1. The driver, Mr. Ma Chi, should bear most – if not all – of the responsibility for this preventable tragedy because of his recklessness and negligence (based on preliminary photo and video evidence gathered online). Consequently, I believe that some form of constructive compensation would be fair for the victim’s families.
a. The buck, however, stops with Mr. Ma. His family does not deserve to be cursed or abused.
b. His nationality is of no concern whatsoever. This is simply a case of senselessness on the part of an irresponsible driver (the taxi driver, Mr. Cheng Teck Hong, could not have done anything differently, for Mr. Ma was clearly not thinking about the potential ramifications of his actions).
2. The present sentiments of anger – if not xenophobic in nature – are somewhat justified, because we demand for stricter enforcement measures, and for our agencies to crack down more punitively on drivers who risk the lives of others on the road. We do not tolerate such blatant flippancy.
3. I am proud of, and heartened by the way our country has rallied spontaneously behind the taxi driver and his family, with the providence of financial assistance and emotional support.
4. How should the media portray an individual if he happens to be the cause and victim of the accident? This time round, opponents have poignantly picked up how the story was covered in the various newspapers (it should be mentioned that different publications did so dissimilarly): using certain adjectives to describe Mr. Ma, focusing disproportionately on his story instead of the other parties, highlighting seemingly irrelevant perspectives et cetera.
5. On the conversion of foreign driving licences (cognisant that some have raised past instances of traffic accidents on the road); it makes sense to make potential international drivers go through the practical tests as well, and not just the Basic Theory Test per se. This might not address the issue of reckless driving directly (having more stringent assessments would not necessarily reduce isolated cases, and individuals who go through the Singapore system remain vulnerable to these momentary lapses), but these requirements can certainly provide heightened assurance and reinforce the importance of safety consciousness. These are small, but crucial steps.
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Speed and recklessness gave rise to the aforementioned misfortune; let us, as rational citizens, not repeat that same mistake, where our hastily drawn and ill-conceived conclusions might in turn dent the credibility of our voices, and kill off any hope of change.