Ensure penalties reflect severity of offence

I am disappointed that many of our laws and the penalties for breaking them do not reflect the severity of the offences.

For instance, the defence of our country is the responsibility of every man and should not be taken lightly.

It is disappointing that the current penalties for national service defaulters are a small fine or, at most, a jail term of a few months.

These penalties are not a strong deterrence, and some rich parents have taken advantage of this by sending their boys overseas when they are young and having them return only much later.

Also, the number of people caught drink-driving, using mobile phones while driving, or driving against the flow of traffic have increased.

These reckless actions are clearly intentional and show a total disregard for the law and the safety of other road users.

Yet the penalties are so minor that most offenders do not give any heed to it. In most cases, the offenders get away with a small fine, with no jail time.

I urge our Ministry of Law and the other ministries to review our laws and ensure that the penalties are updated to reflect the severity of some of these offences and to be a stronger deterrence.

A lengthy jail time for such offenders is in order.

Patrick Tan Siong Kuan