Translucent Elephants - Singapore's Kangaroo Courts
- From: "dpennz" <dpennz@...>
17 Oct 2005
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 Governments 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 Seows 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 Womens 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
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 PAPs
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 Presidents 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
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
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
IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE
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
1. CHEE SIOK CHIN (NRIC NO.)
2. N GOGELAVANY (NRIC NO.)
3. YAP KENG HO (NRIC NO.)
1. MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS
2. COMMISSIONER OF POLICE
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
This summons is taken out by the Attorney-General
whose address for service is The Attorney-Generals
Chambers, 1 Coleman Street #10-00, Singapore 179803.