Time to consider a voluntary approach

Singapore became self governing in 1959. The government need to change social behavior. They introduced laws that are mandatory and imposed heavy fines for non-compliance. Singapore became a “fine” country.

More than 60 years have passed. The government still maintained the old mindset. They often passed laws and regulations that are mandatory and imposed big penalties for non-compliance.

There are many instances of where behaviors can be changed through voluntary means. Some examples are:

a) Return of trays at food centers
b) Wearing of mask on public transport (as the covid virus is now mild
c) Crossing roads at controlled crossings.

Sadly, our ministers still think of the mandatory approach. They cannot understand that the voluntary approach can work better on a more educated population. They are not aware that the people today are more educated and better informed.

A mandatory approach may cause inconvenience and hardship under certain circumstances, and are not really necessary.

For example, it may be difficult for seniors to clear their trays at the food centers. Customers who have many bags to carry may also find it difficult to clear the trays. Some customers are not aware of the location of the return tray stations.

It is unnecessary to wear a mask on buses and trains that are not crowded. It can be inconvenient, when the commuter has to carry several bags.

Where the behavior is not risky, it is better to allow people to use their discretion, rather than to impose mandatory rules.

It is time for a change in our approach. We can adopt voluntary measures first, and implement mandatory measures if they are really necessary.


Tan Kin Lian




9 Responses to “Time to consider a voluntary approach”

  • Sporeans Keep Govt Employed:

    You mean the laws are as old as the people who made them?

    Some coffeeshops have returned to the old habit of the cleaners clearing the table for you.

    Back in the day, hawkers carried your food to your table and they clear the table after you have finished eating. No cleaners at all.

    Return tray mean you are doing part of the cleaners’ job. Self service means you do part of the hawkers’ job. Maybe they should give customers rebates for these services.

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  • what a joke!!:

    What a ‘fine’ country we have become!! Of course there is nothing wrong in collecting more ‘fine’$$$$ The mindset 60 years ago is still valid today and beyond!!

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  • Larry:

    A big reason why the government makes absurd and ludicrous rules is because they are not on the ground. They sit in their ivory tower and come up with policies that are detached from real life!

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  • The Long and Winding Road.:

    Cb, Singaporeans give the votes to PAP lord over them. Knowing there would be no safeguards against the absolute power of the PAP. Now the PAP can easily wield their power freely to control not only your actions but also your thoughts. The PAP are prosecutorial beasts.

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  • unvax:

    “Wearing of mask on public transport (as the covid virus is now mild”
    3 children died of “now mild” covid virus after maximum isolation period for fully vaccinated individuals and children below the age of 12 years old was reduced from 10 days to 7 days. 0 child died of Delta variant.
    Without masks, 7-day Moving Average of Local Cases increased from 1,713 (06/09/2022) to 1,947 (15/09/2022).

    COVID vaccination shouldn’t be mandatory.

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  • I beg to differ:

    I beg to differ.

    Look at previously all the pmd incidents.

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  • Temusik Patriot:

    Vax or Uvax…civilse or uncivilsed A matter of CHOICE lah tan ahhhh!!!

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  • Singaporean R Free Rider:

    TKL, you said:
    Sadly, our ministers still think of the mandatory approach. They cannot understand that the voluntary approach can work better on a more educated population.
    Dear TKL, your naivety is shocking…

    You mean educated = good and responsible people ?

    Did you walk the ground ? Yes, if you walk the ground frequently, you will realize there are many irresponsible parents amidst us, very very irresponsible.

    Especially educated people, who screwed around without taking responsibility and make taxpayer like you and me to clean up their smelly sh1ts.

    Chua Soon Ho (Jackie Chua) caught with mistress

    And the make up of Opposition are largely such kind of irresponsible people.

    You vote for Opposition you die faster as more irresponsible will enter parliament.

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    I will agree with the writer if the increase in population is not at 100% more than true blue Singaporeans. There will be more social problems arising as the economy goes downhill. As the ability to keep afloat financially diminishes, we will be witnessing increasing bad Public behaviour. The govt. is delusional if it thinks it can control the masses by passing Laws in Parliament. The demographics of the population has changed. The Little India riots was a warning which the govt. ignored. The police cowered in fear then. At present there are not enough policemen but our govt. is again increasing the population by calling for GT. When bread and butter issues increase, the third world here is not going to be following the Laws set out in Parliament.

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