Fear coerces people to follow rules. When abeyance of law is at the discretion of individuals, then a society degenerates and chaos is likely to occur. In countries where the rule of law reigns supreme, nobody can dare encroach state land, forest, or amenity plots; nor convert green agriculture land into housing societies under garb of welfare, as is done in Pakistan by the powerful elite.
Instead of wasting money on repetitive advertisement of Covid-19 protocols, if the government had strictly imposed fines on those who do not wear masks, thousands of lives could have been saved. In other countries, people strictly obey traffic rules because violation involves heavy fines, in addition to restrictions imposed on driving licenses. In the US, a car has to stop momentarily in front of a red stop sign, even if no other car is present. Any violation detected by the traffic cameras involves a fine of $500 imposed, along with other stern penalties. In the UK, even the Prime Minister’s car has to stop on a red signal.
There was a time when the streets of Singapore and Bangkok were littered with waste; people would spit everywhere. Now, after the government installed cameras and imposed hefty fines, they are considerably clean. Unfortunately, it is in the nature of human beings to break rules. Our government should seriously consider installing security cameras in major cities for better surveillance and hence better governance.
Malik Tariq Ali
Published in The Express Tribune, April 29th, 2021.