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Bertha HarianBertha Harian

News Reports

Explanations and clarifications

I was hoping against hope that the G wouldn’t appeal the Hougang “no costs’’ ruling. It has. The first thought that entered my mind was “Gosh! The G really doesn’t like losing…’’ So armed with a determination to give the G the benefit of the doubt, I ploughed through the articles in both ST and Today.

Okay, I can see a point: If the judge had made an exception in this case, allowing the Hougang resident not to pay $10,000 costs on the basis of “public importance’’ and “no personal gain’’, then others might be tempted to use the same argument. And the G would be out of pocket!!! Okay, I jest.

Seems the G thinks that the judge doesn’t have the unfettered discretion to make such rulings against cost. He was making “new law’’, the G is arguing. I find it a bit strange. We’ve talking for ages about giving the judges some leeway in sentencing, and we’re arguing about whether they can or cannot order costs? Actually, what would happen if the judge awarded not the full $10,000 but $10 to be paid to the G? Does he have the discretion to vary the cost?

Also, if the G “wins’’ this “aspect’’ of the case, does this mean the Hougang will have to pay up? Or is it merely seeking a clarification?

I am not a lawyer but I think the general public will have an interest in this case. So here’s hoping that we’ll get a full airing minus legal jargon.

While I am at it, I wish the media would get out of this habit it has about how newsmakers were “explaining’’ things. As in, how the G “further explained the benefit to the public and private bodies’’ if the highest court can clarify the issue.
The usual verb is “said’’ or “added’’. Just say “The G added that the public and private bodies would benefit if….’’
To say someone “explained’’ something puts you firmly on the side of supposed explainer.

Enough said.

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An ex-journalist who can't get enough of the news after being in the business for 26 years

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