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Translucent Elephants - Singapore's Kangaroo Courts

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  • dpennz
    From: dpennz Sg_Review 17 Oct 2005 Translucent elephants It was about a year back, when a disciplined force leaked a police report,
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 16, 2005
      From: "dpennz" <dpennz@...>
      17 Oct 2005
      Translucent elephants

      It was about a year back, when a disciplined force leaked a police
      report, which was confidential, to the press. The following
      question in Parliament by Mr Chiam See Tong, resulted in a "we will
      check" from Assoc Prof Ho Peng Kee, and no follow up answers
      released to public.

      Then a complaint on an innovative, unobstrusive, and very
      cute "demonstration" of elephants. The identity of the person who
      complaint, was shrouded in mystery, as it should be kept

      One cannot help, but question, why the differing standards in
      confidentiality and accountability in the 2 cases? It does not help
      that the earlier case involves an opposition party member, while the
      second case involves the ruling party's rank and file. Such
      ambiguity and "double standards" must not be allowed in the Police
      Force, which is an impartial and upright organisation, which
      Singaporeans, including myself looks up to for security and

      I hope the Police Force can either choose to release
      the identity of the complaint made in the second case, or identify
      the breach in confidentiality of the first case, to regain it's
      image of impartiality, and public confidence.


      Govt applies law equally? You must be joking
      14 Oct 05


      The Government’s response to the call for civil
      disobedience has thrown up some real propaganda gems.
      Deputy Prime Minister Wong Kan Seng tried: "We cannot
      apply the law to some and turn a blind eye to others.
      If we do, then the law becomes the real white

      More recently the Prime Minister, through his press
      secretary, reiterated: “The Government must act when
      the law is broken, whether by opposition politicians
      or government supporters.”

      Nothing mocks the truth more boldly than these
      assertions. Consider the following examples:

      Example 1. The Government had given its blessings to a
      few hundred NTUC demonstrators to protest against the
      US Embassy over the Francis Seow matter (the PAP had
      accused the US of supporting Seow’s bid to enter
      opposition politics). The traffic police were even on
      hand to ensure that the demonstrators were not
      inconvenienced by ensuring that the protest proceeded
      without undue interruption. But when six protesters
      decided to do the same over the Iraq war in 2003, they
      were arrested even before they could begin. More
      recently, the PAP Government sent the riot police to
      order four protesters demonstrating outside the CPF
      Building in August this year to disperse.

      Example 2. Earlier this year, PAP women MPs held a
      walkathon to commemorate International Women’s Day.
      But when the Open Singapore Centre applied to have a
      marathon to mark International Human Rights Day in
      2000, the police turned it down. Every application for
      a march or protest that has come from parties
      unrelated to the PAP has been denied, including
      several from the Singapore Democrats, Think Centre, J.
      B. Jeyaretnam and others.

      Example 3. In 1997, PAP ministers were caught
      red-handed entering polling stations when they were
      not supposed to. When the opposition lodged police
      complaints, the Attorney-General said that the
      ministers were in the polling station as opposed to
      loitering outside them and therefore not in breach of
      any law.

      Internet activist Robert Ho then reasoned, and not
      incorrectly, that if what the PAP ministers did was
      not illegal, then Singaporeans should also enter
      polling stations in the same manner. Mr Ho was quickly
      charged with attempting to incite public disorder and
      hauled off to the Institute of Mental Health.

      Example 4. Perhaps the best demonstration of the PAP’s
      selective application of laws is the case of Martyn
      See. While it deems the film Singapore Rebel illegal,
      the Government allowed MediaCorp to screen
      documentaries about PAP leaders, including Lee Kuan
      Yew and Lee Hsien Loong in documentaries like Success
      Story and Up Close.

      Example 5. In 1997, PAP ministers obtained a copy of
      the police report that Mr Tang Liang Hong had made
      about them. Mr Lee Kuan Yew then distributed the
      report and claimed that Mr Tang had defamed him and 10
      other of his colleagues. The whole gang then sued Mr
      Tang for defamation. In the first instance, the
      ministers had no right to get their subordinates, in
      this case the police, to hand over the complaint and
      then use it to sue Mr Tang in their personal
      capacities. This is clearly an abuse of power and the

      Example 6. Mr Boon Suan Ban remains incarcerated “at
      the President’s pleasure” because he has been accused
      of defaming Chief Justice Yong Pung How. He has not
      been given a trial and the right to defend himself.

