31 Jan 2007

Mahathir supports Thailand in S'pore row

Mahathir supports Thailand in S'pore row

Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad threw his support behind Thailand's diplomatic spat with Singapore, accusing the city-state of interfering in the country's internal affairs and violating diplomatic norms by permitting a senior government official to meet ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra.

In an interview with Nation Channel's Thepchai Yong over the weekend on this island resort, Mahathir said Singapore had permitted Singaporean Deputy Prime Minister S Jayakumar to meet Thaksin in spite of their awareness that such an act would seriously upset Bangkok.

[See full interview]

"Singapore doesn't really care about the opinion of its neighbours," said Mahathir, adding that the decision was "unfeeling and not sympathetic".

"Singapore believes the most important thing is what profits Singapore," he said.

Thai-Singapore relations have hit one of its lowest points following the controversial meeting. The Foreign Ministry insisted that it had given the island-state prior warning about Thailand's strong objection to the meeting.

Two weeks ago, army chief General Sonthi Boonyaratglin accused Singapore of spying on Thailand by eavesdropping on telephone conversations, adding more fuel to what was billed as an already difficult situation between the two countries.

"That's the kind of things they do," Mahathir said.

The Singaporean government dismissed Sonthi's claim.

When asked about his 22 years of dealing with Singapore, Mahathir said "You'll get nowhere with them either by being nice or by being tough, they only think of themselves," Mahathir said.

Nevertheless, Mahathir said both sides need to patch things up but in away "that is honourable", which, he said, should start with an apology from Singapore.

The former Malaysian leader said he would welcome a meeting with Thaksin only if the former Thai premier asked for it - but then quickly downplayed the idea, saying: "I don't have anything to discuss with him."

Thaksin has publicly praised Mahathir as his role model during his time in office.

"Although he has said I was his friend and he wants to follow my way, many of his ways are not my way," Mahathir said.

Thaksin has been living in exile since he was ousted in September. The former premier has launched a media campaign to discredit the military-appointed government in Bangkok and the junta itself, accusing them of mismanagement and being undemocratic.

The purchase of the Thaksin family-controlled Shin Corp in January by Singapore's investment arm Temasek Holdings triggered an outcry in Thailand and exploded into a national scandal that precipitated his downfall after it was disclosed the family paid no taxes on the Bt73-billion deal.

The deal allowed Temasek to control operation of mobile phones, satellite and television networks, which the junta deemed as a possible access to areas of security concern.

Mahathir said Thailand had benefited economically under Thaksin but added that his handling of policy and controversies were not very diplomatic.

Mahathir dismissed a suggestion that Thaksin had followed in his footsteps by meddling with the freedom of the press. He said his outspokenness against Western countries was responsible for his being cast in a bad light in the foreign press.

Malaysian former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad's interview with Thepchai Yong will be aired on Channel 5's "Siam This Morning" on Wednesday at 6.15am.

Don Pathan
The Nation
Langkawi, Malaysia

6 Falun Gong followers stand trial in Singapore over alleged protest

The Star Online

SINGAPORE (AP) - Six Singapore-based followers of the Falun Gong spiritual movement were in court on Wednesday facing charges of holding a protest without a permit in the tightly controlled city-state.

The group, made up of ethnic Chinese women aged from 37 to 55 years, were charged in April last year with taking part in an unauthorized assembly the previous October in the busy Orchard Road shopping area. If convicted, they face a maximum fine of 1,000 Singapore dollars (US$630; euro500).

The court on Wednesday was shown police security footage shot at the scene in which the women were seen carrying banners and distributing flyers in pairs or groups of three as they walked along the main shopping avenue.

The printed material was said to describe the alleged atrocities committed against Falun Gong followers in China, where authorities have outlawed the group and violently suppress it as a cult.

The defendants - who are Pang Su Chin, 55, You Xin, 37, Wang Yuyi, 50, Ang Soh Yan, 47, Ng Chye Huay, 41, and Cheng Lujin, 38 - have denied the charges.

They were representing themselves in the trial because they could not find a lawyer who was willing to defend them, said Wang, one of the defendants and spokeswoman of Singapore's Falun Buddha Society.

"Worldwide, people go to Chinese embassies to protest, to tell the truth about the persecution of the Falun Gong members in China,'' Wang said outside court. "We are Falun Gong practitioners outside China. We are lucky we have access to the international media, and the best thing we can do is to tell the truth.''

Falun Gong is not outlawed in Singapore, but public assemblies require prior permission from police, and authorities have previously arrested members on similar charges. Protests and demonstrations are rare in the Southeast Asian country.

Singapore's authorities regularly come under fire from international human rights groups for tightly restricting speech and assembly. The authorities say such controls provide the stability that has helped turn the Southeast Asian city-state into a global economic powerhouse.-AP

30 Jan 2007

Singapore. Stop deceiving innocent school children by makin them sing the national pledge.

From Singapore Dissident
Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Singapore national pledge, required to be sung by schoolchildren each morning of their school going lives reads as follows:

"We, the citizens of Singapore
pledge ourselves as one united people
regardless of race, language or religion
to build a democratic society
based on justice and equality
so as to achieve happiness, prosperity and
progress for our nation"

Schoolchildren who are required by their teachers to sing this each morning are not aware, becasue of their youth and innocence, that almost every line in this pledge contains shameless falsities and untruths of which the Lee government is fully aware, and yet, deliberately, without any regard of the fact that they are deceiving young innocent minds, continue to make them utter this falsity, realizing fully, that they are doing a great injustice to them at a young age, being innocent children, into believing something that is patently false.

This deliberate and wilful deception on the minds of young schoolchildren by the Lee government is a crime and I ask them to cease and desist forthwith this deliberate deception on these children. I also ask parents of the children to ask them not to sing the pledge, when next they are in school, on the grounds that it is shameless lie, deliberately perpetuated by the Lee government.

We can take this line by line.

Pledge ourselves as one united people

There is no unity among the people. We have in Singapore a privileged class. These are the government (Peoples Action Party) supporters and cronies who are given given jobs, well paid and live a life of comfort, just as you find in all other Fascist and dictatorial countries who reward unconditional submission and obedience from its subjects. Then there are those who are unable to be card carrying members of the PAP either by reason of conscience or because they have more pride as human beings than those card carrying sycophants. These suffer from not getting the good jobs and financial disadvantage thereof. What you have is 2 classes, as expected in all Fascist societies like Singapore. The privileged government connected people and those who are not. There is no unity among such a people.

to continue reading...

Tight restrictions force topless bar to kiss Singapore goodbye

Describing a city that has legal prostitution as prudish is in my mind rather strange. I have not really been following the announced closure too much other than what I have been reading on other sites. I thought all the male tourists were simply visiting other 'dens of debauchery'.

I was not aware that Crazy Horse was restricted in its advertising campaign. It is no great surprise that the authorities would block adverts with scantily clad women in them. So it would be interesting to see the actual adverts that were blocked. Or were they simply refused permission to advertise at all at airports and in taxis?

I also remember the Australian Tourism Board having difficulty over an advert that contained the utterance, 'bloody'.

Guess this site is never going to go mainstream unless I change the name.

· Parisian revue to shut down after advertising ban
· Closure a setback for city-state's tourism drive

Ian MacKinnon, south-east Asia correspondent
Tuesday January 30, 2007
The Guardian

Singapore's efforts to cast off its joyless "nanny state" image and rebrand itself as a carefree, fun city that is a magnet for tourists has stumbled with the closure of a Parisian topless revue barely a year after it opened.

The Crazy Horse Paris cabaret, on the south-east Asian city-state's riverfront, was unveiled with great fanfare. It was hailed as a leading attraction in Singapore's battle to boost visitor numbers. But tomorrow night the 15 dancers in little more than wigs, g-strings and stilettos - mostly French, with a smattering of other Europeans - will strut their stuff for the last time 13 months after their first outing.

