29 Oct 06
The Singapore Democrats express our disappointment at the one-year suspension of lawyer Mr M Ravi.
Mr Ravi has been a faithful servant of the democratic movement in Singapore and a dear friend of the SDP. He has also steadfastly championed against the mandatory death sentence in this country.
The fact that he is the only lawyer in Singapore willing to take on cases with political overtones, and on a pro-bono basis to boot, is testament to his courage and dedication to ensuring justice being served. In addition, he has applied himself with distinction to bringing international attention to the lack of the rule of law and the violation of human rights in the city-state.
In this time of need, when he has been punished by the Law Society and when his mental health has been affected, Singaporeans need to rally around Mr Ravi and give him the support and prayer that he needs.
The media, especially the Straits Times, should in the meantime desist in its shameless exploitation of the lawyer's situation by repeatedly publishing stories about his late mother.
The SDP is confident that Mr Ravi will return stronger and even more determined to fight the cause of justice and human rights in Singapore. We look forward to continuing our work with him in this endeavour.
Finally, the last thing Mr Ravi should do is to heed the advice of the Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong who was reported to have told the lawyer during the hearing on 29 October 2006: “We hope that you may become the lawyer that we want you to become.”
In the 1997 General Elections, PAP ministers were seen entering polling stations illegally. When the SDP lodged police complaints, then Attorney-General Chan Sek Keong said that because the ministers were found inside the polling stations and not loitering outside of the stations, they were not in breach of the Parliamentary Elections Act. (see AG's explanation at http://www.singapore-window.org/ag0721.htm).