14 Sept 2006

Singaporean activist arrested

Singaporean activist arrested
13 Sept 06

Singaporean activist Mr Seelan Pillai has been arrested. The SDP can confirm that Mr Pillai, who started the 400 frowns campaign to counter the Government's 4 million smiles project, is now under custody at the Clementi Police Station.

When contacted the police would not reveal anything more other than to say that Mr Pillai's family has been informed of his arrest.

The activist's arrest comes in the wake of unpopular decisions the PAP Government has been making to clampdown down on attempts to organise protests by local and international civil society groups.

Mr Pillai is also an animal rights supporter as well as a music artist. He has also taken part in anti-death penalty campaigns.

The Singapore Democrats registers its concern over the arrest and calls on the police to be forthcoming with information on what Mr Pillai is being arrested for. The SDP also states that Mr Pillai must be accorded all the rights of an arrested person, including the right to legal counsel.


Anonymous said...

I see this arrest as the start of an orchestrated crackdown directly linked to the IMF/WB event. The Leegime is doing all it can to put a stop to incidents that could potentially embarass little Lee and the despot. And since the ISA can no longer be invoked to carry out "lawful" detentions, they have to think up new ways to detain/arrest people unlawfully.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

yikes, what would become of my beloved singapore if we let activists run amok! i can sleep easy at night now knowing one more bad guy is put away.

Ⓜatilah $ingapura⚠️ said...

Wow. They busted a musician. Awesome dude!

It's almost like a nod to Mao's Cultural Revolution, except that everyone involved is still breathing — if only just. I've always suspected that "statecraft" was the creative use of tyranny!

The passion-driven despot uses society as his canvas, and his power, whim, arbitrary authority, brutality, punitive measures, violence, fear and foreboding to colour, shade, sculpt and form the nation, to make an indelible statement in human history.

Now folks, this is pure artistry. This deserves The Cultural Medallion. Perhaps even an Oscar for a great script, wonderful acting, and a stellar performance.

I'm hoping Mr Lee writes another book:
"The Creative Dictator — How The Passionate Tyrant Enjoys His Work".

Damn. Another bestseller, and more money to be donated to charity.

Bravo! Encore!

"Government exists because (and only as long as) individual citizens give it a "temporary license to exist" - in exchange for a promise that it will behave itself. — Frank Zappa

Joe90 said...

It's time to start an online petition campaign to get the police to stop harassing and to release Seelan, just like what was done for James Gomez and Martyn See. PetitionOnline are you listening?

q. said...

they've got to be kidding.

if this is only about the 400 frowns campaign, then the arrest is absurd. and among other things, also mindblowingly stupid and a thorough waste of our tax dollars.

Joe90 said...

This crackdown on dissent is just so short-sighted and stupid and is sure to backfire on our authorities. With so much international attention on Singapore right now because of the IMF meetings, such an ill-advised and unjust action will only serve to broadcast the fact so loudly all over the world that this regime does not respect human rights. Good job, Singapore government, great PR tactics.

Anonymous said...

Yes, well done, Singapore government - you've done it again.
"Welcome To Singapore: Please leave your rights at the door"

Anonymous said...

Unauthorised anti-corruption probe, Feb 1997

'D' Division

Subject: Soh Wai Wah
Rank: ASP (currently Chief of Staff)

Subject is married, childless.
Subject lives at unit of Leedon Heights condo at junction of Holland Rd and Farrer Rd.
Subject owns no other property and does not appear to have excessive sources of income.

Subject: Jaswant Singh
Rank: Unknown

17 Singapore residents share the same name, from court officials to factory workers. However, only subject is a policeman.
Subject appears to hold junior rank.
Subject appears well-connected and to have excessive sources of income.
Subject holds directorships in countless security related companies and a number of properties including a bungalow along Mountbatten Rd.

Investigation suspended due to arrest. Of the two subjects, number 2 holds promise. Probe to resume when situation permits, like when there's a regime change.

Ⓜatilah $ingapura⚠️ said...

To joe90:

Petitions are ineffective, especially when dealing with a govt like the S'pore govt.

The laws of the state have a great influence in shaping th culture of the people.

For e.g. When America achieved self-determination by kicking out King George's regime, the framers of the new constitution made laws ("Man Qua Man") to protect the individual right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, which includes his property. In other words, the ONLY function of the state was to protect the individual's rights and his property. (Unfortunately including the ownership of slaves, which were considered "property")

Nonetheless, these individual-based laws shaped the American culture of Individual Liberty — tha famous 120 year old statue of Lady Liberty on Ellis Island off New York's harbour is a monument to America's spirit of individual and national freedom.

Regardless of whatever tyrannical laws the states and the federalists passed, the Spirit of The Sovereign Individual prevails, to this very day. The term "rugged individual" has frequently been associated with American culture.

Had there not been laws which proetected Individual rights and property, America might have turned out quite differently.

What has all this have to do with Singapore?

Lots. The LAWS OF THE STATE influence the culture of the country and its people. In Singapore, there are laws which prevent individual enterprise in the political sphere, which VIOLATE Individual and Private Property Rights. And therefore, (generally speaking) you get a culture concomitant with the effect of these laws.

The government of Singapore protects private property to a degree, but it defines what is private property (as do all other states). The negatives: For e.g., the LTA can take land as it so chooses, you cannot do certain things which don't affect anyone else — "victimless" crimes, you are taxed heavily on alcohol, tobacco, fuel and cars, males are forced to do NS, anything which comes in is subject to scrutiny and censorship, you cannot print without approval, you cannot protest, you cannot put on "entertainment" without a license, the type of "entertainment" must be approved by the police etc etc.