The Eng Wah Organisation beat off strong competition from other Asian cities, notably Hong Kong and Tokyo, to bag the franchise. Yet it said poor audiences had brought mounting losses after tough advertising restrictions barred images of the women in an attempt to safeguard public morals.

The Crazy Horse venture had secured the endorsement of the city-state's founding father, Lee Kuan Yew, the man largely responsible for its prudish squeaky-clean image, and even of its tourism authority.

But Singapore's ministry of information, culture and the arts blocked advertising at the city's international Changi airport, in taxis and on television and radio. Even newspaper and magazine advertisements faced tight restrictions.

The twice-nightly, 100-minute mix of music and light that has played to sell-out audiences since it opened in Paris 55 years ago, could barely half-fill the 400-seat theatre most nights, despite its prime spot in the buzzy Clarke Quay entertainment district.

The closure will force Eng Wah to write off losses of $4.6m (£2.3m). Its managing director, Goh Min Yen, said Singapore might not have been ready for the show. "We may have brought it a little early," she said. "I believe that Singapore has the potential to support a vibrant nightlife and there will be future opportunities that we can explore."

But the dark theatre does not augur well for Singapore's goal to double tourist numbers to 17 million annually by 2015 with new entertainment. Two casino resorts are planned, a further sign that some in Singapore wish to continue easing social controls.

Bar-top dancing is no longer illegal and Singaporeans can now buy chewing gum at pharmacies. The ban in place for 12 years after Mr Lee was alarmed by the sticky mess on Singapore's famously clean streets was lifted two years ago - provided buyers give their name and identity card number when they make the purchase.

Some Inconsistencies in This Report

The article below either contains information that points to a third individual who was supposed to be hanged on the same day as Tochi or is mis-reading the situation. I know that South Africa denied claims that a South African was hanged by Singapore, not because he received clemency at the last minute but that the South African government denied that Malachy was South African. Tochi and Malachy were both hanged, but there has been no reference to a third individual being granted clemency.

Ripples over hanging of Nigerian teenager in Singapore
Posted to the Web: Sunday, January 28, 2007

THE authorities in Singapore, Friday, hanged a 19-year-old Nigerian Iwuchukwu Amara Tochi, under questionable and controversial circumstances. The teenager was said to have had on his person some quantities of hard drug when he was arrested in Singapore. He was not alone in the matter that eventually made him to pay the supreme price. Another African was hanged along with him. But, a South African, who was also sentenced to death by the Singaporeans along with Amara Tochi over drug related issues had his sentence reversed, following the intervention of President Thabo Mbeki who appealed to the authorities in Singapore to temper justice with mercy. For weeks, Amara Tochi stood trial over the drug matter after he was alleged to have been found with 727.3 grammes of heroin which was punishable by death under the Misuse of Drugs Act, 1973 of Singapore.

Aside from that the article does shift some of the blame of Tochi's death to the Nigerian government.

However, there are ample reasons for the Nigerian government, the Ministry of Information and National Orientation Agency (NOA) to educate Nigerian citizens about countries that operate primitive laws and generally ask them to avoid such countries like plagues no matter the economic benefits therein and technological advancement.

Such references to Mbeki in the first extract do give the existence of a third person credibility. Can anyone clarify this matter.

29 Jan 2007

Singapore's Death Penalty and Blog Posts

Below is written by me for me. Comment if you like.

I am concerned with using technology or software to understand the discourse of the Singapore blogosphere.

I am very much aware of the limitations of using technorati to monitor topics online, and I am faced with the issue of which terms/words to search for, Singapore, Death Penalty, Singapore Death Penalty, can merely give an indication of the number of blog posts referring to the terms that I have decided to isolate. 'Penalty' could of course refer to football. There are other terms and words as well as events that may have increased the use of these terms by Singaporean bloggers but have nothing to do with the Singapore geographic context. One example is the recent Saddam hanging.

So what can I claim, I think I can claim that the graphs show 1,600 in December to just over 200 on Jan 29th posts on the global blogosphere mentioning the term death penalty, pro or against cannot be ascertained. While during the same period around 25 posts containing Singapore and the death penalty occurred. Again pro or against is not discernible. For the same 30 day period 1,200 to 1,600 posts contained 'Singapore' in the item. But am I able to assert that 1,200 blogger wrote about Singapore and 25 wrote about the death penalty, I think that is an inference too far, if simply based on using a technorati search engine.

Posts that contain Singapore per day for the last 30 days.
Technorati Chart

Posts that contain Death Penalty per day for the last 30 days.
Technorati Chart

Posts that contain Singapore, Death Penalty per day for the last 30 days.
Technorati Chart

So are the Singapore aggregator blogs simply showing a 'truer' picture of the Singapore blogosphere's dscourse? Or are all Singapore bloggers uninterested in the death penalty. Recent posts have indicated that there are bloggers prepared to air their views on the death penalty both pro and against. Maybe posts about the death penalty are just in the minority and reflecting the local dis-interest or possibly global dis-interest.

These graphs are very limited in terms of looking at the linguistics and the social and political concerns of the bloggers but they do raise some interesting debates. For the same 30 day period 'The Straits Times' appeared in blog posts between 50 and 100 times (approx.). Possibly the writers are attacking and undermining reporters errors, maybe the are linking to snippets of articles or the forum pages. I have no idea.

Posts that contain Straits Times per day for the last 30 days.
Technorati Chart

The international press picked up on a story that they feel has a global relevance, global being the operative word.

What I am concerned with, as well as Tochi and Malachy's hanging, is what I experience on a daily basis of reading Singapore aggregators and Singapore blogs is that there is almost zero and I mean zero concern with issues on a global scale.

Is the Singapore blogosphere isolated from the wider global blogophere?

Related Links
Singapore Blogosphere - No Topic
Mapping the Blogosphere By Elia Diodati
Data Mining: Text Mining, Visualization and Social Media

Another way to search for trends is via blogpulse.

Singapore and Death Penalty is the just visible green line at the bottom

Singapore youth scorn abstinence

This topic seems to have reared its head again and I refer to a previous article posted on 31st July 2006...

Surely a better policy would be to promote 'abstinence' with younger children but with teenagers who may already be sexually active promote safe-sex. To assume that teenagers and young people are a single group that can be approached with one singular campaign denies the activities and attitudes of different cohorts in the target community.[...]

Singapore youth scorn abstinence
Singapore (dpa) - Youths in Singapore are fed up with campaigns promoting sexual abstinence, a published survey said Monday.

Among 16 sexuality topics, two-thirds of 1,383 secondary school students ranked "building healthy relationships with the opposite sex" as the top priority.

Commitment to abstinence from premarital sex ranked 12th, according to the findings in The Straits Times.

The survey showed that 81.9 per cent of students had not spoken to any adult about intimate issues, and 17.8 per cent said they perceive adults to be awkward in dealing with the subject of sex.

"The abstinence message could be harmful despite its good intentions because it doesn't reflect reality," Bernise Ang, founder of the Singapore International Youth Council, was quoted as saying.

A 15-year-old student said, "You hear it once, then when the next person tells you not to have premarital sex, you can practically repeat everything."

With the message clearly needing updating, the Health Promotion Board is using peer influence to promote a healthy lifestyle, including refraining from promiscuous sex.

The Latest from My sketchbook

Very happy to say that Sketchtbook has got back to work after a rather long hiatus.

See Ya Later Gayle

It is with sadness that I came across this post about i-speak's closure. A blog run by Gayle Goh for over a year now. References to impostors posting on her blog seems to have a certain resonance with this blogs current situation.

