10 Oct 2005

Actions Undertaken For Martyn See

I received the following communication and felt I should pass it on to those of you who have shown an interest in the proceedings. If you haven't already signed the petition please consider doing so.

Martyn See has posted an article entitled Let us watch political films, say ST readers

Below are the actions we are engaged in re. Martyn See's case.

1. Steven McDermott's petition is online www.singabloodyspore.blogspot.com
He intends sending it to Dr Lee and to the Singapore ambassador to the UN.

2. Dave Carley has sent to the Playwrights Guild for dissemination. Also to the Writers Guild for dissemination and approach to ACTRA. Has asked a good University of Michigan prestigious film school contact, who has enlisted the help of a professor. Sent info to friends who can be counted on to write. Has written himself.

3. Nelofer Pazira will do outreach to the artists/film communities.

4. Helen Pridmore is also contacting the artists community and PEN if she has a good PEN contact. Also to all known members of Canada's Artists for Amnesty. The Gazette has posted the appeal, following Helen's approach. The Gazette includes information on a variety of issues, including human rights.

5. AI Canada's Parliamentary Relations Coordinators have approached two supportive parliamentarians (Sen. Andreychuk and David Kilgour).

6. The appeal will be distributed to groups and action circles by Marilyn McKim (Urgent Action coordinator) this week. Sent to all contacts (AI and non-AI). I will update the appeal for the December 10 Human Rights Day Write-a-thon. The Singapore Democratic Party has entered the appeal on its website www.Singaporedemocrat.org Have approached a good contact (a writer) re. getting PEN's participation. I am keeping Martyn informed of our actions.

7. Michael Backman, an acadenic/writer in Australia, will include information on Martyn See in the updated edition of his book The Asian Insider: Unconventional Wisdom for Asian Business (Pallgrave-Macmillan), to be published early 2006.


1. Posted appeal on online action centre. http://takeaction.amnestyusa.org/action/index.asp?ms=T1

2. Distributed appeal to PIRAN (Philippines/Indonesia network).

3. Sent to thousands who are signed up for their action centre.

4. Considering a petition with big-name artists asked to sign.

5. Approach to some press contacts.

6. Included in Artists for Amnesty monthly appeals.


1. Distributing the appeal

2. Possible approach to film festival organizers.


1. Has the appeal on its website www.asiapacific.amnesty.org


1. Letter-writing by members.


Several agencies are covering it. SEAPA (Southeast Asia Press Alliance) and IFEX issued an Alert Update.

And I believe that Singapore Rebel has been shown at the European Parliament according to a poster reproduced on the Singapore Democrat website.

European Parliamentarians screen Martyn's Singapore Rebel

4 Oct 05

By banning Martyn See's film, Singapore Rebel, from the Singapore Film Festival, the PAP thought that it could prevent the documentary from being seen by Singaporeans and the international community. The plan backfired – and in spectacular fashion. The ban has created a firestorm outside of Singapore where the documentary has been
screened in Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Sweden, the US, and now in the European Parliament (below)!

With the advent and the advancement of the Internet as a communication tool, the Singapore Government is foolish to try to stop the spread of information about its dictatorial ways. If it is wise (unfortunately authoritarian regimes are too intoxicated with wealth and power to know the folly of their ways), it will begin to
reform the political system. Now that the world has seen the PAP in live action and full technicolor, let's see whether it will continue to persecute a hapless filmmaker, and harass Mr Jacob George and Ms Tan Pin Pin.

To continue reading click here...


Thrasymachus said...

Hi Steven

There is something that is bewildering me. I gathered that you are not a Singaporean Citizen, so why the avid interest in Singapore politics and more so, the opposition parties?

It seems like you are "Michael Moore" trying overly hard to take matters out of context (if you know what I'm driving at). Pointing out the govt's misdeeds (in your view) and injust (in your view) maybe "heroic" on your part, but perhaps you should also focus on how it can be better rather than focus on the negatives. Reading your past arguments, I sense more discreditability than credits as your biasness doesn't seem to provide the otherside of the story or mentioned on the positives doings of the govt. Reading on, I would have thought that the Singaporegovt done you wrong in your past and present life.

Forgive my straightforward comments and I apologise if I've offended you. Nonetheless, I strongly admire your dedication and courage (not in speaking the truth, but in speaking).


soci said...

