An Appeal Letter

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Train Officer ‘Atapong’ was desperate when he Whatsapp me. He told me that he just got a summons from LTA asking him – owner of the car to furnish the driver’s particulars regarding an offence of not paying for the ‘Day License’ whilst his OPC car was used during restricted hours.

TO Atapong is from Jurong Crew and I’m from Tanah Merah. Due to our shift patterns, we hardly meet. We communicated via Whatsapp. I ask for the details and a ‘good reason’ to appeal against the offence. He pleaded with me to help him. I told him writing an appeal letter is ‘chicken feat’. But whether LTA would accept it is another matter. Never mind you just try your best lah he told me.

TO Atapong is not the only person asking me for help in drafting an official letter or memo to the relevant department. Over the years, I’ve been doing just that. I’ve kept samples of all the addresses of government depts or statutory boards in my Gmail documents or notes. It’s all stored in iCloud. I just need to change the particulars and tweak it a little in terms of the nature or circumstances of the offences to finish an official memo within half an hour. I have written countless times such appeal letters.

The latest piece written by me is for TO Atapong. Pls refer to the edited memo below.

9 April 2012

Notice No: 3121789151

The Officer In Charge
LTA
Sin Ming Drive
Singapore

RE : APPEAL OF OPC OFFENCE

Please refer to the above captioned matter.

2 On 23 Mar 2012 @10.53 am, my car SFU XXXX was summoned for an OPC offence along CTE before the exit to Braddel Road.

3 On the said day, my wife was on MC. (Pls refer to the duplicate copy of her MC) I had to rush to get a copy of her MC together with her statement to submit to her company. I also had to attend to her since she was very sick and she had a history of fainting spells. I was too busy taking care of her and the children. I was also working the afternoon shift on that day which was a Friday. On the next day is Sat and I had to go JB for some urgent business.

4 I wish to appeal to your office to waive the said summons. It was a genuine lapse of concentration on my part. I was careless and a stupid mistake was made by me. I did not know it until I got the notice from LTA. This is the first time that I have committed this offence in all my years of driving an OPC car.

5 Looking forward to a favourable reply. Thank you for your kind consideration.

Yours Sincerely;

ATAPONG
SINGAPORE

Just this evening, TO Atapong suddenly Whatsapp me to inform me that he only got a $200 fine. He was so relieved. This is peanuts for he knows that it’s a very serious offence which could be charged in court incurring heavy fine and even jail. LTA is compassionate after all. TO Atapong told me there would not be a next time when I told him that he might not get away easily the second time round.

TO Atapong will buy me ‘Nasi Ayam Penyet’ for the services rendered. This is also peanuts. But it’s alright so long as my colleague Atapong is happy about it.

Most of the appeal letters written by me are quite successful. Sometimes, I got to keep writing one after another until the relevant department relented.

I’ll blog about a petition letter wriiten by me to PMO until that matter was resolved to the satisfaction of my friend. I’ll leave it to another time. Just watch out for it on my blog.

Updates …
As a matter of courtesy, I informed TO Atapong to read this post. Below is the exchange. It is self explanatory.

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About Gintai_昇泰

I'm a Singaporean Chinese living in the Eastern part of Singapore. I tweet on current affairs & inspirational quotes. I blog on issues or events if they interest me. I also share interesting jokes, stories or anecdotes and observations on my blog. Thanks for visiting.
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31 Responses to An Appeal Letter

  1. newball says:

    Perhaps, its best that you keep such appeal letter private or soon all the relevant Depts knows about it was coming from you and it will not be effective anymore….!!!
    Anyway, thanks for kindness in always helping others…..!!!

    • Not all from me lah. I think most come from MPS. The MPs are much more effective esp if that MP is a Minister. But then it’s always very long queue. If you see me, there is no queue. I’m available 24/7! I’m just a small fry compared to them. I just try to appeal for some compassion and hopefully their sense of reasonableness. Thks for your comment.

  2. CS Leow says:

    Agreed with new ball. There really is no need to broadcast such things all over the Net. I am not sure your friend Atapong approves. Besides, what are you trying to prove? That a small fry can take on a Goliath?

    • My fren Atapong is aware of it. He didn’t object cuz no details are revealed here ‘all over the net.’ In fact, he just bought me wanton mee earlier instead of what he had in mind. If my fren doesn’t bother why shld you? He read my blog too. I’m not proving anything. What to prove? There is nothing to prove. I just relate something interesting. Just be careful if you own an OPC.

    • Kuaychap_kia says:

      Don’t be foolish. The format of an appeal letter is nothing but just words. It’s the context that matters. Thankfully enforcement authorities are not as silly as some people for they won’t reject letters just because English looks similar; “I apologise” or “Appeal for waiver” are being read by them thousand of times.

