11 Jan 2007

Beyond Suspicion? - The Singapore Judiciary

Beyond Suspicion? The Singapore Judiciary
Once again, Francis Seow has revealed, with his usual rigour and attention to detail, a vital part of Singapore's repressive machinery, this time by placing his spotlight on its judiciary. Beyond Suspicion? The Singapore Judiciary is essential to understanding the true nature of human rights abuses in that country. Particularly thorough are the chapters dealing with the use of civil defamation suits through the courts by ruling party leaders against political critics. Seow's meticulous treatment of these suits clearly illustrates that in politically sensitive cases, the Singapore judiciary has not moved to check the Executive's misuse of the law. Human rights campaigners now and historians of the future will regard it as required reading."
- Margaret John, Coordinator for Singpaore and Malaysia, Amnesty International Canada

"Francis Seow has not just exposed the judiciary; he has also laid bare the serious limitations of the political system. This is a quite brilliant piece of sustained analysis of how the judiciary is harnessed to political persecution. It is a style and methodology that is more legalistic…., but it is only through this approach that the full magnitude of the judiciary's emasculation and the PAP's manic desire to crush the slightest semblance of serious scrutiny become fully clear."
-Garry Rodan, Director, Asia Research Centre, Murdoch University, Western Australia

"This is an extremely valuable record of many significant cases and events that lay bare the dynamics of the Singapore judiciary and its intersection with political personalities and imperatives. It is an impressive work…of scholarly and public policy interest, providing chapter and verse on the politico-legal nexus in Singapore."
- Christopher Tremewan, Pro Vice-Chancellor (International), University of Auckland, New Zealand


Anonymous said...

can this item actually pass through the customs legally?

Matilah_Singapura said...

Send your question to: CUSTOMS_Field_Management@customs.gov.sg, and if they say "no", have the customs' email reply posted here :)

> [I]n politically sensitive cases, the Singapore judiciary has not moved to check the Executive's misuse of the law. <

Better yet, they've aided the damnation of opposition politicians.

Is there seperation of powers in the first place? Can the judiciary be influenced by the other branches of the state. Hmmm, so many questions, too little liberty...

> Human rights campaigners now and historians of the future will regard it as required reading. <

Aren't these Total Idiot Ivory Tower intellectuals. Fuck the hoity-toity musings about dissertation possibilities in "the future".

If justice is askew in S'pore, it needs to be fixed NOW.

The general population need to know about the importance of the seperation of powers in the state, and how that affects the extent of their liberty, and freedom from the arbitrary rights-trampling whims a government may occasionally have.

lee hsien tau said...


Magistrate’s Appeal No: 181 / 06 / 01 Between
Court No: 14
Case No: TC 7025 / 06

(NRIC No: S1471858C) ….Appellant





The petition of Koh Chong Kiang
Showeth as follows:

1. Your Petitioner the abovementioned Koh Chong Kiang was charged with Section 39(7) of the Town Councils Act (Cap 329A) and convicted at the District Court held at Court No. 14 on the 6th day of October, 2006 , and the following order was made thereon : fine $600 or 3 days in lieu.

2. Your Petitioner is dissatisfied with the said judgment on the following grounds:
The executive, the legislature, and the judiciary form the three pillars of any democratic government. The bench presides with the dignity and respectability owed to its independence, and is relied upon to dispense justice fairly.

In a virtual dictatorship, the legislature is no more than a rubber stamp, and the judicial process a mere formality. There is thus no surprise that, in the three instances in my life that I have been summoned to Court, and summoned as it were, as an accused, I find the bench carol ling and cavorting in a deathly salsa with an artful dodger of a prosecution economical with the truth.

Even a Kangaroo Court needs to conjure a pretense of impartiality in order to maintain a modicum of faith in the judicial process. In the case to which this appeal pertains, the bench scheduled the hearing to 10 days from PTC, such short notice that reluctant witnesses would have been gifted the perfect excuse not to present themselves, but then, already given more than twice the amount of time, is unable to prepare the grounds of decision and notes of evidence. For the record, I called three times for the hearing to be adjourned, but three times I was ignored.

How can such a trial unearth anything resembling the truth on which the bench can base a deliberation? In a bench trial, a judge needs to be proactive, an objective fact-finder, not simply reliant on the prosecution if he/she wishes to be fair, and to be seen to be fair, as the prosecution and their witnesses cannot be relied upon not to skim and splash where the circumstances call for it, and the devilish glint of delight happenstance in their eyes when they know the accused stand before them unrepresented and barren to a slaughter.

I attach with this petition of appeal, papers pertaining to the previous instance I was in custody, some of them presented by the prosecution, and (most of) the rest the prosecution would rather the Court not know, to back my appeal.

3. Your Petitioner prays that such judgment or sentence be reversed or annulled or that such order may be made thereon as justice may require.

Dated this day of 200

Signature of Appellant
NRIC No: S1471858C_________

Appeal to be heard at the Supreme Court on February 2nd, 10.00am, Court 5D. Public allowed in. All are welcome to attend.

Anonymous said...

Naahhh. Never doubted once that it is above suspicion. Have always viewed S'pore's judiciary as manipulated by the PAP.

Matilah_Singapura said...

>> Have always viewed S'pore's judiciary as manipulated by the PAP. <<

Good heavens! Surely that is illegal!

Quickly, someone alert Lee Kuan Yew. He has zero-tolerance for corruption! ;)