Lim Cheng Wai v Public Prosecutor

JurisdictionSingapore
JudgeWee Chong Jin CJ
Judgment Date01 September 1988
Neutral Citation[1988] SGHC 68
Docket NumberMagistrate's Appeal No 139 of 1987
Date01 September 1988
Year1988
Published date19 September 2003
Plaintiff CounselM Rajaram (Raja & Partners)
Citation[1988] SGHC 68
Defendant CounselLoke Yoon Kee (Deputy Public Prosecutor)
CourtHigh Court (Singapore)
Subject MatterCriminal Procedure and Sentencing,Permitting another person to use motor vehicle without insurance cover,Risk defined,Sentencing,Insurance,Whether there was insurance policy in relation to use of motor vehicle exists,Whether fine of $300 and order of disqualification manifestly excessive,Motor vehicle insurance,s 3(2) Motor Vehicles (Third-Party Risks and Compensation) Act (Cap 88, 1970 Ed)

Cur Adv Vult

The appellant was charged with an offence under s 3(1) of the Motor Vehicles (Third-Party Risks and Compensation) Act (Cap 88, 1970 Ed).

Section 3(1) reads as follows:

Subject to the provisions of this Act, it shall not be lawful for any person to use or to cause or permit any other person to use a motor vehicle unless there is in force in relation to the use of the motor vehicle by that person or that other person, as the case may be, such a policy of insurance or such a security in respect of third-party risk as complies with the requirements of this Act.



The appellant claimed trial to the charge.
He was convicted and sentenced to a fine of $300 and disqualified from driving class 4 motor vehicles for a period of 12 months.

The facts are not in dispute.
On 26 July 1985, the appellant permitted one Quek Wee Beng to use a school bus to ferry adult passengers. At that time, he did not possess an Adult Workers Contract Permit (AWCP) and was therefore not licensed to carry adult passengers under r 41 of the Traffic (Public Service Vehicles) Rules 1976.

The sole issue in this appeal is whether there was a policy of insurance in force in relation to the use of the motor vehicle at the material time.


As I have said in PP v See Albert [1971] 1 MLJ 47 , the answer must depend on a consideration of the material provisions of the insurance policy in question.
In this case, the uses to which the vehicle can be put are defined in the `Limitations as to use` clause and Memo B in the policy. The relevant clauses provide as follows:

Limitations as to use

Use only for the carriage of passengers or goods in connection with the policy holder`s business. The policy does not cover -

(1) Use of racing, pacemaking, reliability trial or speed-testing.

(2) Use whilst drawing a trailer except the towing (other than for reward) of any one disabled mechanically propelled vehicle.



Memo B

It is hereby declared and agreed that the `limitations as to use` under this policy is extended as follows:

(a) Use for the carriage of adult passengers under an Adult Workers Contract Permit.

(b) Use for the carriage of not more than 40 passengers for hire or reward.



On a literal reading of the `limitations as to use` clause, the insurance coverage encompasses the carriage of passengers or goods in connection with the policy holder`s business.
Prima facie, this includes the carriage of all categories of passengers in connection with the policy holder`s business which is described as that of a `bus owner/ driver`. However, this clause must be read with Memo B...

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6 cases
  • Er Kee Jeng v Public Prosecutor
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 15 March 2006
    ...43 Yet, this approach appears to run contrary to an observation made peripherally by the late Wee Chong Jin CJ in Lim Cheng Wai v PP [1988] SLR 731 at 734, [I]f upon its true construction, the policy covers the use of the vehicle in question, the policy may yet be voidable at the option of ......
  • Teo Rong Zhi Saimonn v PP
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 23 September 2013
    ...had to therefore be disregarded: at [25] and [26] . Er Kee Jeng v PP [2006] 2 SLR (R) 485; [2006] 2 SLR 485 (folld) Lim Cheng Wai v PP [1988] 2 SLR (R) 123; [1988] SLR 731 (folld) PP v Lee Hong Hwee [2004] 1 SLR (R) 39; [2004] 1 SLR 39 (folld) Stewart Ashley James v PP [1996] 3 SLR (R) 106;......
  • Sulaiman bin Mohd Hassan v PP
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 2 June 2021
    ...respondent. Case(s) referred to Cogley v Sherwood [1959] 2 QB 311 (refd) Gilbert v McKay [1946] 1 All ER 458 (refd) Lim Cheng Wai v PP [1988] 2 SLR(R) 123; [1988] SLR 731 (refd) Muhammad Faizal bin Rahim v PP [2012] 1 SLR 116 (refd) Nottingham City Council v Woodings [1994] RTR 72 (refd) PP......
  • Er Kee Jeng v Public Prosecutor
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 15 March 2006
    ...43 Yet, this approach appears to run contrary to an observation made peripherally by the late Wee Chong Jin CJ in Lim Cheng Wai v PP [1988] SLR 731 at 734, [I]f upon its true construction, the policy covers the use of the vehicle in question, the policy may yet be voidable at the option of ......
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