrender myself with a witness as I had been charged with driving without insurance last year.

I was shocked and stunned, so I did what I was told. I was hoping that I could explain my case to the officer-in-charge and that everything would be all right. But that was not to be.

The officer spoke to me like a mobster, he said “You don’t talk to me, you talk to the judge”. So I attended Court 26 in the sub-court without a lawyer.

I found out that I could’t speak for myself in court without a lawyer, and I was only allowed to say ” Guilty or not guity”.

So I postponed the case whereupon the judge got real mad and shouted at me in court like a cowboy. He shouted: “Why don’t you get a lawyer at first before the court date?” I just remained silent. At last he postponed my case for two weeks and I managed to get a lawyer which cost me about S$1000. Later I understood from my lawyer the judge was younger that me.

I was hoping this could reduce my sentence and I can’t afford to lose my driving license. After two weeks , I went with my lawyer again. This time, my lawyer explained my case for about 15 minutes but I the judge didn’t care. The verdict was that I was suspended for one year and fined two thousand dollars. Giving it like candy.

Early case just before me, this guy was charged with drunk driving and speeding 140 km/hour. And he got only a four-month suspension.

Then I had to retake my driving test again once one suspend for one year or more. I was totally lost. I asked myself what had I done. Only one month late to renew my insurance. I have been driving for ten years and I have not committed any traffic offense beside parking summons.

At the end of it, I had to close down my little business and look for a job. I start to wander about government promoting entrepreneurship and all the bullshit. The law is to protect us or destroy us?

So who can I tell my story to? Hope that you can publish this on the net.

CHAN