16 Dec 2005

Rhetoric versus Reality


In his inauguration speech on 12 August 2004 as Prime Minister, Mr Lee Hsien Loong's jested, "Ours must be an open and inclusive Singapore." On the anniversary of his swearing-in, the Singapore Democrats launch this segment to track how Mr Lee intends to fulfill his vision. Don't hold your breaths, folks.


Dec: High Court Judge V K Rajah dismisses an Originating Motion taken up by Chee Siok Chin, Monica Kumar, and Yap Keng Ho against the Home Affairs Minister Wong Kan Seng and Police Commissioner Khoo Boon Hui that the police acted unlawfully and unconstitutionally when it ordered the protesters to disperse. Mr Rajah said that citizens do not have the right to stage protests against the Government because "domestically as well as internationally, public governance in Singapore has been equated with integrity. To spuriously cast doubt on that would be to improperly undermine both a hard-won national dignity and a reputable international identity."

Dec: Police called up Chee Siok Chin, Monica Kumar, Tan Teck Wee, Yap Keng Ho, Chee Soon Juan, and Lim Tung Hee for questioning over the protest held outside the CPF Building on 11 August 2005.

November: Government refuses People Like Us a permit to hold a GLBT forum in National Library Board.

Sep: Police called up Internet activist Mr Jacob George for questioning in relationship to Mr Martyn See's making of the film Singapore Rebel featuring SDP's Dr Chee Soon Juan. The move is widely seen as an attempt by the Government to intimidate activists who are increasingly critical of the PAP's control of information flow in Singapore.

Sep: Police are investigating the case of the eight mysterious white elephants. Someone stuck eight cardboard cut-outs of white elephants in protest against the Government's refusal to open the Buangkok MRT station because of low traffic volume.

Aug: Riot police, in full battle gear, were sent in to break-up a peaceful protest by four activists who were protesting against the non-transparent nature of the NKF, CPF, GIC and HDB. About 40 police officers were present. They confiscated the protesters T-shirts.

Aug: Police threaten organisers of an anti-death penalty concert that it would not give the license if the photograph of the late Mr Shanmugam was not removed from the concert posters. The police said that they did not want to glorify an executed person. Mr Shanmugam was executed in May 2005 after he was convicted of smuggling
marijuana into Singapore despite strong protests from the SDP and civil society.

Jul: Police attend Dr Chee Soon Juan's book launch on nonviolence, videotapes the proceedings, seizes a CD, and takes down the particulars of the speakers. Investigations on-going.

Jun: Police warn would-be protesters at the Olympic vote held in Singapore that they would be arrested. A group of small businesses have threatened to stage protests against London's bid for the 2012 Olympics

Jun: Courts seal files relating to the defamation suit brought by Chief Justice Yong Pung How against his former remisier Boon Suan Ban, who has been detained in the Institute of Mental Health at the President's pleasure since March 2005.

May: Government bans workshop organised by Singaporean activists on non-violence.

May: Immigration authorities prevent Nonviolence International trainer, Mr Yeshua Moser-Puangsuwan, from entering Singapore to conduct non-violence workshop.

May: Student blogger, Mr Chen Jiahao, receives an email from Mr Philip Yeo, a powerful state executive, who threatens to sue Mr Chen because he had made disparaging remarks in his blog about Mr Yeo's company. The blogger apologised and removed the said article from his website.

May: Two Falungong practitioners imprisoned for handing out DVDs and gathering in public without permits.

Apr: Government bans Amnesty International's Mr Tim Parritt from speaking at a public forum on the death penalty in Singapore.

Mar: Mr J. B. Jeyaretnam's application for a march to protest the Government's decision to allow casinos to be built turned down.

Mar: Police threaten filmmaker Martyn See with prosecution unless See withdrew a film he made about Dr Chee Soon Juan from the Singapore International Film Festival. See withdrew his entry but got a call from the police for questioning anyway. Investigations on-going.

Mar: Chief Justice Yong Pung How sues his former remisier, Mr Boon Suan Ban, for defamation because Mr Boon was apparently pestering the Chief Justice on an outstanding financial matter when Mr Yong was the chairman of a bank. The Attorney-General charges Mr Boon for criminal defamation. The financier was subsequently acquitted because he was of "unsound mind". But Mr Boon was detained at the Institute of Mental Health, where he remains at the President's pleasure.

Mar: Police reject an application by a local gay Christian support group to hold a concert because the Media Development Authority said that the show would "promote a homosexual lifestyle."

Jan: Dr Chee Soon Juan was ordered by the High Court to pay $500,000 in damages plus legal costs to Mr Lee Kuan Yew and Mr Goh Chok Tong.


Dec: Police reject an application by a Hong Kong based gay portal to hold a Christmas party as "the event is likely to be organised as a gay party which is contrary to public interest."

Dec: Mr Lee Kuan Yew tells the Foreign Correspondents Association: "We are not that daft. We know what is in our interest and we intend to preserve our interests and what we have is working. You are not going to tell us how to run our country."

Nov: The Court of Appeal upholds a High Court decision to deny the application by Mr J. B. Jeyaratnam to be discharged from bankruptcy for money owed in lawsuits taken by PAP officials.

Sep: Courts proceed with the hearing to assess damages that Dr Chee Soon Juan has to pay Mr Lee Kuan Yew and Mr Goh Chok Tong despite Dr Chee asking for the date to be postponed because he was away in the US.

Sep: The Economist pays $390,000 in damages plus legal costs to Mr Lee Hsien Loong and Mr Lee Kuan Yew for a report on Temasek Holdings, headed by the prime minister's wife, Ho Ching.

Sep: The Government will allow certain international NGOs to register in Singapore except those whose activities relate to human rights, gender issues, religion, ethnicity and martial arts.


pleinelune said...

Let's not forget - November: Government refuses PLU permit to hold a GLBT forum in NLB.

Rick said...

Keep the list going, one day you might fid it useful in the ICJ

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