Despite multiple reports of “Circuit Breaker Breakers” being fined S$300 for overstepping the rules put in place to limit the spread of Covid-19, some netizens have now come to the conclusion that the fine simply “doesn’t work.”
After a netizen shared a video of a group of people defying the circuit breaker on Monday (May 4) with the Facebook group All Singapore Stuff, other online users rallied to the comments section of the post to question the efficacy of the infamous circuit breaker fine.
The nearly two-minute video featured a group of seven individuals eating together in a public outdoor setting. As seen in the video clip, the group not only disregarded the rule to refrain from social gatherings, but also failed to practice social distancing, as they were seated very close together. The video also captured the two masked officers who handled the incident, taking the time to brief the group of violators.
<Reader's Contribution by Ken>Walau eh, what were these 7 people thinking?
Added onto the video was a simple computation of how much the whole incident cost the rebellious group–a total of S$2,100.
However, despite the large amount of money, netizens still saw a problem with the system. Pointing to the fact that for some people, having to pay S$300 is no big deal, netizens questioned the efficacy of charging circuit breaker violators with a fine. After all, a punishment that doesn’t sting isn’t a punishment at all, but rather, a minor inconvenience.
“(A) $300 fine may be just peanuts to them,” said Facebook user Kin Chan, calling for an increase in the penalty fee. A Sophia Margareth Francisco had a similar opinion, saying “Wow, very rich kids…$300 is cheap for them…”
While many others concurred and saw the need to raise the fine, Facebook user Chua Tean Lock tackled the issue head-on by saying, “(The) fine doesn’t work,” before suggesting an alternative punishment for circuit breaker flouters–requiring them to serve at hospitals alongside healthcare workers.
Another netizen even recommended jail time on top of an exuberantly higher fine of S$10,000.