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Government Acts Against Instigators and Key Participants in Illegal Bus Driver Strike

1 December: The Government acts against instigators and key participants involved in illegal strike.

01 December 2012

  1. The Police have substantially completed their investigations into the illegal strike on 26 and 27 November 2012 involving SMRT bus drivers who deliberately failed to turn up for work as required.
  2. The strike was planned and premeditated. It disrupted our public transport which is an essential service, and posed a threat to public order.
  3. The Public Prosecutor has decided to charge a total of 5 bus drivers who instigated or participated in the illegal strike. Between 28 and 29 November 2012, the Police arrested 4 bus drivers who were subsequently charged in Court for engaging in a conspiracy to instigate others to participate in the strike. On 1 December 2012, the Public Prosecutor obtained a summons for one more person involved in the strike to be charged in Court on Monday, 3 December, under section 9(1) of the Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) Act (Chapter 67). If convicted, the drivers will face a fine not exceeding $2,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or both on each charge.
  4. In addition, 29 SMRT bus drivers have been sternly warned by the Police for participating in the strike. The Controller of Work Passes has revoked their work permits, and the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority will be repatriating them. These bus drivers who persisted in the strike were absent on either or both days of the illegal strike without reason. Some had medical certificates, but notwithstanding this, there is evidence of their involvement in the strike.
  5. Barring any new developments, we do not expect further arrests or repatriations related to this illegal strike. The Police will be issuing warnings to the others who were involved, but no further action will be taken against them and they will be allowed to remain and work in Singapore, so long as they continue to abide by our laws.
  6. The actions of these SMRT bus drivers disrupted an essential service. While the SMRT bus drivers may have had grievances, these should have been raised through the legal and proper means available. 5 persons will face charges in court for the offences committed, and will be dealt with in accordance with the law. 29 persons who were blatant and persistent in their unlawful acts have had their Work Permits revoked and will be repatriated. Those who returned to work upon realising that this action was illegal will be issued warnings by the Police.