      Example 7. In August 1996 the SDP had hung some
      bunting with salutary messages and celebrating the
      National Day at the Bukit Gombak constituency which
      was then under the SDP. The Government quickly sent
      PWD workers to pull down and confiscate the flags. It
      the meantime in a neighbouring constituency, PAP
      flags, without any reference to National Day,
      fluttered freely in the wind.

      Example 8. Likewise, while permits are denied for
      opposition parties to hold public speeches, PAP
      members and supporters freely conduct public talks. In
      1995, Ling How Doong, the former member of parliament
      (MP) for Bukit Gombak was not allowed to give a speech
      during a National Day dinner in his own constituency.
      A few days later, a PAP minister and another official
      of the Residents’ Committee came to the constituency
      and gave public speeches during National Day dinner

      The PAP Government tries to portray itself as the
      champion of the rule of law and that it treats
      everyone equally under the law. But in truth it abuses
      the law to entrench its own power and interests at the
      expense of the opposition and the people.


      From: Robert HO <ic019@...>
      Date: Sat Oct 15, 2005 0:09pm
      Subject: PAP abuses legal process again to avoid shameful publicity ic019
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      Govt runs away from legal action by protesters
      14 Oct 05


      For all its bravado, the PAP Government never ceases
      to run away from a fight it knows it cannot come away
      looking good. The latest example is the
      Attorney-General (AG) asking the courts to have the
      legal action taken by Ms Chee Siok Chin, Ms Monica
      Kumar, and Mr Yap Keng Ho against the Government

      What's more the AG is applying for the dismissal to be
      heard in chambers where the public cannot attend.

      Ms Chee, Ms Kumar, and Mr Yap had filed an Originating
      Motion in September 2005 and named Minister for Home
      Affairs Wong Kan Seng and Commissioner of Police Khoo
      Boon Hui as respondents.

      The three activists had asked the courts to declare
      that the police had acted unlawfully and
      unconstitutionally when it ordered the four protesters
      (including Charles Tan who is away presently) to
      disperse during a silent protest outside the CPF
      Building on 11 August 2005. Under the Constitution,
      only five or more people gathered in a public area is
      deemed an unlawful assembly.

      In its application, the AG has said that the
      Originating Motion should be “struck out or dismissed”
      because it is “irregular, scandalous, frivolous or
      vexatious and/or that it is an abuse of the process of
      the Court.”

      In addition, the AG wants the costs of its application
      be paid by the protesters.

      The hearing for the protesters' Originating Motion is
      set for 21 October at 10 am. The AG's application is
      set for 19 October 2005, two days earlier, at 2:30 pm.

      Question: Why can't the AG make his argument that the
      Originating Motion is irregular, scandalous, frivolous
      or vexatious at the hearing itself on 21 October and
      ask the judge to dismiss it? Why go through the
      trouble of asking the courts to do this at another
      session in chambers?

      Answer: Because the Government doesn't want the matter
      to be debated in an open court where the public has

      There you have it, Singaporeans. The PAP says that
      citizens have no right to protest. If the courts go
      along and dismiss the protesters' Originating Motion,
      it would be further confirmation that we effectively
      live in a one-party dictatorship.


      The Attorney-General's application


      Originating Motion ) In the Matter of section 5 (i) of
      the Miscellaneous Offences
      (Public Order and nuisance) Act (Cap. 184)
      No. 39 of 2005/A ) Miscellaneous Offences (Public
      Order and Nuisance)
      (Assemblies and Processions) Rules


      In the matter of Article 14 (1) (b) of the
      Constitutionof the Republic of Singapore




      3. YAP KENG HO (NRIC NO.)





      … Respondents


      Let ALL PARTIES concerned attend before the Judge in
      Chambers on the 19 day of Oct 2005 at 2.30 pm on the
      hearing of an application by the Attorney-General on
      behalf of the 1st and 2nd Respondents for this action
      to be struck out or dismissed and costs of and
      incidental to this application be paid by the
      Applicants to the Respondents.

      The grounds of this application are that the
      Originating Motion is irregular, scandalous, frivolous
      or vexatious and/or that it is an abuse of the process
      of the Court.

      Dated this 7th day of October 2005.

      Entered No. 5162 of 2005

      Clerk santhi

      This summons is taken out by the Attorney-General
      whose address for service is The Attorney-General’s
      Chambers, 1 Coleman Street #10-00, Singapore 179803.

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