8 Dec 2006

Release Opposition Party Leader

Singapore: Release Opposition Party Leader
07 Dec 2006 23:14:37 GMT

Source: Human Rights Watch
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(New York, December 8, 2006) ? Singapore opposition leader Dr. Chee Soon Juan is being arbitrarily detained for exercising his right to free expression and should be immediately and unconditionally released, Human Rights Watch said today. In the meantime, Chee should be transferred from the prison ward in Singapore's Changi General Hospital to the hospital's regular in-patient facilities to ensure he receives appropriate medical care and is released home to complete his recuperation. Chee was arrested on November 23, 2006 for speaking publicly without a permit on April 22, 2006 in opposition to the ruling People's Action Party (PAP). Singaporean authorities for years have relied on repressive laws to jail and bankrupt Chee, secretary-general of the opposition Singapore Democratic Party (SDP). Since 1999, the authorities have jailed Chee on three other occasions for violating the city-state's laws restricting public speech and assembly.

"Once again, the Singaporean government has reacted to public criticism by jailing the critic," said Brad Adams, Asia Director at Human Rights Watch. "Dr. Chee should be released immediately, before his health deteriorates further."

After the Subordinate Court mandated a Singapore $5,000 (US$3,200) fine or a five-week prison term for Chee's speaking publicly without a permit, he chose prison. Two days after he entered Queenstown Remand Prison, Chee complained of nausea and lightheadedness after he ate. He cut back his food intake and reported his symptoms to prison authorities and to his family when they visited on November 28. According to family members, prison officials responded indifferently. A family spokesperson reported that he remained untreated for more than a week after his first complaint. It was not until December 3, when Chee's blood pressure dropped precipitously, blood was noted in his urine, and he was complaining of abdominal pain, that prison authorities finally transferred him to the hospital's prison ward.

Prison officials informed family members they would be allowed only one visit to Chee, and that they would be notified when he was discharged back to prison. Since then, family members have had no contact with Chee, the prison doctor or any other prison official, the hospital doctor in charge of the prison ward, or a member of the nursing staff. Questions about medical tests or results have gone unanswered.

"It's as if Singapore's draconian restrictions on free speech apply to Dr. Chee's doctors," said Adams. "The government seems to think that the less that anyone other than the relevant authorities know, the easier it would be to contain public attention to the message he carried. But a vibrant outspoken civil society is just what the doctor should order for Singapore."

HRW news


Matilah_Singapura said...

All state power is arbitrary.

"A state, is called the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly lieth it also; and this lie creepeth from its mouth: "I, the state, am the people."

It is a lie! Creators were they who created peoples, and hung a faith and a love over them: thus they served life.

Destroyers, are they who lay snares for many, and call it the state: they hang a sword and a hundred cravings over them.

Where there is still a people, there the state is not understood, but hated as the evil eye, and as sin against laws and customs.

This sign I give unto you: every people speaketh its language of good and evil: this its neighbour understandeth not. Its language hath it devised for itself in laws and customs.

But the state lieth in all languages of good and evil; and whatever it saith it lieth; and whatever it hath it hath stolen.

False is everything in it; with stolen teeth it biteth, the biting one. False are even its bowels.

Confusion of language of good and evil; this sign I give unto you as the sign of the state. Verily, the will to death, indicateth this sign! Verily, it beckoneth unto the preachers of death!

Many too many are born: for the superfluous ones was the state devised!

See just how it enticeth them to it, the many-too-many! How it swalloweth and cheweth and recheweth them!"
— Friedrich Nietzsche

Anonymous said...

Oh come on. Chee is a turning himself into the laughing stock of the country. No body believes his unsubstantiated insinuations, most people think he is up to his usual antics to bring attention to himself.

Chee has singlehandedly cause more damage to the opposition cause than everything the PAP has done. He is now again trying to undermine the opposition's credibility by doing the absurd.
If he is really poisoned, he should be happy to die in prison as a martyr which he longs to be.

Anonymous said...

To: anonymous 05:45:51pm-

"No body believes his unsubstantiated insinuations, most people think he up to his usual tactics...."

You have great potential to be a reporter with The Straits Times. I mean I can see you as the Chief Editor in no time. Do hope you apply ASAP. All the best! Honest! I really do!! You have what it takes!

Anonymous said...

"Chee is a turning himself into the laughing stock of the country."

The PAP's image of Singapore and Singaporeans is the joke my friend. A country in which you get 5 weeks prison for trying to sell a political paper.

You are living in an authoritarian state and you LOVE it.

Anonymous said...

anon14.59. You my singapore friend are living in a mental blockage. From a european outsider, singapore with its claims to be hub of hubs like you fellow locals has become a laughing stock around the world, everytime your stupid island discovers another sport of happening, you immediately announce you are the hub.

