By Derrick A Paulo, TODAY
SINGAPORE: Non-constituency Member of Parliament Steve Chia was charged in court on Wednesday with dangerous driving.
However, he does not intend to plead guilty and has submitted to the Traffic Police a letter of explanation about the incident in July, when his car hit a bus at a cross junction.
If he is found guilty, though, it could scupper his eligibility to contest in the next General Elections.
Any person convicted and sentenced to a jail term of at least one year or fined at least $2,000 cannot qualify to be an MP for at least five years.
The penalty for dangerous driving is a maximum fine of $3,000 or a jail term of up to 12 months.
Asked about the implications of the case on his political career, Mr Chia said: "If it's not my destiny to be elected, I'll accept it and move on. But does it mean I give up? No. I'll try my best to put up a challenge to the People's Action Party."
At this point, he is unsure about his chances.
"I don't know whether the case will be concluded before or after the elections," he said. But, he added that it would be "questionable" if the courts were to fine him the maximum amount because "nobody was injured from the impact of my car crashing into the bus".
According to him, a woman passenger on the bus suffered a minor injury because the driver applied the emergency brake.
He is disputing the allegation that he beat the red light when he ran into the SBS Transit bus at the junction of Braddell and Bishan roads on July 22.
His case will be mentioned again in court next month. - TODAY