23 Mar 2007

Snap Action! Protest ANU’s Honorary Doctorate for Lee Kuan Yew

An article calling for a protest from Young Labor Left Act called as a result the decision to confer a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, on Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore. Spread the word bloggers.

Where: The Great Hall, University House

When: 10:30am, Wednesday March 28

The ANU’s decision to confer a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, on Lee Kwan [sic] Yew has outraged academics and human rights campaigners. Rightly so! It shouldn’t just be academics that are outraged though.
Lee Kwan Yew, former Prime Minister of Singapore governed with an iron fist for 31 years. His regime, democratic in name only, was autocratic and repressive. In his current role as Minister Mentor Mr Lee still wields considerable influence over the authoritarian and paternalistic government. Where some tyrants use violence to keep their populations in check, Lee Kwan Yew used the law. In his hands it became a weapon wielded with accuracy and efficiency to crush dissent and tighten the ruling People’s Action Party’s grip on power.

That the ANU would honour this arrogant autocrat with a Doctorate of Law of all things is absolutely atrocious. That news of this would break just a day after Vice Chancellor Ian Chubb was encouraging As Chee Soon Yuan wrote in his letter, it is a decision that “boggles the mind and rankles the soul.” Join us at University House this Wednesday at 10:30am as we stand up for democracy and human rights in Singapore.

Chee Soon Yuan, Secretary General of the Opposition Singapore Democratic Party, himself a target of Mr Lee’s repressive regime has written to Vice Chancellor Ian Chubb to express his “deep concern” and “utmost dissapointment,” asking “what values are you imparting to the minds of those who walk through the gates of ANU? What image are you conferring on the ANU?” He also asks for your support. Register your own protest by emailing Ian Chubb at Vice-Chancellor@anu.edu.au and join us in a Snap Action Protest this Wednesday.

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