Monday, October 27, 2014

Fantastic Discounts




It sure looks like the Great Singapore Sales is on again, with offerings of fantastic discounts to make up for the dwindling number of tourists. Visitor arrivals in Singapore slipped 2.8 per cent year on year to 7.5 million in the first half of 2014 as the number of Chinese visitors slumped 30 per cent. They blame it on the New tourism laws in China, implemented in October last year, which clamp down on "zero-dollar tours" that hit travellers with surprise fees. Other predictable excuses include the MH370 mystery, Sabah kidnappings, Thailand unrest, and possibly Ebola. Nothing is mentioned about the kid gloves treatment reserved for Yang Yin, as any special deal for the rogue tour guide from, China might be construed as scandalisation of the legal system.

What then to read of the persistent refusal of the Singapore Medical Council's (SMC) to accept the court's judgments about their share of overcharging? By appealing against the latest round of price slashings will the SMC not pose a real risk of undermining public confidence in the judicial system, a charge which is currently levied at one blogger?

When Assistant Registrar Jacqueline Lee decided that Senior Counsel Alvin Yeo's bill for legal fees was way too high - even the combined 718 hours spent on the case by Alvin Yeo, Melanie Ho and Lim Wei Lee of WongPartnership were inflated to 1,900 hours - shouldn't the  Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) of the Singapore Police Force be called in to investigate?

Public confidence is further eroded when the Singapore Law Society can actually write a letter to the Straits Times on 16 Oct 2014 entitled “Don’t equate reduction of costs with overcharging”. Which is the way of the Law Society saying that it is the winning lawyer’s duty to charge as much as possible, except that recourse is not available to medical doctors. Meaning, had they represented the ailing Brunei royalty in a court case, their bill could possibly match or exceed the $24.8 million invoiced by Dr Susan Lim.

20 comments:

  1. “Don’t equate reduction of costs with overcharging"

    That's like HDB Board saying don't equate housing grant with overcharging. Is called Subsidy lah. What do you think?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dr Susan Lim’s husband is now filing with the SMC, a formal complaint against Dr Hong Ga Sze (a medical expert used by SMC) for overcharging. The SMC’s complaint committee will decide if it has merit and deserves to go to a disciplinary tribunal for hearing. Will anything be done, as Dr Hong, it turns out, is also a council member of SMC? What do you think?

    There are two Basic Pillars of the Principles of Natural Justice. No system of law can survive without these two basic pillars:

    1. Nemo in propria causa judex, esse debet - No one should be made a judge in his own case, or the rule against bias. 2.Audi alteram partem - Hear the other party, or the rule of fair hearing, or the rule that no one should be condemned unheard.

    http://www.lawnotes.in/Principles_of_Natural_Justice#ixzz3H8h7gOZj






    ReplyDelete
  3. It is a real joke that SMC even dared to appeal. Shouldn't this be left to the individual lawyers, is there a conflict of interest for SMC to appeal on behalf of the losing politician/expert witness/doctors, oops I meant the greedy overcharging lawyer?

    So SMC is trying to tell us the judicial registrar must made a big mistake by appealing ?

    ReplyDelete
  4. GREED knows no boundary. That's why we should kick rich people out of politics.

    http://therealsingapore.com/content/%E2%80%98worlds-poorest-president-explains-why-we-should-kick-rich-people-out-politics

    ReplyDelete
  5. For goodness sake, the Law Society is just a society which does subservient work for the party. It has nothing to do with protection of law and justice

    ReplyDelete
  6. Just look at all the public institutions which are supposed to protect the people from the executive, instead they are all "fixing" the people. If they are willing to do this, just imagine what else has been covered up by them. You think there is no corruption, think again

    ReplyDelete
  7. "What's wrong with collecting more money?"
    Lee Kuan Yew

    https://www.facebook.com/TheNewEraSingapore/posts/611369322249177

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wow, a steep discount of 373% is very generous lor..
    or put another way, an overcharging..ooops, I mean overbilling and mark up of 373% is very generous lor.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is over-billing by 373%. You cannot discount by more than 100%. A 100% discount means it is free of charge.

      $1 to $2 is an increase of 100%
      $2 to $1 is a discount of 50%

      Delete
  9. What is the Consummer Association Of Singapore for?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is only one consumer on this island. The consumer of your hard earn.

      Delete
  10. CLAIM NO.5

    The salary review committee has decided to cut the Prime Minister's pay, but will still be paid a larger National Bonus

    $3,072,200
    CUT TO
    $2,200,000

    Have taxpayers been Overcharged or Overbilled regarding the pay of the Prime Minister, his Ministers and the President? Are they included in the Great Singapore Sales at these fantastic discounts?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How come those people never pay back what they were overpaid? There is a very strong question of integrity.

      Delete
    2. "What's wrong with collecting more money?"
      Lee Kuan Yew

      https://www.facebook.com/TheNewEraSingapore/posts/611369322249177

      Delete
    3. Annon 7:12pm. Now you know why they have discarded wearing pure white?

      Delete
  11. "...shouldn't the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) of the Singapore Police Force be called in to investigate?"

    According to the CAD website: "The mission of CAD is to prevent, deter and detect financial crime."

    In my layman's interpretation, the key word here is "crime". Overcharging is not a crime like stealing or cheating. Susan Lim was charged for "professional misconduct", not for a criminal offence. I suppose "misconduct" cases are within the purview of the respective agencies, eg LawSoc for lawyers, SMC for doctors, etc.... , and do not come under the CAD, unless it is suspected that a crime has been commited. That is why Susan Lim's husband made a complaint to the SMC re Dr Hong, not to the CAD. In any case, all the skulduggery mentioned here are "unconcionable", to borrow a word used by Sylvia Lim.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is cheating a crime? If I recall correctly, Glenn Knight was taken down because the invoice for his car did not match the government loan for the purchase.

      Delete
    2. LawSoc characterised WongParnership's claims as not "overcharging" but a reduction in bills. Why? Because "overcharging" is a misconduct, and is a chargeable (litigable) offence?

      "The Law Society does not condone overcharging by lawyers, and complaints about overcharging are subject to a statutory regime. Complaints made to the Law Society are referred to independent committees for investigation. These committees are not appointed by the Law Society, and it has no control over them."
      Shawn Toh
      Director, Communications
      The Law Society of Singapore


      Delete
  12. I have said it before. These 2 professions need some liberalization and open to competition. Currently, they look like they are ring fenced to protect their livelihood. Competition is good and will only lead to lower costs for consumers.

    ReplyDelete
  13. What is the logic for SMC to be appealing against the cut down charges ?
    Shouldn't that be the interest of the Alvin Yeo's law firm to do so ?
    Shouldn't SMC be happy with the new charges, even though they are not paying out from their pockets.
    Or is the incestuous relationship between these 2 politically connected bodies so steep they do not know where to draw the line?

    ReplyDelete