The 2016 Amendments to Singapore’s Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act — A Missed Opportunity
University of Tasmania Law Review Vol 36 No 2 2017 15-48
27 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2018
Date Written: November 16, 2017
Singapore has recently amended its Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act in response to calls for tougher action against unscrupulous traders. The revisions were aimed at strengthening the government’s ability to deter and punish errant traders, with a focus on deterrence. To this end, the government introduced new investigatory powers, enhanced court powers and added one substantive consumer remedy. Despite this, the authors argue that Singapore’s consumer protection regime remains inadequate because: unfair practices have yet to attract criminal sanctions; no guidelines were issued to provide transparency and clarity on how the broad investigatory powers and harsher court powers are to be implemented; no measures to encourage reform were introduced; and consumer remedies remain insufficient. In this article, the revisions are discussed with a comparison to the Hong Kong and Australian regimes. Suggestions for further reform are then made for the purpose of achieving a more robust and comprehensive consumer protection regime.
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