18 Apr 2005

Singapore defends its decision to bar Amnesty speaker

Surely this speaker needs to attend an English Comprehension class as soon as possible...Redrown thought something similar was going on too.

AP , SINGAPORE
Monday, Apr 18, 2005,Page 5

Advertising Singapore's government on Sunday defended its decision to bar an Amnesty International researcher from speaking at a public forum about the death penalty in the city-state, saying it doesn't need a foreigner to lecture it on its criminal justice system.

Timothy Parritt from London-based Amnesty International -- which has frequently criticized Singapore authorities for their use of the death penalty and curbs on free speech -- attended the forum on Saturday but did not speak.

Instead, organizers read out a statement he issued, which expressed disappointment at not being allowed to speak and called on Singapore's government to place a moratorium on executions.

"Singapore has one of the most fair and transparent legal systems in the world. We do not require a foreigner to tell Singapore and Singaporeans how our criminal justice system should function," a Home Affairs Ministry spokeswoman said on customary condition of anonymity yesterday.

She also cited international surveys, such as one conducted last year by the Hong Kong-based Political and Economic Risk Consultancy, in which wealthy Singapore was named as having one of the best judicial systems in the region.

Amnesty says Singapore has the highest per capita rate of executions in the world. Singapore imposes a mandatory death penalty by hanging for anyone caught with more than 15g of heroin or more than 500g of marijuana. Singapore says it needs its strict laws to deter drug use.

Parritt's statement said the audience of about 100 people at the forum was a positive sign that public debate about the issue was growing.


The speaker would struggle to pass the IELTS.

10 comments:

redrown said...

"Singapore has one of the most fair and transparent legal systems in the world. We do not require a foreigner to tell Singapore and Singaporeans how our criminal justice system should function," a Home Affairs Ministry spokeswoman said on customary condition of anonymity yesterday."

soci said...

I know, it would be hilarious if it was a sketch by Monty Python.

Agagooga said...

Ah, right. Foreigners must always be wrong.

mis_nomer said...

maybe a local person can speak up. I actually don't have a problem of them banning a foreign person on speaking on such a sensitive and controversial issue. You have to admit that foreigners have less of a stake in the country, and more of a cause to champion.

soci said...

what we are trying to draw attention to are the contradictions in the short statement. Foreigners cannot speak about Singapore, But Hong Kong statistics are good.

And isn't that the entire point. Why is a foreigner not allowed to speak. Is Singapore in some sort of isolation bubble that the rest of the world is denied access, doesn't have to do business with, like North Korea?

Anonymous said...

Look, even China says to foreigners, don't tell us about human rights when you can't put your internal house in order. Take a hint, won't you?

soci said...

the main difference is that in many countries you are aware of your governments failings and CAN protest against them, and demand change. In Singapore, CANNOT LAH!

Gilbert Koh said...

My views on the PERC report are here:

http://slmjd.blogspot.com

mis_nomer said...

gilbert, as always, your thoughts are most enlightening.

Anonymous said...

"the main difference is that in many countries you are aware of your governments failings and CAN protest against them, and demand change. In Singapore, CANNOT LAH"

I'm well aware that people in the other countries can demand change, but can they EFFECT change? Or are they just being ignored.