Poor old dr chee is a bye product of your mental state. You have all aced a brain washing problem since the first day you attended school. OK you are able to collect degrees by the ton, however you are unable to understand or use the material you have learned parrot fashion, hence from my countrys point of view (France) you are all unemployable, and a joke.

I have visited most asian countries, last year I travelled through KL airport and witnessed some pushing and shoving, a malaysian just laughed when he said, "there we go again, another pushing singaporean. we just tolerate them here in Malaysia. they are dumb because they believe they own the world."

what a terrible tag, are you proud of that?

so come on give chee a break. and look aat the amount of really bad publicity he has bought for singapore.

Anonymous said...

In a land where secrecy is the norm, where facts are hard to divide from fiction, where the media is heavily biased, it is only natural that Dr. Chee should believe to be poisened. In a country like Singapore, the paranoid is common, especially among politicians. The WP so adamantly refuses to really challenge the Government for fear of retribution, and Dr. Chee is not immune.

I don't think that the opposition can bring change to Singapore, it must come from inside the regime. Perhaps, one day....

Anonymous said...

as a keen student of politics, i have been interested in singapore since the day it gained independence rom colonial rule.

The old days where certainly bad old days with a population crime ridden and and wild.

LKY was literally forced to wheel his big stick the day singapore was forced to cut ties with malaya.

Unfortunately, the condition exists, and the pap knows just what would happen if the singaporean was let of his ball and chain, mayhem. You read dosens of stories about just how rude, considerate and untidy the average local is.

Without strict control the island would run riot.

un btil singapoireans can think for themselves and develope a certain modicum of courtasy, they must be controlled.

As for Chee, well, a good bloke, but he is fighting a loosing battle, and unfortunately with the bad publicity is is managing to bring to singapore, he may well kill the island he loves.

Anonymous said...

see this

Matilah_Singapura said...

I allow myself to continue to be amazed at the opinions of certain anon posters...

The reason I prefer being continually amazed by these people is that it keeps me from resigning myself to just give up all hope about S'pore future.

Yes, I do predict that the long term result is Matilah Singapura BUT that destiny is changeable, if people are prepard to defend their FREEDOM.

To those anons who continually criticise Chee: you guys are way off-course. Whether you think he has behaved intelligently or otherwise, whether you actually like him or not is beside the point

You bicker about Chee as if he is a demon. He is not. Chee has always conducted himself in a peaceful manner. Whether you like him or despise him is petty compared rto the REAL issue which is the arbitrary power of the state being allowed to trample all over this man's BASIC rights.

And if you think Chee embarrasses Singapore, think again - carefully.

The people who are consistently the cause of bad international press about Singapore all work for the fucking state.

What if the person being bullied by the state was you, or someone you loved?

In your world, does a moral principle change just because you don't like the person or something about the person being hammered by the "authorities"?

I hope not. Because if your moral principles do change depending on your subjective like or disdain for the individual in question, then sadly you are a sorry hopeless motherfucking loser — an embarassment to mankind—actively contributing to the demise of a country.

Anonymous said...

hey, matilah is back.

Matilah_Singapura said...

I never left :) Just didn't have time to post—too busy dealing with an annoying 5 day a week distraction and energy-sapping activity called "employment", which has a painful side-effect called "taxation".

However, as bothersome as they are, it sure beats the alternative: loser-hood.

cop-u-later, peace, out.

Anonymous said...

By now, it'll be a moral wonder and intellectual atrophy for anyone to criticize Chee Soon Juan's actions less the oppressors and their lackeys.

Just read a little piece of fact about Sukarno: a past dictator of Indonesia and not incidentally father of Megawati. He kept the population enthralled in movements (campaigns, mass celebrations(National Day Free Giveaways and Parades) and intensive building projects (Govt housing and IRs)while keeping them ignorant of the rapidly declining economy.

That's how most of you and the region can get Indonesian Maids.

Anonymous said...

After Jeyaretnam, we are indeed lucky to have another courageous selfless kind in Chee to challenge to unfair laws of the regime. What have the PAP sanctioned oppostion achieve so far. How have they commented about the impending GST?
Heck, as fellow oppositionists, they
have not even whisper a word about the unfair jailing of Chee just for
speaking up in public!

Anonymous said...

Chiam S.T. is a deadbeat. The PAP is allowing him to continue in PT until he retires. Why shouldn't PAP let him. Except for his good work toward his constituency, he has not strongly put his views with regard to issues that affect the country as a whole. Just once in a while he'll mention something then back to his MP duties in PT. Wholly tame affiar.

In the eyes of the PAP he is harmless as Chaim rarely caused trouble or embarassment to them as an opposition. Furthermore, just the presence of him during election and in parliament, the PAP is able to tell the world that they running a democratic society.

The recent election have seen the WP coming out strongly and promisingly. Let's hope that they don't take the route where the PAP will "allow" their existence in parliament. Then it'll be a sad sad day for Singapore.

Anonymous said...

That is if we don't see the PAP gerrymandering in the next election to break up WP supporters.