Singapore — The circuit breaker restrictions may be nearing an end but some Singaporeans continue to flagrantly flout rules. One netizen has taken to writing to The Straits Times (ST) to call for authorities to come down hard on circuit breaker flouters, even doubling penalties, as these individuals pose a threat to the health and safety of other people.
A netizen named Phillip Tan Fong Lip wrote a letter to ST which was published on Tuesday (May 20). He said that the current penalties may not be effective in curbing this kind of dangerous behaviour.
Many netizens wrote in, agreeing with him.
He pointed out that there is likely a small group of people who “behave in ways that are out of the ordinary.“ Mr Lip was referring to the type of people who endeavour to get infected with the coronavirus on purpose through seeking the company of others who have been infected with the disease. This kind of behaviour was seen in people throwing “Covid-19 parties” in the United States in the early days of the pandemic.
The rationale behind this kind of behaviour is that the quicker herd immunity is developed in a society, the quicker life can go back to normal. Authorities say that 60 to 70% of a population needs to be immune to a certain disease for them to be considered to have developed herd immunity.
Mr. Lip also pointed out that he has seen posts on Instagram and WhatsApp from individuals who are “openly challenging the police to arrest them for flouting the law.“ They shrug off paying a sum of $300 or even going to jail for a short period of time. And because they have this attitude, he said, the current penalties for circuit breaker flouters should be at least doubled.
He added, “Most of us look forward to the day when normalcy will be restored. The last thing we want is to have a few black sheep spoil it for everyone and take us back to square one.”
Netizens voiced their agreement with the letter writer as he called for stricter punishments, with some even suggesting alternative penalties.
Others said that a strong message needs to be sent to those who flout restrictions.
Some suggested that caning can be part of the penalty.
One netizen cautioned, however, that if harsher penalties are to be meted out, they “must be fair and equal to all regardless of status.”
Another netizen got even more specific and mentioned the flouters at Robertson Quay.