On the positive side: taxes are low and territorial — i.e. you can earn as much as you like outside Singapore, you can bring you're money in and out without any hassle, borders are relatively open — so if you run a business you can employ anyone you like, very little export restrictions... in these areas there is very little government interference.

So for cosmopolitan Singaporeans and international players from around the world, Singapore is a brilliant place. Most of these folks are rationally ignorant about local politics. As long as the realtionship between various international states is ANARCHIC, global players will always flock to Singapore to do business.

Fascism has always been sexy to multi-national corporations connected to governments.

If you think the latest bits of "negative PR" will have an effect on Singapore, think again.

I guarantee you, same time next year (saving some global economic crisis) Singapore's economic growth will be only a few percentage points shy of 10%.

And the government will tell the world "See, we told you so". The worst part, Singaporeans in general will believe it — that iron-fisted security and excessive force by the state is GOOD for prosperity.

My question to those folks is "What is the point of being RICH, if you are not FREE?"

Anonymous said...

Urgent Action: Recent wave of arrests in Tibet!

Chinese govt again arrested some tibetans. Please help by sending an email to the chinese govt.


Just this past month, reports have confirmed China's arrest of a number of Tibetans for political reasons. According to Radio Free Asia, authorities in the southeastern Tibetan region of Karze arrested the abbot of a major Tibetan monastery on August 23. The arrest was possibly in connection with independence leaflets that were displayed at the monastery a year ago. In a similar but separate incident, a 16-year-old girl was arrested in June in the same region in connection with a crackdown on pro-independence leafleting. For more details, please go to www.rfa.org.

In a more recent incident reported by The Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD), a 23-year old monk staged a demonstration in Lhasa on September 3 before being whisked away by Public Security Bureau officials. TCHRD said in their press release that while the identity of the monk could not be confirmed, he is from Toelung Dechen County in the TAR, and had been a monk at Takdrak Monastery before being expelled on political grounds from the monastery eight years ago. Read full story at www.tchrd.org.

Earlier in March, a Tibetan writer in his twenties, Dolma Kyab, was detained on what are believed to be charges of 'endangering state security'. He was subsequently convicted in a closed trial and is currently serving a 10 year prison term. Kyab, a 29-year old writer and history teacher in Lhasa, had been working on a book manuscript titled The Restless Himalayas, in which he writes about Tibet's geography, history and religion.

Please click here now to send a letter to the Chinese Minister of Justice, Wu Aiying, demanding the immediate release of these innocent individuals. You can also print a copy and fax it to China's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Wang Guangya. Fax: 1-212-481-2997 and Phone: 1-212-655-9191

II. SFT Networks

SFT grows as an organization every day. Though our headquarters is based in New York, there are centers of leadership all over the world. SFTers run national networks in India, Canada, France, and the United Kingdom – all of whom have great presences on the web. While you’re surfing for actions you can do for Tibet, don’t forget to stop by the following websites:

SFT India: http://sftindia.org

SFT Canada: http://studentsforafreetibet.ca

SFT France: http://tibetlibre.org

SFT UK: http://sftuk.org

Anonymous said...

Re:Urgent Action Needed
Yo! Airhead, We don't give a damn about Tibet. Air your concerns elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

I do not intend to divert from the main topic in this discussion,


We must not ignore others' plight.
Remember the Nazis and no one bothered as it did not affect them TILL the Nazis came a knocking on their doors and then these jokers realised that there were NO ELSE left to defend them.

History has a lot of lessons to teach us.

Remember, much as we might not care about China's repression, China was THE cuntry that supported the Malayan Communist Party (CPM) and terrorism here in the 40s till the 70s.
For those who do not know or remember they had the Radio CPM stationed in Yunan broadcasting and encouraging the communists and terrorist to overthrow the legitimate govts in Singapore !



First we have to remove dictatorial regimes like China.

A cuntry that does not understand some basic rights for the people.
Remember their dastardly acts in removing organs from prisoners without their permission. (what do you expect from dead people? To protest about their organs being removed).

A cuntry that supported the POL POT regime in Cambodia causing at least 3 million deaths of his own people.

A cuntry that caused many more millions to die during the Cultural Revolution. Why blame other countries for 're-writing' WW2 history when China should look at themselves and own up their own atrocities on their people.

God Bless the Repressed and the Downtrodden. We need all the blessings ourselves in this selfish world.

Anonymous said...

"Re:Urgent Action Needed
Yo! Airhead, We don't give a damn about Tibet. Air your concerns elsewhere"

anon 10.53am, if you're not interested to read this news you can blog elsewhere too!!

Anonymous said...

anon 10.53am, we're also not interested to have selfish ppl like you to blog here.

Anonymous said...

Those who do not wish to hear the TRUTH and claim to speak for all of us (ref: ANON 10. 53am),
only goes to show THAT THE TRUTH ACTUALLY HURTS SUCH PEOPLE. They must be feeling guilty too and hence their reaction to avoid facts.

Worse, who the hell is he to say that 'WE don't give a damn to Tibet' ?

Maybe his next life he should be in such a dilemma and worse, in Dafor (Sudan) waiting for another holocaust ! (though I do not wish that upon him or anyone else).

IF we have no empathy for others, how do we expect the world to be a better place ?

Anonymous said...

some of us including me knows Seelan well enough at least as a musician whom we have shared stage with. First of all he's not a bad person, he is not even close to being a violent person (in fact he's pretty much a very emotional and soft person)and he doesn't deserve to be arrested at all. i know that there are limits to bending e rules and laws that we have and i am sure that he has never crossed that line to create unnecessary chaos and violence in our community. i hope he's doing well.