17 November 2004
Oral Answer to Parliamentary Question for MHA during Parliament Sitting on traffic offenders who can still be served subsequently with outstanding arrest warrants after paying up their fines on 17 November 04
MP Zainudin Nordin:
To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) how long are the records kept for traffic offenders (i) who have not paid their fines and (ii) who are wanted under an arrest warrant stored in his Ministry's databank; and (b) how is it possible that some traffic offenders who surrendered themselves on an arrest warrant and later paid up all their fines, can still be served subsequently with outstanding arrest warrants.
Any traffic offender who fails to pay a composition fine by the expiry date as reflected in the Notice of Traffic Offence will be issued a notice to attend court to answer to the charge preferred against him. If he fails to show up in court, a warrant of arrest will then be issued against him. The records of these outstanding fines and warrants are kept by the Traffic Police until they are dealt with.
2 When a traffic offender surrenders himself to the Traffic Police, the Traffic Police will ensure that all his other outstanding traffic offences are dealt with concurrently. This is so that he will not be unduly inconvenienced. Nonetheless, it is possible that an offender who has paid up his fine for a traffic offence can still be issued a warrant of arrest subsequently. Let me explain.
3 Take the case of a traffic offender who fails to pay the composition fine by the expiry date and also fails to attend court to answer the charge. The court will then issue a warrant of arrest. He subsequently surrenders himself to the Traffic Police and submits an appeal. The Traffic Police, in consultation with the Attorney General's Chambers, decides to re-offer him the option of compounding his traffic offence by paying a fine, which he does. In this case, even though the offender has already paid the composition fine for his traffic offence, he will still be required to attend court to show cause as to why he failed to attend court. If he fails again to turn up in court, another warrant of arrest will be issued against him.