Once I did this because I wanted to make others aware, to encourage public discourse, to help people think. Today, I don't feel like you all need any help from me in that department. I've seen the blogosphere boom, and there are hundreds and hundreds of bloggers who now post insightfully, astutely and with thought and passion. The good, the bad and the ugly have all crowded their way into the blogosphere, and I can see this in my readers -- more and more of the latter, perhaps. Most recently some have taken to being impostors, posting under my name. Others accuse me of posting under another name. Then of course, the name-callers and hecklers have never gone away. All this is going on when my identity is public. It puts me in a vulnerable position and makes it almost personal. And so the more I write, these days, the less I feel I'm helping others, and the more I feel I'm hurting myself.

to read Gayle's final post click here.

You will be sadly missed.

Thai protestors burn effigy of Singapore's deputy premier

Jan 29, 2007, 9:30 GMT

Bangkok - Hundreds of Thai protestors burned an effigy of Singapore's deputy prime minister outside the Singapore embassy on Monday, after failing to receive an apology from the city-state over a recent diplomatic tiff.

The 200 to 300 protestors, coming from various groups such as Ramkhamhaeng University and Alliance for Northeastern People, burned an effigy of Singapore's deputy premier S Jayakumar to protest his 'private meeting' with Thailand's ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra earlier this month.

'We are here to announce how stupid the Singapore government was to meet with Thaksin,' said Sathorn Sinpru, deputy leader of the Alliance of Northeastern People, believed to be an offshoot of the People's Alliance for Democracy that led the anti-Thaksin protests last year.

The protestors last week had demanded an apology from the Singapore embassy for the Jayakumar meeting but none was forthcoming.

'If Singapore continues to deny us an apology we will take our protest to Udon Thani Airbase in North-east Thailand and chase their air force off the base,' said Sathorn.

Thailand and Singapore have enjoyed close diplomatic and military ties for decades, and bilateral relationship became even closer under former premier Thaksin, a billionaire telecommunications tycoon who was prime minister between 2001 to 2006.

But things have changed since Thaksin was ousted by a military coup on September 19.

His high-profile activities in exile, including his meeting with Jayakumar and his use of Singapore to conduct interviews with CNN and the Wall Street Journal, drew protests from the Thai government.

The Thai foreign ministry has argued that Singapore's stance towards Thaksin was inappropriate given the city-state's close business relations with his family.

A year ago Temasek Holdings, the Singapore government's investment arm, bought his family's 49-per-cent stake in Shin Corp, Thaksin's business empire, for 1.9 billion dollars in a tax-free deal.

Many Thais regarded the purchase as selling off sensitive national assets to a foreign company.

Shin Corp's holdings include Advanced Info Service, Thailand's largest mobile phone service, Shin-Sat, the national satellite network; and ITV television.

The sale sparked both anti-Thaksin and anti-Singapore protests in Bangkok last March and April.

© 2007 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur

27 Jan 2007

Singabloodypore Has Been Hacked

I am turning off the comments for awhile as someone has hacked them and is pretending to be me - soci and also singapore elections. I have tried to correct this in the normal manner and yet they are still posting comments under my name.

I will not be commenting today and no more posts will be made by me. I have a life to get on with.

26 Jan 2007


Iwuchukwu Amara Tochi (Tochi), a 21-year old Nigerian was charged for importing into Singapore a controlled drug under section 7 of The Misuse of Drugs Act (Chapter 185). Okeke Nelson Malachy (Malachy), aged 35, stateless, was charged for having abetted the commission of the offence of importing into Singapore a controlled drug under section 7 read with section 12 of the Misuse of Drugs Act (Chapter 185). The Misuse of Drugs Act provides that the death penalty is mandatory if the amount of diamorphine or pure heroin imported exceeds 15g. Tochi had unlawfully brought into Singapore 727.02g of high grade pure heroin worth about $1.5 million.

The appeals of both Tochi and Malachy to the Court of Appeal and to the President for clemency have been turned down. Their sentences were carried out this morning at Changi Prison.

Central Narcotics Bureau
26 January 2007
Last updated on 26-Jan-2007

'Integrity' I am going to have go and get my dictionary out and look that word up. Someone must have recently changed its meaning because I see no 'integrity' in hanging one man who, as the judge confirmed, had no idea what he was carrying and secretly executing another man without informing anyone.

Singapore Blog Aggregators

A front for the Peoples Action Party?

While the world reacts to the hanging of two men in Singapore, it would appear, if you look at the aggregators, that few in the Singapore blogosphere have even noticed. Below is a small selection from 123 members of the international media...

Singapore executes Africans for drugs
Irish Times, Ireland - 1 hour ago
Singapore executed two African men for drug trafficking today despite pleas for clemency by Nigeria's president, the United Nations and human rights groups. ...

Singapore hangs drug smugglers
TVNZ, New Zealand - 2 hours ago
Singapore hanged two African men on Friday for drug smuggling after the city-state's prime minister rejected international clemency pleas, saying its tough ...

Singapore executes drug smugglers
BBC News, UK - 2 hours ago
Singapore has executed two African men for drug smuggling after rejecting appeals for clemency by Nigeria's president, the UN and rights groups. ...

Singapore executes 2 despite international appeals
Globe and Mail, Canada - 3 hours ago
AP. SINGAPORE — Singapore executed two Africans on drug trafficking charges Friday despite pleas for clemency by Nigeria's president, the United Nations and ...

Clemency calls fall on deaf ears
Independent Online, South Africa - 4 hours ago
BY Ruth Youngblood, DPA. Two Africans convicted of drug trafficking were hanged before dawn at a Singapore prison on Friday while human rights activists ...

Singapore hangs Nigerian drug smuggler
Reuters South Africa, South Africa - 5 hours ago
SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore hanged a 21-year-old Nigerian man for drug smuggling on Friday, despite pleas from the Nigerian president, ...

Singapore Executes 2 Africans For Drugs
Guardian Unlimited, UK - 8 hours ago
From AP. SINGAPORE (AP) - Singapore executed two Africans on drug trafficking charges Friday despite pleas for clemency by Nigeria's president, ...

Singapore hangs Nigerian drug smuggler
Sydney Morning Herald, Australia - 9 hours ago
Singapore hanged a 21-year-old Nigerian man for drug smuggling, despite pleas from the Nigerian president, the United Nations and international human rights ...

While the major Singapore blog aggregators such as Tomorrow.sg on January 26, 2007 is more concerned with...
Why you should watch Crazy Horse Paris before they finally leave Singapore

or the Intelligent Singaporean

Daily Reads Jan 26
Posted by inspir3d on January 26th, 2007

If I Am Not Sick, Why Do I Need Medicine?
from Wanderings, Musings and Happenings from Ian on S

Adventures of Elite Girl ep0025
Why is marriage a criterion for maternity leave?
from Coffee and Cigarettes.

Speech at Parliament Sitting on 22 Jan - Dr Fatimah…
from P65 Blog

Singapore Feels Heat On Economic Agenda
from SingaporeSurf

Old rules apply in cyberspace
from Singabloodypore

Aggregators of the Singapore blogosphere that have a human deciding on which blog posts to highlight are either extremely pro-death penalty or pro-PAP. While they continue to follow the editorial briefing of the Straits Times they are as good as working for the state controlled media.

Prove me wrong.

Singapore executes 2 Africans on drug charges despite international clemency appeals


Why didn't we know about Okeke Nelson Malachy, 35?

The Death Penalty in Singapore is still clouded in secrecy...

The Associated PressPublished: January 25, 2007

SINGAPORE: Singapore executed two Africans on drug trafficking charges Friday despite pleas for clemency by Nigeria's president, the United Nations and human rights groups.

Nigerian Iwuchukwu Amara Tochi, 21, was hanged at dawn in the city-state after being convicted of trafficking 727 grams (26 ounces) of heroin — nearly 50 times the 15 grams (0.53 ounces) of the drug that draws a mandatory death penalty in Singapore, the Central Narcotics Bureau said in a statement.

A stateless African named Okeke Nelson Malachy, 35, who was convicted as the person to whom Iwuchukwu was supposed to deliver the drugs, was also executed Friday, the statement said.

