Oral Answer by Senior Minister of State for Law, Indranee Rajah, to Parliamentary Question on Good Samaritan Law
29 May 2014 Posted in Parliamentary speeches and responses
To ask the Minister for Law whether he can give an update on the assessment of a need for a Good Samaritan law to be implemented in Singapore.
Mdm Speaker, the hon Member had previously raised similar questions before this House in 2008 and 2012. Then, the Government explained why there was no need to introduce a Good Samaritan law in the immediate future in Singapore. Our assessment today remains that such a law is unnecessary at the present time. The reasons previously given continue to apply.
Our laws do not give rise to any major liability concerns for Good Samaritans. In respect of civil liability, our laws only require a person who offers assistance to comply with the standard of care that can be reasonably expected of a person of his skill and experience. As for criminal liability, a person is generally liable only if there is an intent to cause harm or injury. Clearly, a Good Samaritan acting in good faith will not fall into this category.
Singaporeans are not fearful of helping those in need, as can be seen by examples of our citizens stepping forward in emergency situations. For instance, in October last year, five members of public helped to extricate a taxi driver and his passengers when the taxi was crushed by a tipper truck in a road accident. There have been no reported cases where persons had refused to come forward out of fear of incurring legal liability. However, should this context change, we will re-examine this issue.
Last updated on 29 May 2014