Thursday, March 04, 2004

To The Dearly Departed

i came across this letter to the nation builder press today...

Fatal drink-driving case sends the wrong message

I AM appalled at the light sentence - four months' jail - First Sergeant Koe Seng Wah received for killing a cyclist while driving under the influence of alcohol ('Soldier knocked down cyclist after drinking binge'; ST, Feb 27).

In another article on the same day ('Cop gets a year's jail for oral sex with wife's sister'), it was reported that a man was jailed for a year - three times longer than Koe - for oral sex.

Another jail sentence for oral sex was halved recently, from two years to one year.

In comparing the two crimes and the sentences meted out for them, I cannot help but feel that the judicial system is sending a message to the public that it is much less reprehensible to drink and drive and in the process endanger and even kill fellow road-users than to engage in a sexual practice which hurts only the morals of others but does no (or much less) actual harm.

In my opinion, the light sentence Sgt Koe received is a slap in the face of all cyclists, pedestrians and other road-users and undermines efforts to stamp out drink driving and to make the roads safer.

One can only hope that the prosecution will appeal against the sentence and that other motorists do not think that drink driving is a petty transgression which one get away with lightly, even if something happens.


while i don't plan be dragged into the comparison between the crimes and the sentences meted out, this is just a timely reminder to those from ntu and anyone else who knew alvin (i never did, but felt saddened that a life was lost so easily) from the ntu cycling club. this was the accident that happened outside jalan bahar a few months ago. alvin was the last of the safety cyclists from a contingent of cycling club members on the way back from a round-island trip. the impact from the collision flung his body into the busstop before the turn into ntu. i felt a deep sense of sadness when leon first told me about him before it got published in the papers, even though i didn't know the guy. heard he was staying in our hall though.

life is but a fragile string of thread that could snapped or be cut any moment, do treasure what we have and those around us.

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