About a dozen activists held an overnight vigil outside maximum-security Changi Prison, where the execution was carried out. Just before the hanging, they stood or sat with their heads bowed, holding roses in the flickering glow of candles on the ground around photos of Iwuchukwu and a red-and-white soccer jersey said to belong to him.

Prominent Singapore-based art critic Lee Weng Choy, 43, said he disagreed with Singapore's mandatory death sentence regulation, which he said takes away the discretionary power of the judiciary.

"I also disagree with its justification as a deterrent. The reality is that drug trafficking has not been reduced to zero, neither has drug use," he said at the vigil.

The execution was carried out despite an appeal by Nigerian President Olesegun Obasanjo, who asked Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong earlier this week to commute the death sentence.

Lee replied Thursday that Iwuchukwu had committed a serious offense under Singapore law and had exhausted all legal options.

"We did not take the decision lightly," Lee wrote in a letter. "I realize that Mr. Tochi's family will find Singapore's position difficult to accept, but we have a duty to safeguard the interests of Singaporeans, and protect the many lives that would otherwise be ruined by the drug syndicates."

Singapore's strict drug laws made international headlines — and triggered an outcry in Australia — in December 2005 when the city-state executed a 25-year-old Australian heroin trafficker despite numerous appeals from the Canberra government.

Singapore has said its tough penalties for drug trafficking are an effective deterrent against a crime that ruins lives, and that foreigners and Singaporeans must be treated alike.

Human rights group Amnesty International says Singapore has the world's highest per capita execution rate. Last week it urged its members to push Singapore's government to grant Iwuchukwu clemency and for a moratorium on all executions in the country.

The United Nations also urged Singapore on Thursday not to execute Iwuchukwu because it would violate international legal standards on the use of the death penalty.

"The standard accepted by the international community is that capital punishment may be imposed only when the guilt of the person charged is based upon clear and convincing evidence leaving no room for an alternative explanation of the facts," said a statement by Philip Alston, the U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.

Iwuchukwu, a footballer, was arrested in November 2004 at Singapore's Changi Airport after arriving from Dubai with 100 capsules containing heroin that authorities estimated to be worth 1.5 million Singapore dollars (US$970,000; €795,930).

At the time of his arrest, Iwuchukwu told narcotics officers the pills were African herbs that he was supposed to give to a sick friend. He also told officers that he came to try out for soccer teams playing in the Singapore League.

Iwuchukwu's family, who live in Nigeria, could not afford to travel to Singapore to see him while he was on death row, said Princewill Akpakpan, a lawyer with the Civil Liberties Organization, Nigeria's largest human rights group.

"The execution will place Singapore in a negative spotlight among civilized nations of the world," Akpakpan said by telephone on Thursday.

I am so angry I have decided to remain silent...

Singapore hangs Nigerian drug smuggler

Peoples Action Party BASTARDS...

Fri Jan 26, 2007

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore hanged a 21-year-old Nigerian man for drug smuggling on Friday, despite pleas from the Nigerian president, the United Nations and international human rights groups to spare his life.

Iwuchukwu Amara Tochi was hanged at about 6 a.m. (2200 GMT) at the city-state's Changi prison, Stanley Seah, assistant superintendent at Singapore's Central Narcotics Bureau, told Reuters.

No further details were immediately available.

Tochi was arrested at Singapore's Changi Airport in November 2004 for carrying about 727 grams of heroin.

Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo asked the Singapore government on Tuesday to grant a reprieve to Tochi, who was a champion football player in Nigeria according to human rights group Singapore Anti-Death Penalty Campaign.

In Geneva, the United Nations' special investigator for extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions said on Thursday that Singapore would be violating international legal standards on the use of the death penalty if it went ahead with the hanging.

The death sentence is mandatory for anyone caught carrying more than 15 grams of heroin in Singapore, which enforces one of the harshest anti-drug laws in the world

25 Jan 2007

UN expert calls on Singapore not to hang Nigerian on drug charges, says breaches rights

As much as I would love to be able to offer hope for all of you who are now experiencing Singapore's 'justice' for the first time, I am unable to offer any.

For those of us who have watched similar mis-carriages of 'justice' in Singapore we know one thing.

They will kill him tomorrow morning, Friday 26th Jan 2007 at 6am.

No requests for clemency will be granted and in the case of a mandatory death sentence there are no legal safe-guards to protect human rights in this land.

Yet again I sit with a heavy heart.

UN News Centre

25 January 2007 – An independent United Nations human rights expert today called on Singapore not to proceed with tomorrow’s planned hanging of a Nigerian for heroin trafficking, charging that the island state’s Government has failed to ensure respect for relevant legal safeguards under international standards.

“It is a fundamental human right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty,” UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Philip Alston said in a statement, noting that the trial judge ruled that although there was no direct evidence that Iwuchukwu Amara Tochi knew the capsules contained heroin ignorance did not exculpate him.

“The standard accepted by the international community is that capital punishment may be imposed only when the guilt of the person charged is based upon clear and convincing evidence leaving no room for an alternative explanation of the facts,” Mr. Alston added. “Singapore cannot reverse the burden and require a defendant to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he didn’t know that he was carrying drugs.”

The appeal court rejected the trial court’s suggestion that it was irrelevant whether Mr. Tochi had knowledge of what he was carrying but still upheld his conviction, reasoning that under Singapore law such knowledge is presumed until the defendant rebuts that presumption “on a balance of probabilities” and not merely by raising reasonable doubt.

Mr. Alston also said that Singapore law making the death penalty mandatory for drug trafficking was inconsistent with international human rights standards, because it keeps judges from considering all of the factors relevant to determining whether a death sentence would be permissible in a capital case.

Mr Tochi’s co-defendant, Okele Nelson Malachy of South Africa, was convicted of having abetted Mr. Tochi’s offence and was also sentenced to death. There has reportedly been no date set for his execution, but it would raise similar grave human rights issues, Mr. Alston stressed.

“One of the tasks given to me by the UN Human Rights Council is to monitor states’ respect for those safeguards in order to protect the human rights of those facing the death penalty,” he said. “In the case of Iwuchukwu Amara Tochi, the Government of Singapore has failed to ensure respect for the relevant legal safeguards. Under the circumstances, the execution should not proceed.”

Special Rapporteurs are unpaid, independent experts who report to the Council.

Old rules apply in cyberspace

By Isabelle Chan, ZDNet Asia
Thursday , January 25 2007 06:28 PM

There is a clear legal line when it comes to blogging, and those that spread false information electronically may land themselves in legal hot water, lawyers say.

Commenting on the recent case where two Malaysian bloggers were sued for defamation by the New Straits Times, Singapore-based lawyer Vijai Parwani at Parwani & Co, said: "It must be remembered that defamation is a legitimate action in most Commonwealth jurisdictions. The only country which champions free speech over defamation is the United States, where the law requires proof of 'actual malice' in order to succeed where the party defamed is a public figure.

"So, it is not surprising that the action in Malaysia has taken its current course," Parwani added.

Be it publishing in a traditional medium like print, or the Internet, the same rules apply.

IT lawyer Bryan Tan at Keystone Law Corp said: "Blogging is just like publishing, and just because it feels like you are writing your diary does not mean it is like your diary. A blog is a publication open to the whole world."

Mark Lim, director of law firm Tay Peng Chin, also noted an area where there is still a lack of definition. "Jurisdictional issues are still evolving", he said, noting that Web sites cross geographical boundaries, but "the law is still unclear in this area" of cross-border legislation.

Another potential legal issue pertains to third-party comments on blogs. Parwani noted: "Some blogs allow a third party to post comments, and this is where it gets complicated. To what extent would the blogger be liable for the contents posted on the blog by a third party?"

According to lawyers, disclaimers only go so far.