  3. I don’t think Gintai is trying to be cocky. He’s just giving us an example of how we may help ourselves (different excuses, of course) when we get accused of traffic offences.

  4. zack Ali says:

    Langgar will you draft me a letter to PM Najib telling him to get his ass off the PM chair?…

  5. ape@kinjioleaf says:

    I agree with Yours Truthfully. An appeal letter is not difficult to write. Be objective and factual. It’s an appeal. Don’t make it sound like demand.
    Gintai, you make a better helper at MPS then some of the horrendous letters I’ve seen. I’m not suggesting you should volunteer there though. It has to be voluntary :D
    Common misconception about MP letters (especially those of ruling party) is it’s effectiveness. The government agency replies faster. That’s all. Like your friend’s case. If LTA is prepared to reduce the fine, they will. Regardless of who wrote the letter.
    Assuming the MP is worth his salt and helpers properly trained, MPS can be effective for citizens who seek genuine help but ignorant about which agency to approach or how to write a letter.
    Well done, Gintai.

  6. agongkia says:

    As for me, I dun believe in writing an appeal letter.Seeing my Minister MP to write an appeal letter has never cross my mind.Not effective but only make me feel obligated when come to the polling day.They have more important task to do.
    If one have the intention to fix me,writing an appeal letter is just to make me look pitiful and make me feel obligated.I will rather LL plead for leniency or guilty for the stated offence even if it is due to their incompetency and not my fault or even if I dun commit it , just to satisfy their urge of getting me.
    If I intentionally commit an offence,I should be punish accordingly and its fair.No if no but no appealing,no pleading or begging,No using of connection even if I have , just to get me off the hook .Dun make thing difficult for others.
    Dun let the others think that citizen will give all kind of excuses when being charged.It is UNFAIR to those genuine cases and genuine innocent victim who may get wrongfully charge because of those who intentionally commit the offence and get away with well written appeal letters.

    Be a good and law abiding citizen.No need to plead,appeal or beg.There should be no beggar in Singapore.For me,even if I kenna Wan Ong,I will just PG and forget about the incident so long as others are happy and my conscience is clear.

    • If everyone like you then the MPs will be shaking leg got nothing to do. Fact is that there is always long queue. Langgar.

    • Appeal is not beg, plea or should one feel indebted. In the case of traffic offences, appeal is for one to present certain facts to the enforcers to reduce the ‘punishment’.
      It also depends on the nature of offence. In this particular case, there is reasonable doubt that gintai’s friend did not display the OPC intentionally. However, if it’s a case of drunk driving caught on the spot, resulting in accident, Minister letter or not, the accused won’t be let off easily.

      • agongkia says:

        I once have this experience that I receive a letter to ask me to pay a fine for illegal parking where I only stop to pick up someone who is waiting for me at the roadside.Its a yellow line.Pick and go as I am also rushing for time .No other better place to pick without causing inconvenience to other road users.No uniform men around.I even have a witness to say I pick and go.Someone just accuse me of illegal parking by giving my vehicle number.I am 101% confident that no photo is even taken at that time as I was in my vehicle .

        I went down to see the officer .They took my statement and maybe consider that as an appeal letter.In the end I spent another extra S$4 coupon and was told either I pay this amount or go to Court to pay a higher amount .

        Even Gintai dun believe I sleep less than 3 hours everyday.^^

        • I assume you mean single straight yellow line.
          Like what gintai mentioned in his post, there’s no guarantee that an appeal will always get a positive result. Not forgetting the officer who handled you case also have to answer to his boss why he reduce or even void the ticket.

          • agongkia says:

            Its not a single yellow line.Its a empty space between double yellow line and a ziz zag line.
            But what is important to me here is whether I commit an offence for just picking up someone there .There are vehicles that park there during the day for hours without being summon.
            I pick up someone after office hour and get a fine for it.
            The one who make the report may not necessary be a parking attendant sitting at the coffee shop taking down numbers submitting summon quietly.
            It could be someone operating there ,whom I have offended while earning a living.

  7. Lohcifer says:

    Alan, you remind me of those petition writers of yesteryear. They set up shop near government offices with a simple table, a stool and a typewriter and charge a pittance for helping people out, filing in forms, typing them up, etc. They made very little money, earning for themselves a meager income but was an invaluable resource to many, earning admiration, respect and appreciation from those who use their services. They are all gone now. Not sure if books about old Singapore has any pictures or write-ups about these people who were very much a part of our history.

    • Dr Mike,
      Au contraire. There is still one or two around. Ban San bus terminal near to Bugis where you can take an express bus or taxi to JB where you pay $1 to have your white card filled up. Another is just before you enter Sg Woodlands causeway at JB. Now that Msia just announced white embarkation card is no longer necessary, those writers would soon be past relics. It’s a dying trade indeed.

