Sunday, September 28, 2008

Consequential Effect

I was talking to some senior officers from the Road Transport Department a couple of days ago. We were talking about the rampancy of ticket touts (ulat tiket), the provisions of section 110A of the Road Transport Act 1987, the burden of proving such offence, its elements and many other issues.

I told them that I am of the opinion,(and this is my personal opinion as I have not the opportunity to write this in my legal reasoning yet because there has been no appeal against my decision against ticket touts) that the maximum fine of RM 50,000.00 for touts is a very wide section with very general identification of touts. It includes the “penchachai” or “kuli” of the tout syndicate to the very big boss of the syndicate. In includes the bust company for engaging these touts to market their tickets and also the employee ordered to sell tickets outside the counter.
That is why the maximum fine is very high. If the big chief is caught, he can surely pay off RM10,000 fine easily. But if he is slapped with a RM 40,000 fine and imprisonment for 1 year? He may be able to pay the RM 40,000 with a slight sweat, but I am DAMN sure he would not be impressed with the 1 year jail!

I was also informed that the Ministry is thinking of revoking the licence from Bus Company using tout services. I told them that in order to make a decision, especially if you have a very big authority to do so, it must be done wisely, justly, equitably and fairly. You also have to anticipate the consequences of such decision.

It may look like an appropriate sentence to revoke the licence for companies using tout services. But think about the hundreds of employees of the bus company who have no say in the company’s decision making? Why make them lose their job for some greedy director’s decision? I told them that I didn’t think that it’s fair to punish these helpless employees. Better off fine the company and NOT revoke the licence.

I felt good being advocating these employees’ rights. I pity them. I also hope that my suggestions and opinion will carry some weight. May these senior RTD officers convey this hypothetical consequence to the Ministry when such decision is being made.

All in all, it was a good discussion.

Blog adjourned.

0 obiter dictum: