|Demonstrating the elasticity of law|
The Singapore Medical Council (SMC) suspended the plastic surgeon from practice for 4 months for getting his 76-year-old employee to "save his own skin" (pun from the tribunal proceedings) instead of owning up to driving his custom job Mercedes over the city speed limits.
The celebrity 54-year-old doctor had pleaded guilty to "abetting" senior citizen Kuan in providing misleading information to the Traffic Police on two occasions, about the 11 September 2005 and 10 November 2006 speeding transgressions, and was given a maximum fine of $1,000. Many in the legal circles, including ex-police woman Sylvia Lim, opined that he should have been charged under Section 182 of the Penal Code. The AGC refuted the experts, "On the facts of this case, as there was no major accident or injury". Even when precedents were highlighted where Section 182 had been invoked in several cases not involving major accident or injury.
The Disciplinary Tribunal (DT) who made the decision to suspend Wu on 21 February 2014 did not come to their weighty conclusion because of any Hippocratic Oath type consideration about saving lives. The tribunal cited his lack of integrity and lack of remorse as the primary reasons for the suspension: “Instead of setting a good example for younger practitioners to emulate, the Respondent’s dishonesty had tarnished the good name of the profession."
That plus Wu's personal address to the DT just before the proceedings concluded, stating that he thought it was a common practice to furnish false information to the Traffic Police (in Singapore) for such offences and that "even some senior medical practitioners were doing so.”
In plain language, it's all bad for business. All those medical tourists might just decide to skip the cowboy town and hop over to Thailand or Malaysia. Where medical doctors and law enforcers have a healthier respect for the law.
The unruffled Woffles is taking the minor upset as just another speed bump. His Aesthetic Surgery & Laser Centre clinic will be manned by locums (ironically defined as a person who temporarily fulfills the duties of another, driving duties hopefully excluded), while he goes on holiday and prepare for the World Masters Squash Championship in Hong Kong in July.