Parwani explained: "Certainly a disclaimer clause would aid the blogger in a claim against defamation, but common sense dictates that a disclaimer clause surely cannot be the panacea for the blogger if he knows the contents posted on his blog are defamatory of someone, but chooses to do nothing about it."

He added: "I am not aware of any recent case where the courts have held that a disclaimer clause would absolve the blogger of all liability, and I dare venture to add that the courts would not allow a blogger to take absolute refuge behind the cloak of a disclaimer clause if the issue were to arise."

And what about media companies that host blogs written by third parties who are not full-time employees? Well, they can still be liable, said Tan.

"I think if it is non-staff, these companies can claim they are like network service providers who enjoy protection under section 10 of the Electronic Transactions Act," he explained. "But their liability starts once they have notice of these offensive postings."

He added: "Companies running blog sites should remove blogs when requested to do so either by the authorities or the courts."

Parwani said a dose of common sense and taking responsibility for their blogs will help bloggers go a long way in avoiding a potential defamation lawsuit.

"Even if the claim is thrown out by the court at the end of the day, you certainly do not want to go down the road of having to defend the matter and incurring unnecessary legal costs along the way," he added.

For those who want to stay on the right side of the law, Parwani advised: "Keep the blog about yourself and your thoughts without having to make specific references to any particular individual.

"If you have to make reference to someone, then ensure that it is the truth and nothing but the whole truth," he added.

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Singapore feels heat on economic agenda

By John Burton in Singapore

Published: January 24 2007 00:10

As Singapore has prospered as a trading centre in a region with its fair share of economic laggards, the city-state has often stood accused of economic imperialism. Especially as Temasek, its investment arm, has acquired a growing list of assets in often strategic industries in neighbouring countries.

In what Singapore’s officials say are purely commercial investments by Temasek, local opponents have long seen “dollar diplomacy” at work and a political as well as an economic agenda.

But mounting efforts by Thailand’s government to reduce Temasek’s stake in Shin Corp, the telecoms group, have raised the regional political pressure on Singapore and Temasek to a new level. The stake was bought last year from the family of Thaksin Shinawatra, the prime minister ousted by Thailand’s current military rulers.

Together with other emerging issues – such as a threatened anti-competition probe into telecoms ventures in Indonesia – Temasek’s problems in Thailand have raised questions over whether it might be forced to focus its investments outside the region to where it provokes less controversy.

Chua Hak Bin, a regional economist at Citigroup in Singapore, said: “Recent events show that Singapore has to be cautious in investing abroad and not go into areas that are politically sensitive.”

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24 Jan 2007


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First spotted on Pseudonymity

Authoritarian Despots Visit Authoritarian Despots

President of Uzbekistan to visit Singapore
Posted: 23 January 2007 1902 hrs

President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov will make a state visit to Singapore from January 24-26.

He will be accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Rustam Azimov, Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Norov, Minister of Foreign Economic Relations, Investments and Trade Elyor Ganiev, officials and a business delegation.

President Karimov will be calling on and hosted to a State Banquet by President S R Nathan.

President Karimov will also be meeting Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew.

Speaker of Parliament Abdullah Tarmugi will be hosting President Karimov to lunch.

President Karimov will also be visiting Parliament House.

Singapore's Foreign Ministry says four agreements will be signed during the visit.

They are an Agreement on Cooperation in the field of Standardisation, Metrology and Accreditation, a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan and Singapore on Bilateral Consultations, an Air Services Agreement and a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation between the Singapore Business Federation and the Chamber of Commerce of Uzbekistan. - CNA /ls

The article below makes rather bizarre reading.

Suddenly my belief that Singapore is unique, under threat from Islamic extremists, not ready for democracy, and that tight controls on the media are necessary to get all Singaporeans working together rather than have a Prime Minister having to 'fix' the opposition, is shattered.

But "Singapore is Unique" I hear you argue.


While reading below just replace the name of the country and the name of the president with that of Singapore and LKY and his cronies.

Uzbekistan from the BBC
President: Islam Abduganiyevich Karimov

Islam Karimov keeps a tight grip on the country

Islam Karimov has dominated the leadership since 1989 when he rose to be Communist Party leader in then Soviet Uzbekistan. The following year he became Uzbek president and continued in the post after independence. A referendum held in 1995 extended his term until 2000 when he won the presidential elections unopposed.

A further referendum in 2002 extended the presidential term from five to seven years. The next presidential elections are due in 2007.

Mr Karimov takes a ruthlessly authoritarian approach to all forms of opposition. The few western observers who monitored parliamentary elections at the end of 2004 condemned them as having failed to meet international standards and pointed out that all the candidates supported the president.

Mr Karimov has been accused of using the perceived threat of Islamic militancy to justify his style of leadership. Observers point out that the combination of ruthless repression and poor living standards provides fertile breeding ground for violent resistance in a volatile region.


The state maintains tight control of the media. Despite a constitutional ban on censorship and guarantees of press freedom, the media rights body Reporters Without Borders said in 2005 that the use of violence against journalists and disinformation by the authorities were commonplace.

In the aftermath of deadly unrest in the eastern city of Andijan in 2005, journalists were expelled from the area and foreign TV news broadcasts were blocked. The BBC's coverage of the uprising led to the closure of the corporation's bureau in Tashkent some months later.

Pre-publication censorship of the press by the state was abolished in 2002, but self-censorship is widespread.

The US-based Committee to Protect Journalists says that many Uzbeks rely on foreign sources - including Russian TV, the BBC and other broadcasters - as a counterpoint to the stifled domestic news media. The government controls much of the printing and distribution infrastructure.

Private TV and radio stations operate alongside state-run broadcasters. Foreign channels are carried via cable TV, which is widely available.

Uzbekistan had around 675,000 internet users by 2005, according to government figures.

Obasanjo urges Singapore not to hang Nigerian man

Wed Jan 24, 2007 8:36 AM GMT

ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo asked Singapore's government on Tuesday to grant repreive to a 21-year-old Nigerian man due to be executed for drug smuggling.

Iwuchukwu Amara Tochi was arrested at Singapore's Changi airport in November 2004 with 727 grammes of heroin. He is due to be executed on Friday after his appeal to Singapore's president for clemency failed last year.

"It is for the reason of obtaining your kind pardon and clemency for the convicted Nigerian that I write this letter to you ... to earnestly urge you to reconsider the conviction of the Singaporean Court of Appeal and to commute the death sentence to imprisonment," Obasanjo said in a letter to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Obasanjo's appeal came after Saudi Arabia executed a Nigerian man in December for smuggling cocaine into the conservative Muslim kingdom.

Human rights group Amnesty International has also called for clemency for Tochi, saying the judge who convicted the Nigerian "appears to have accepted that he (Tochi) might not have realised that the substance he was carrying was heroin."

The drugs were estimated by the authorities to have a street value of $970,000.

The drug laws of the island nation of 4.4 million people are among the harshest in the world. The death penalty is mandatory for anyone caught with more than 15 grammes of heroin.

Government officials say the location of the city-state close to drug-producing countries forces it to take a tough stance on smuggling.

23 Jan 2007

Thai sale of mobile firm to Singapore 'a mistake'

Jim Pollard, Bangkok
January 24, 2007

THE sale of Thailand's national satellite and mobile phone company to Singapore was a tragic mistake that had compromised the Thai military because Singapore would abuse their access to the communications infrastructure, a top Australian defence analyst said yesterday.

Des Ball, from the Australian National University, said Thailand's new military Government should shoot down the sale of the national satellite to Singapore and not trust the city-state when it comes to defence communications.

Professor Ball said the sale of the ShinSat satellite to Singaporean state investment firm Temasek Holdings - part of a highly controversial deal negotiated last year by deposed Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra - was a tragedy for the Thai military that could cost them hundreds of millions of dollars.

