Written Answer by Minister for Law, K Shanmugam, to Parliamentary Question on the introduction of a Good Samaritan law in Singapore
14 Feb 2012 Posted in Parliamentary speeches and responses
Associate Professor Fatimah Lateef, Marine Parade GRC
To ask the Minister for Law whether it is time to reconsider the appropriateness of introducing a Good Samaritan law in Singapore.
The honourable Member last raised this issue in 2008 with Professor S Jayakumar, then the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Law. Professor Jayakumar stated that there were no plans to enact such a law in the immediate future. The reasons given by him still apply today.
Good Samaritan laws have been enacted in other countries to address liability concerns.
In Singapore, there are no major liability concerns for Good Samaritans. Civil liability will generally not attach to a Good Samaritan who acts out of necessity, and with the care that can reasonably be expected of a person having his skill and experience. As for criminal liability, this generally requires malign intent, and will not attach to a Good Samaritan who acts in good faith.
There have also been no reported incidents where members of the public refused to render assistance because of liability concerns. In fact, we often see in the news examples of Singaporeans rendering help to strangers in need. Just recently, two joggers rescued a man from a suicide attempt at Bedok Reservoir.
It therefore remains our assessment that there is no need to introduce Good Samaritan legislation in Singapore. We will continue to study the experience of other jurisdictions and will review our position if the need arises.
Last updated on 25 Nov 2012