Forum: Will a jobless offender get preferential treatment?

Miss Samantha Lim Li Min's proposal to base penalties for offences on the offender's means and income is indeed noble and champions financial and social equality (Peg fines to offender's salary, Dec 3).

However, when the court is partial in the application of the law and in so doing discriminates against a higher-paid vocation, it could be deemed to be running counter to the Constitution.

We are, after all, governed by democratic principles, with citizens pledging to build a democratic society based on justice and equality.

Article 12 of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore guarantees to all persons equality before the law and equal protection of the law.

Furthermore, if one applies a "means test" for a higher salaried offender to assess a higher penalty, would not a jobless offender who committed the same offence causing equal hurt and injury to the victims be treated preferentially?

Wong Bheet Huan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 05, 2019, with the headline 'Will a jobless offender get preferential treatment?'. Print Edition | Subscribe