Professor Ball said Bangkok should launch a new satellite to ensure the Thai military's signals could not be intercepted.

"It's not in Thailand's interests to allow Singapore control of such a critically important communications system, through the satellite and mobile phone company," he said.

The sale had "given Singapore direct access to the Royal Thai Army's satellite communications". He added: "They are going to have to have their own independent system, otherwise they hand their military and very sensitive (data) traffic to Singapore on a plate.

"It's a tragedy they've handed that away with the Shin deal and will now have to redesign their own system. If they could get out of this, there are national security reasons why they should ... Launching a new satellite could cost $US250 million ($316million)."

Professor Ball said Australia went through a similar debate five years ago when Singtel purchased the Optus mobile phone company. He was one of a series of analysts who publicly opposed the takeover.

The federal Government eventually allowed the sale to go through, partly to ensure continued close co-operation with the island state, but Australia had to spend a huge sum on fibre-optic cables between its defence bases to ensure its military communications were secure.

Part of the problem, Professor Ball said, was "Singapore has a track record of taking advantage of information for commercial and political purposes".

Singapore had "listened to and photographed Australian military facilities", which had created diplomatic rifts with Canberra, he said.

"They have a history of abusing their access to training in other facilities abroad. That is not what friends are supposed to do - they abused their friendship," Professor Ball said

Action for Tochi

Chee Siok Chin
23 Jan 07

As some of you may have known, 21 year-old Iwuchkwu Amara Tochi, a Nigerian national will be hanged by the Singapore authorities this Friday 26 January 2007.

Our president, Mr. SR Nathan, has refused to grant clemency to this young man. This is perhaps not surprising as Mr. Nathan has never granted clemency to any prisoner on the death row since his presidency in 1999.

However, the greater tragedy in this case lies in the fact that the president will not spare the life of an innocent man. After a 13-day trial, High Court Judge Kan Ting Chui pronounced that "there was no evidence the (Tochi) knew the capsule contained diamorphine". In addition to that the judge had said, "there is nothing to suggest that Smith had told him (Tochi) they contained diamorphine, or that (Tochi) had found that out of his own."

And yet, despite this lack of evidence that Tochi knew that he had drugs on him, the Supreme Court has sentenced him to death. When Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong took over office last year, he had said, "Let me emphasise that the strict, but fair and efficient administration of criminal justice, will remain a key priority...I intend to set up a panel to review how current sentencing and bail guidelines can be further rationalized and improved." Where lies the rationale for a man to be sentenced to death when the CJ's own colleague in the High Court even doubted Tochi knew he had drugs on him?

This cold-blooded and mindless act by the Singapore Government must at least rouse the conscience of the people. If we remain silent, are we not accomplices of this horrible execution? Some of us are moved to act when we witness injustice at its gravest. This is why we have decided to demonstrate our outrage publicly to bring attention to this tragic matter.

Human rights lawyer Mr M Ravi, who has been campaigning tirelessly for Tochi, and I will join a 24-hour hunger strike launched by European Member of Parliament Marco Panella to support the campaign currently taking place in Italy, calling for a worldwide Moratorium on Death Penalty. To sign the Moratorium, please go to: http://www.radicalparty.org/sciopero_moratoria/form.php?lang=en

Mr. Ravi and I will be at Speakers' Corner from 7am on Thursday 25 January and will go on a fast to register our outrage and to keep vigil with Tochi. We will then proceed to the grounds outside Changi Prison after 7pm to continue with this until his execution at 6am on 26 January.

As a mark of support and solidarity for an innocent man whose life will be taken from him in a few days from now, please join us at the Speakers' Corner (Thu, 25 Jan, 7 am–7 pm) and Changi Prison (7 pm onwards).

Singapore single mothers now entitled to maternity leave — if they marry within 3 months

Marry in haste divorce at their leisure...

The Associated Press
Published: January 22, 2007

SINGAPORE: Singapore has relaxed its rules on maternity leave, now allowing single mothers to take 12 weeks away from work — as long as they marry the child's father within three months of the birth, a newspaper reported Tuesday.

Previously, women had to be married before the birth in order to be entitled to maternity leave.

The changes were announced Monday in Parliament by Yu-Foo Yee Shoon, state minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports.

She noted that as the government-sponsored leave must be taken with six months of the baby's birth, the marriage must take place within three months in order for the woman to enjoy the full leave, the Straits Times reported.

The change specifies that the mother must marry the father of the child to qualify, not just any man.

In 2004, there were at least 540 out-of-wedlock births, the report said.

It said the government and employer share the maternity leave costs for a woman's first two children. For her third and fourth children, the government handles full reimbursement.

In another change, Parliament also announced that the natural parents of illegitimate children can claim parenthood tax rebates for their second, third and fourth children if they marry before the child turns 6

So how do you get a divorce after being 'coerced' into a shot-gun wedding? Please remember that we are refering to the Singaporean Law and any interpretation will come with a disclaimer,


With Singapore becoming more and more cosmopolitan each day and with more Singaporeans going overseas for studies or work, potential clients seeking to initiate divorce proceedings in Singapore are influenced by the requirements to commence divorce proceedings in the various jurisdictions around the world.

In Singapore, the requirements are set out in the Women's Charter, Chapter 353 (hereinafter referred to as "the Act") and this article aims to dispel the 10 most common beliefs/fallacies with reference to the relevant provisions of the Act.

As the purpose of this article is to highlight the common beliefs/fallacies in relation to divorce proceedings to laypersons, there would not be any reference to case laws or judgments of any courts but broad statements of law with reference to the Act.

Belief No. 1 - So long as parties agree, they can obtain a divorce

This is the most common fallacy and presumably it is due to the fact that adults are not required to seek the consent of any third parties before they are married. Hence, it is assumed that so long as both adults consent to be divorced, why should their decision be dependant on third parties' opinions or consent?

In Singapore, in order for parties to obtain a divorce, they must present a Petition for Divorce as set out in sections 92 and 93 of the Act which provide that the Judge of the High Court of the Republic of Singapore has the jurisdiction to hear such divorce petitions. It is not the common intention or decision of two adults which determine whether they are divorced or not. Whether parties are able to obtain a divorce depends on the decision of the High Court Judge after hearing the divorce petition.

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Related Article
More Couples Want Out

Singapore. Break the law now.

To paraphrase Rocky - The world is a nasty place and it ain't about how hard you hit but how hard you can be hit, be willing to take the hits and move on. Take the hits and take what you are worth, go out and get what you want.

I feel rather invigorated after reading the article below.

A wonderful addition to the Singapore blogosphere. May I introduce Singapore Dissident. Gopalan Nair
Sunday, January 21, 2007
Singapore. Break the law now.
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I say break the law now. This certainly may be an unacceptable statement in most other circumstances, even a criminal one, but in the case of Singapore, I say it, and say it deliberately. I am not referring to laws such as murder and other violations which are criminal by any standards. I am referring to Lee's unjust laws, politically motivated laws to silence dissent, laws intended to keep Lee and his family in perpetual political grip over Singapore, such unjust laws as requiring a permit to speak in public where even if applied for by a political opponent will automatically be denied, laws such as requiring a permit to assemble which again is automatically denied when applied for by the opposition, unjust laws such as requiring a permit to form an association which is a means to keep surveillance on all political activities, all the unjust illegal laws enacted for the political advantage of the dictator Lee Kuan Yew and his family.

Dr. Chee has correctly quoted Gandhi and Martin Luther King having said that there are just laws and unjust laws and that it is the right of a free man, nay not just right, but his bounden duty to break that law and in doing so, in breaking that law, he is in fact being even more law abiding than another who complies with them.

There is no doubt on it. Lee stays in power by breaking laws. He shows such disdain and arrogance over his fellow citizens that he feels he can do anything and get away with it.

