The 2016 amendments to Singapore’s consumer protection (Fair Trading) act: A missed opportunity
Singapore hasrecently amended its Consumer Protection(Fair Trading) Act in response to callsfor tougher action against unscrupulous traders. The revisions were aimed atstrengthening the government’s ability to deter and punish errant traders, witha focus on deterrence. To this end, the government introduced new investigatorypowers, enhanced court powers and added one substantive consumer remedy.Despite this, the authors argue that Singapore’s consumer protection regimeremains inadequate because: unfair practices have yet to attract criminalsanctions; no guidelines were issued to provide transparency and clarity on howthe broad investigatory powers and harsher court powers are to be implemented;no measures to encourage reform were introduced; and consumer remedies remaininsufficient. In this article, the revisions are discussed with a comparison tothe Hong Kong and Australian regimes. Suggestions for further reform are thenmade for the purpose of achieving a more robust and comprehensive consumerprotection regime.