    • And those who used to help passport applicants fill forms. :D

  8. Lohcifer says:

    There were also those who would write letters on your behalf. Coolies from China used them in the olden days. These guys used brushes and wrote in Chinese calligraphy. No typewriters, sir! I think they are all gone now.

    • Oh yes. Agreed. Still there are remnants found in Chinatown or the 2nd floor of HDB at Waterloo St opp the Kwan Yin temple where they write Chinese calligraphy on red rice papers to paste on door, windows or wall to usher in CNY. It’s called 春联!if I’m not wrong. Most of us English educated have lost this art ie Chinese calligraphy. Those were the days indeed!

  9. patriot says:

    Appreciates your helpfulness.

    Keep it up!

    patriot

    • Hi Patriot,
      Good to see you back here. It’s a long time since you last dropped by. Frankly, at my age nearly touching 50, there is nothing much for me to prove. Why should I or is there a need to?
      I’m just contented with what I am. To show off or score points only appeals to the young and restless. My finishing line is getting nearer so there is no necessity for that. I just do what I can. It’s not in my nature to turn down request for help. Those colleagues whom I have worked for about 17 yrs know me well.
      Life is just a dream. A short bliss in this transient world. It’s ‘red dust’ or 滚滚红尘 the Chinese like to describe. You shld examine the lyrics of this touching song describing our short lifespan here. http://echowillow.livejournal.com/60487.html

  10. Lohcifer says:

    Alan, you are a treasure trove of information – now I know where the few petition writers and calligraphers are. They are living treasures, really. Must go and take some photos of them soon.

  11. SG Girl says:

    I heard of someone who was given a fine due to him parking illegally because the season parking lots were taken up and there were no other lots available. He then called the relevant dept. to argue his case saying that that was no fault of his as he’s already paid for the season parking coupons and there weren’t any parking lots for him. Also, they should ensure that there are sufficient season parking lots. He was told to go down personnaly to explain his case. He then asked if he would be reimbursed for his parking fee at their site (apart from wasting his time to travel there). In the end, he need not pay for the fine nor having to go down personally. :)

    Some years ago, my law lecturer was penalised by a mall’s car park attendant an additional $2. He felt strongly of the injustice (toward him). Upon reaching home, he immediately drafted six pages rebuttal on why he shouldn’t be charged for the additional amount. However, when he had finished the draft, he felt ridiculous to have spent time writing six pages just for a $2 fee. He then tore the pages away. Oh lawyers….

    • Oh I didn’t know that you are a law student or studied law before. What a surprise!
      The problem here in Sg is that there are too many laws – 1001 laws from not flushing toilet to parking or illegal hawking etc etc. if you just step out of the line sure kena summons. I would venture to say that almost every Singaporean has got summons many times in his lifetime esp parking offences.
      The law is there against illegal parking but that doesn’t mean we enforced it strictly to the letter of the law. Whether it causes obstruction or availability of parking lots etc.
      But since most parking enforcement is ‘outsourced’ to 3rd party, they simply whack according to the law. Maybe it’s due to quota by the enforcement agency or revenue ? We do t know. One good example I could think of is when there is major event at Expo. Even the carpark lots are plenty yet not enug parking. Some cars park at the side of road without causing obstruction and not a major road, yet those Cisco officers were so busy issuing summons tickets on those cars park along the long stretch of road in front of the construction site next to Changi Mall. Each ticket is $70! Wow easy money!
      If you go to those countries around us, they are worst with illegal hawkers and illegal parking everywhere. I’m not saying we shld be them. But we are the extreme of them. That is why there is no creativity etc here! Poor despatch rider park to deliver mail got a ticket. He didn’t cause any obstruction. He only earns a pittance and how is he to survive? These are the things they just don’t care. U go out of line I whack. U die ur own business. That is your own funeral. That is the kind of society we are living.

      • agongkia says:

        Worse is those plain clothes .Watch too much TV.Hiding one corner to issue summon .
        I once saw a young couple in the midnight at Yishun carpark peeping at vehicles wind screen.Thinking that they are about to commit vehicle theft,I aim for good citizen award…Alamak..wasted my time,.its a young man bringing his girlfriend in the night issuing summon.
        Also nothing unusual to see Abang driving his company transport or bicycle to drop the summon auntie to issue summon .
        Someone at kopitiam was heard saying they can spent half hour on summon,go back sleep 4 hours,come back half hour any how choot few numbers ,can report off.
        I want to be car park uncle leow.

        • That is how the govt regenerate income and revenue out of nothing by just issuing summons of all kinds since there is a whole list of things they can summon you besides parking offences.

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