The pillars of any state are it's public institutions such as the judiciary, the civil service, the military, the police force, the media, the education system. These institutions need to be kept strong and independent for a country to continue to thrive and advance, but in Singapore, Lee has deliberately denied these institutions to function independently under the rule of law, making each of these institutions weak and entirely beholden to him and him alone. These are clearly illegal acts in violation of the law which has undermined the stability and strength of the country so much so that Singapore is turning into a failed republic before one's very eyes.

He has blatantly interfered with the independance of the judiciary, requiring judges to use their office not to administer the rule of law, but to destroy his political opponents. From the early 1970s till date the list of his victims at the hands of his enforcers in the judiciary goes on. JB Jeyaretnam, the former opposition politician repeatedly sued, charged with criminal offenses, thrown in jail, stripped of lawyer's license, forced to pay millions of dollars in illegal court awards and impoverished.

Mr. Tang Lian Hong, charged and sued for criminal and civil cases of defamation after the 1988 general elections, made to pay millions of dollars, bankrupted and hounded out of the country to Australia where he now lives. Mr. Francis Seow similarly dealt with, arrested detained and tortured by the dreaded Internal Security Department beaten, battered and assaulted with serious injuries, then released, for him only to escape to the United States to avoid further beatings, all because he contested the elections against Lee as he was entitled to do. The Marxist Conspirators, so labelled by Lee, 12 civic minded citizens who dared to speak against Lee between 1987 and 1988. Again, they were arrested severely tortured with sleep deprivation and other criminalities, detained for many days, beaten, their confessions obtained under torture, publicly made to confess as being communists and released. I can go on but I will stop. Lee is guilty of breaking the law. The law that makes it illegal to interfere in the independence of the judiciary.

Lee breaks the law by illegally interfering in the independence of the civil service. The civil service is required to carry out their work in accordance with the rule of law in fairness to all under the constitution. But they cannot do it, because Lee requires the civil service to be used as an instrument to oppress and destroy his political opponents. The Official Assignees office ensures Lee's opponents unable to pay Lee's unjust court awards are bankrupted and dealt with very harshly while others are dealt with leniently. Opposition politicians who become bankrupt find it impossible to discharge their bankruptcies and will remain so for life. Since bankrupts cannot contest elections, Lee uses bankrupting his opponents as a means to prevent them from challenging him ever. JB Jeyaretnam who has been bankrupted by Lee has never got out of it. He will die a bankrupt. He is 82 years old.

Dr. Chee has been sued, ordered to pay half a million dollars and being unable to pay has been made a bankrupt. And what did he do? All he did was to ask Lee Kuan Yew as to why he paid Dr. Suharto, the former Indonesian dictator, 17 million dollars and under what authority did he do it. I think he also told Mr. Goh Chok Tong, the former prime minister that he could run but may not be able to hide. Statements completely innocuous and normal in any other country. But under the instructions of Lee Kuan Yew, the Singapore judges beholden to him obediently turned it around and made it defamatory and criminal, ordering Dr. Chee to pay a mammoth crippling half a million dollars to Lee Kuan Yew and friends and unable to pay, he has been bankrupted by Lee's civil servants.

Lee has made the police force directly answerable to him. At his orders, they arrest anyone and everyone, harass them, keep surveillance on them, tail them, and make it very difficult for anyone who challenges Lee.

You can therefore see that Singapore's public institutions have lost credibility and their self respect and have been discredited, brought into ridicule and contempt. Recently, in the High Court of Canada, a Canadian company Evernorth have filed suit to prevent the enforcement of a Singapore court judgment against them in Canada, because they claim, and quite rightly so, that the Singapore courts are corrupt and the corruption vitiated the validity of the award. See Oakwell vs Evernorth. These public institutions such as the courts, have lost their fairness and are no longer bound by the rule of law, beholden only to Lee and his personal family members and friends. These are illegal acts of interference by Lee Kuan Yew and his family and friends. Lee Kuan Yew runs Singapore by personal decree. Singapore is no longer run by the rule of law by independent public institutions.

We also know that that under Saddam Hussein, Iraq was run, not by rule of law, but by his personal decrees. He removed and destroyed his opponents by requiring his judges to punish and put to death his political opponents. Lee Kuan Yew does the same. The only difference is one of degree. He tortures his opponests while under detention by sleep deprivation and other brutalities, but stops short of killing them. Only a question of degree. But the political climate is similar in both countries. People dare not criticise, lest they are arrested tortured, charged sued and bankrupted. Example, JB Jeyaretnam and Dr. Chee Soon Juan.

In this climate where Lee Kuan Yew feels he is at liberty anytime to break the law any time he wants, it is about time you took those liberties. And the reality is that if you do not take those liberties and intentionally break these unjust laws, then you can be certain as the sun rises tomorrow, that you will never be free, you will never enjoy a democracy, you will be forever ruled by this dictator and his family, you will never be able to express yourself freely, you will forever only read propaganda, you will never be able to congregate and discuss views as free men. In short you will die as slaves, which you are now anyway.

So I say this to you now. There is no shame in breaking unjust laws. There is nothing illegal in peaceful protest. It is your right as free men. So go ahead and apply for a permit to hold a peaceful protest. When you receive the notice from the government refusing you that permit, which you invariably will receive, write to them that you intend to break that law and break it and hold that protest anyway. They will arrest you but in the eyes of the world, they will look very small.

In the end, you will undoubtedly win and they will lose. Only in this way, by deliberately breaking unjust laws, and telling them in no uncertain terms that you intend to do it, that you will be able to bring about change to your country Singapore.

Lou Thia Khiang and Chiam See Tong will not be able to bring about any change by asking questions, merely for the sake of asking.

Gopalan Nair
39737 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite A1
Fremont, CA 94538, USA
Tel: 510 657 6107
Fax: 510 657 6914
EMail: goplanair@us-immigrationlaw.com

Thais Back Government Stance on Singapore

As polls go it is rather basic, with simply one question being dessiminated. Sampling measure used, demographics, weighting...

Methodological concerns - what are they?
January 23, 2007
(Angus Reid Global Monitor) - Many adults in Thailand’s capital support the retaliatory measures taken by their new government against Singapore, according to a poll by ABAC. 64 per cent of respondents in Bangkok agree with the administration’s reaction.

In April 2006, a general election was held after prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra of the Thai Love Thais Party - Phak Thai Rak Thai (TRT) decided to dissolve the House of Representatives. The prime minister faced a series of public demonstrations after the Shinawatra and Dhamapong families sold their combined 49.6 per cent shares in the SHIN telecommunications empire to Singapore’s Temasek Holdings, in a transaction estimated at $1.88 billion U.S.

The deal—conveniently designed to be tax-free—infuriated many Thais, who accused Thaksin of being greedy and selling out Thai independence to the neighbouring country.

In September 2006, the Thai Armed Forces enacted a military coup as Thaksin was in New York for the United Nations (UN) general assembly. The group declared martial law, suspended the constitution, affirmed their loyalty to the King, and released a statement, which read: "We ask for the cooperation of the public and ask your pardon for the inconvenience." Surayud Chulanont was later appointed as the new head of government.

Earlier this month, strained relations turned sour again when Singapore allowed Thaksin to meet with several government officials there and grant interviews to Western media outlets in which he criticized Thailand’s current military junta. The Thai government reacted by blocking access to certain cable channels and websites, and complained publicly to Singapore.

Polling Data

Do you agree or disagree with the government’s reaction against Singapore?



Source: Assumption University of Thailand (ABAC)
Methodology: Interviews with 1,572 Thai adults in Bangkok, conducted on Jan. 16 and Jan. 17, 2007. Margin of error is 3 per cent.

22 Jan 2007

London Calling

Our Correspondent - Asia Sentinel
22 January 2007

In a stern reversal on a controversial legal case, Singapore’s ruling family finds that its writ does not extend past its borders

With a British court’s vindication of a prominent English neurologist and expert on epilepsy, Singapore’s ruling Lee family has discovered that other countries don’t share the island republic’s – or the Lee family’s – idea of what is legal and proper.