Correct I am not a Singaporean Citizen. The avid interest in Sg politics steems from having lived there are the knowledge that Sg press is not free I am also interested from an academic position as well as social activist stance. I have no close affinity with the 'oppostion parties', simply that sometimes they post articles that the Straits Times ignores but are of Sg national interest. Haven't you asked me a very similar question before?

I am no "Michael Moore", I don't even own a video camera. Which context am I removing things from. The myopic Straits times context, the ASEAN context or the Global context? No I don't get your point. Pointing out the govt's misdeeds (in MY view) and the view of Amnesty International, the US State Department and Reporters Without Borders, Dr Chee, Martyn See, Acidflask... and injust (in MY view, Amnesty International, the US State Department and Reporters Without Borders, Dr Chee, Martyn See, Acidflask... ) It can be better by repelling the Films Act, removing the ISA members who now control the Straits Times, Allowing equal access to all political parties to the media during election time, ensuring that the Judiciary, legislature and executive in Singapore are separate entities. I just recently mentioned that I thought the criminalisation of paid sex U18's in Singapore was good thing, a 'welcomed step'. The Sg government has never inflicted harm on my good self, it has however inflicted harm on others.

If I forgive your straight forwardness I hope you can return the favour. This is the second time you have approached me asking me to show self-awareness or to 'justify' the existence of this blog and my interest in Singapore. I have again replied to your questions.

Why do you care so much that a non-Singaporean citizen takes an interest in Sg politics? Are only Americans/English/Thai/Indonesian allowed to care about Americans/English/Thai/Indonesian politics?

Why does your blogcontinually ignore all misdeeds?


akikonomu said...

Somehow, thrasymachus's statement here exemplifies the political axioms that "In Singapore, nobody dares... outside Singapore, nobody cares", and that "There is no angst in Singapore".

It is truly bewildering and suspicious to him when a foreigner like soci takes an interest in Singapore's politics and is seen to have something against Singapore's wonderful leadership, yet claims to have no connection to its opposition parties.

Why does your blogcontinually ignore all misdeeds?

I suppose he doesn't believe they have occured at all, since he credits you with speaking, but "not speaking the truth".

Thrasymachus said...

Hi Soci

Yes, I've asked that before (maybe I'm getting too senile...haha) but i'm also blind to see that of your 15 front page articles, 13 is commenting against the Singapore Govt, 1 is a personal note on forming a "Superblog" and 1 on the change in paid U18 sex.

I wouldn't care two hoods to fire my volleys at LTA for the Night ERP. Same for the cynical look into the grassroots and MPS session. If you would, maybe you should challenge the PAP on its strongest ground: economic policies.

Seriously, I've no issues against your blog or any others. Believe it or not, I think your blog is a good read. But not a neutral one. I don't mean that all your cover blogs have to be 50% positive and 50% negative. Give credit were credit is due. I'm sure many of your readers want to believe in you but the volumes of articles lambasting the govt makes the Nigerian govt looks like angels.

Maybe on a sociological view point (cultural theory), your blog seems to portray an egalitarian view point. But as cultural and historical point of view, egalitarian almost always never solve the crux of the problem (not suggested by me, but by the literature). You are the expert on sociology, so maybe you can enlighten me on that.

As for akikonomu's point, cynicalism doesn't work for me. Go figure it. If you believe no one dares, then maybe people like Braema Mathi, Viswa Sadasivan, Augustine Tan (former MP of Whampoa), Low Thia Kiang, Goh Meng Seng and many others never existed.

Beach-yi said...

Just sniping from the corner here, Thrasymachus, someone who's really unknown except for some mention in Plato's Republic, should just chill it. He can write EXPLICITLY about polictics in Singapore led him, seems to, believe that there is some criteria that he measures other blogs against, and one of that seems to be political sensitivity towards the good government of Singapore.

May I remind everyone on the point of economic policies that, in other parts of the world, many eminent and not so eminent but still prominent Economics professors had always thought that Economic policies should not be in the hands of the policiticans. Go figure.

Steven: Australia's AI is in collaboration with the FREEDOM concerts which is always a huge event. Maybe you somehow link them up (them as in the film's appeal and the FREEDOM theme via Australia AI?).

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