In a written decision adjudicated in December and handed down on January 12, the British High Court effectively ended Singapore’s pursuit of Simon Shorvon, the former principal investigator of a medical research project in Singapore, after a protracted international dispute in which the Singapore Medical Council alleged Shorvon was guilty of professional misconduct. Shorvon is now a professor at the University College, London.

The charges were brought against Shorvon by Lee Wei Ling, a physician, who happens also to be the daughter of patriarch Lee Kuan Yew and the sister of Lee Hsien Loong, the current prime minister. Over the past two to three decades, the Lee family and other Singaporean officials have filed a plethora of writs and lawsuits on various charges of libel and other misconduct against almost anyone who has had the nerve to stand up against them – but almost always in Singapore courts, where they have a 100 percent winning record, particularly against journalists and opposition politicians.

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Student protesters call for Singapore apology, threaten boycott

Student protesters call for Singapore apology, threaten boycott
) - Student activists have urged the Singaporean government to apologise for what they called a breach of diplomatic etiquette which the island republic had allegedly committed by allowing Thailand's deposed premier Thaksin Shinawatra to meet with its deputy prime minister on January 14.

About 100 students, led by the so-called Students Network for Democracy, the National Students Federation, the People's Assembly from 19 Northeastern provinces and the Anti-Corruption Network, demonstrated at the Singapore embassy on Bangkok's Sathorn Road, protesting and denouncing the alleged Singaporean mishandling of diplomatic relations between Thailand and Singapore.

The activists charged that the occasion last week in which Mr. Thaksin was interviewed by CNN International and the Wall Street Journal in Singapore had in fact jeopardised the ''delicate'' relations between the two countries.

They said that the Thai people would immediately stop buying Singaporean products and boycott the use of Singaporean services, should the island republic fail to apologise as demanded, according to the student activists.

Thailand withdrew an invitation to Singapore's Foreign Minister George Yeo, suspended an exchange programme of civil servants last week as a response to the city-state's hospitality towards ousted Thai leader.

Singapore defended the visit as a private meeting between old friends but Thai Foreign Ministry spokesman said Thailand considered it very insensitive to Thailand's position.(TNA)-E008


The High Court in Singapore had imposed Death Sentence on Iwuchukwu Amara Tochi. 19, a Nigerian and Okele Nelson Malachy, 33, who is stateless (from South Africa).

On the 16th March 2006, the Court of Appeal dismissed their appeals. As a last resort, they can file appeal for clemency to the President. It is clear from previous clemency petitions that the President hardly grants any clemency.

In Singapore, "the law presumes that a person caught in possession of prohibited drugs knows that he is in possession of illicit drugs, with the burden of rebutting the presumption on the person charged."

Iwuchukwu Amara Tochi thought that he was carrying African herbs that tasted like chocolate. On 28 November 2004, he was arrested at the Changi Airport transit lounge with heroin. He had with him 100 capsules of heroin weighing about 727.02 grams.

Tochi was arrested for allegedly carrying heroin while Malachy was nabbed in a subsequent police operation after Tochi identified him as one of his companions. The court in Singapore handed the death sentence after a 13-day trial. It is disturbing to note that the learned trial judge himself having raised reasonable doubts proceeded to convict them.

Against Tochi the trial judge Mr.Kan Ting Chiu made the following finding at paragraph 42 of his judgment [2005] SGHC 233:

"There was no direct evidence that he knew the capsules contained diamorphine. There was nothing to suggest that Smith had told him they contained diamorhine, or that he had found that out of his own."

Against Malachy, the trial judge made the following finding at paragraph 61 of his judgment:

"Although there was no direct evidence that the accused knew that the capsules contained drugs, and there is no presumption of such knowledge raised against him…"

Newsweek - Singapore Swing

First spotted on LuckySingaporean's Diary of a Singaporean Mind.
The island's economy is booming. So why are so many citizens worse off than they were 10 years ago?

By Sonia Kolesnikov-Jessop
Newsweek International

Jan. 29, 2007 issue - Tiny Singapore, with its population of 4.3 million, is often lauded for the way it has embraced globalization to maximum advantage. In the last decade, the city-state has opened its doors wide to foreign investment and talent, slashed corporate taxes, offered incentives to nurture strategic industries (such as biotech, pharmaceuticals and financial services) and cut free-trade deals with a host of other countries. The payoff has seemed clear: over the past three years, Singapore's economy has averaged 7.6 percent growth—a staggering pace for an industrialized state—and created new jobs at a rate any European government would envy.

There's only one problem: average citizens have yet to reap the benefits. New statistics reveal that middle-class households have tasted none of Singapore's spectacular growth, and that the island's poorest 30 percent are worse off than they were five years ago. "Although we have seen very strong growth, we're experiencing this new phenomenon of median real-wage stagnation and low-income decline," says Yeoh Lam Keong, vice president of the Economic Society of Singapore.

This predicament is hardly unique. Wages and salaries are stagnating across the industrial world. What's surprising is that even a country famous for its smart and transparent leadership has been unable to prevent the gains of globalization from flowing mostly to rich individuals and multinational corporations. In its bid to adapt Singapore's economy to international competition, the government has tried hard to reduce business costs. This has meant slashing labor prices, which has helped push wages down. According to official figures, over the past five years Singapore's wealthiest 10 percent have seen their income rise by 2.3 percent annually (and that doesn't include nonwage earnings such as capital gains or dividends). At the same time, the poorest 10 percent have suffered a staggering 4.3 percent drop in their salaries each year. The government has also allowed employers to cut their contributions to Singapore's Central Provident Fund, which pays for pensions, public housing, medical expenses and education

There's only one problem: average citizens have yet to reap the benefits. New statistics reveal that middle-class households have tasted none of Singapore's spectacular growth, and that the island's poorest 30 percent are worse off than they were five years ago. "Although we have seen very strong growth, we're experiencing this new phenomenon of median real-wage stagnation and low-income decline," says Yeoh Lam Keong, vice president of the Economic Society of Singapore.

Together, these factors have led to lower-than-expected private consumption, which has risen by just 3 percent in the past two years. "Private consumer spending has been the weak link in this current expansion," says Chua Hak Bin, an economist at Citigroup Global Markets in Singapore. This has, in turn, stung Singapore's large retail sector. "It is evident that [they] are not the big winners from high growth," says Manu Bhaskaran, a director of the U.S.-based Centennial Group.

Foreign competition is also hurting. Contractor Tan Boon Soo is one of many Singaporeans feeling the pinch. He installs windows for a living but laments "cutthroat competition" from contract laborers, who have flooded the island from places such as Indonesia and Bangladesh. Unskilled workers like street sweepers and security guards are also finding themselves undercut by immigrants willing to work for less. This is forcing native Singaporeans to change occupations or work harder for less money. "They talk about growth, but I don't see it," says Tan. "Maybe the bankers are doing well, but construction has not been. I'm worse off now than I was in 1997."

All this could spell big trouble. "If these trends continue unchecked," warns Yeoh, "we could begin to get the formation of an underclass [and] the makings of social instability." Such an underclass was never part of Singapore's grand plan. Now its leaders must figure out how to prevent one from emerging without relying on the kind of welfare programs they often deride. Last year the government launched an experimental workfare program that gave low-wage earners bonus pay of up to $780. Now Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's government is con- sidering making the program permanent in an effort to thin the ranks of the working poor.

"We will try out different forms, but the principle will be the same—help yourself [and] we will help you," the prime minister told lawmakers last November. "It's essential for us to tilt the balance in favor of lower-income Singaporeans because globalization is going to strain our social compact."

Lee has already announced that he'll make Singapore's rich-poor divide a major focus of his annual budget speech next month.

If knowing is half the battle, it could be an important first step.