Friday, July 04, 2008

Singapore has Freedom of Speech....

Our govt has responded to WSJ's editorial "Democracy in Singapore" that totally misunderstood what is going on in Singapore.

You can find the response here:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121478977581714883.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

The main points from Mdm Yeong, MM Lee's Press Secretary:

1. Singapore has Freedom of Speech subject to our own Singapore laws.
2. Chees' court case has nothing to do with political freedom because it is a libel case involving falsehoods spread by the Chees.
3. Foreigners like Gopalan Nair and the foreign media should not engage in Singapore politics.

I fully agree with Mdm Yeong, once again the wisdom of our ways has triumphed over the foreign media and their hidden agenda to spread their faulty Western style democracy to Singapore.

Singaporeans certainly have freedom of speech as long as they don't defame our leaders or speak in public without a permit or insult civil servants. Freedom of speech subject to Singapore laws is still freedom. I guess the N. Koreans also have freedom of speech subject to N. Korean laws.

CSJ and his sister's case has nothing to do with political freedom. The Chees are such vile people, they are in court for making false claims against our esteemed leaders. As I recall the Chees said that our leaders are like the people who ran the NKF. How disgustingly inaccurate and defamatory. The NKF was a charity whose head was awarded an extremely high salary, squeezed the kidney patients for higher than needed payment for dialysis while building an enormous reserve from charity shows and suing critics for defamation.

All these defamation lawsuits have nothing to do with political freedom but people making false claims against our leaders. You can see clearly from all the cases that they have nothing to do with political freedom:

1. Tang Liang Hoong - bankrupted to the tune of $5M . See Tang was called a Chinese chauvinist by our leaders and he denied that insinuating that our leaders are liars.

2. JB Jeyaratnam - sued..over and over again. His last case was explained in wikipedia:

"..... eleven defamation suits were filed against him for saying the following words in one of the election rallies: "Mr Tang Liang Hong has just placed before me, two reports he has made to the police against, you know, Mr Goh Chok Tong and his people". Goh Chok Tong alleged that his "reputation, moral authority and leadership standing have been gravely injured both local and internationally" - Wikipedia.

You can see for yourself that these cases have nothing to do with curtailing political freedom and everything to do with false claims these dishonest men have made against our leaders. It has nothing to do with politics so I would like to caution all Singaporeans - you have the freedom to criticise the PAP govt subject to laws. Remember that if the PAP govt tells you something is good for you, you better believe it...and if you don't you should not say so. Because if you say it is not good, you're calling them liars and you risk getting sued. The correct way to engage our leaders on policy is to ask questions:

"I would like to understand how will the GST hike benefit Singaporeans?" rather than "I don't believe the GST hike is needed" or "The GST will hurt the poor." which insinuate that our leaders are liars....since the PM himself said it was needed and meant to help the poor.

I'm glad MM Lee's Press Secretary wrote in to correct the views of WSJ readers on the freedom of speech and political freedom in Singapore. Singaporeans are silent not because of a lack of freedom but because they trust their leaders. The govt of Singapore works for the interest of Singaporeans and to say otherwise is considered defamatory. The Singapore govt is efficient, honest, transparent and leads Singapore towards the ideals in our pledge - justice, equality, democracy......to say otherwise is defamatory...

------------------------------------------
Two Views of Freedom of Speech and Law in SingaporeJune 30, 2008;
Page A12
Your editorial ("Democracy in Singapore," June 26), relying on a "partial transcript," has misunderstood the issue in the libel case involving Dr. Chee Soon Juan and his sister.
The case had nothing to do with political freedom. It was for defamation arising from the Chees' false claims that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Lee Kuan Yew are criminals and corrupt. Despite being advised by a Queen's Counsel, they failed to produce any credible defense or evidence to back up their claims.
.
Having lost, Dr. Chee in open court then called the Singapore leaders "murderers, robbers, child molesters" and "rapists." The Chees also rebuked the judge, ignored her orders and shouted her down. In Ms. Chee's defense, her lawyer could only claim that she was "almost paranoid." This is why the judge sentenced the Chees to imprisonment for scandalizing the court.
.
Many opposition politicians routinely criticize government leaders, but are not sued because they have not uttered slanderous falsehoods. Contrary to your editorial, Singapore upholds free speech and the right to disagree, subject to the law.

Singapore's laws must be decided by Singaporeans, not by foreigners like Gopalan Nair, who is a U.S. citizen, or by the foreign media. Foreign media are entitled to report and comment on what is happening in Singapore, but they circulate here subject to Singapore law. They have no right to defame, to give a skewed account of court proceedings, or to engage in Singapore politics, for example, by campaigning for their version of Western style "democracy" for Singapore.
.
Yeong Yoon Ying Press Secretary to Minister Mentor Singapore
-----------------------------------------------
....another WSJ reader writes.....

Thank you for bringing the pitiful and shameful court proceedings in Singapore to Journal readers' attention. We citizens of the U.S. often take our freedom of speech, press and assembly for granted; and at times we assume that such rights are free.
Especially in the electronic age and with tools via the Internet and blogs, the power of true freedom in self expression is to be valued and needs to be protected by all citizens of this world. Thanks for sticking your neck out on our behalf.
Andrew T. Cheng New York

20 comments:

Kaffein said...

Quote:
"Nobody in Singapore has been persecuted for saying the truth. Nobody is going to be persecuted for saying what he believes in and standing up for it." - Vivian Balakrishnan (Straits Times)

Right.

Here we have a disconnect. I believe you can say anything you want, as long as you say it within Singapore's laws, which is saying nothing at all, coz you'll be sued till your pants drop.

So there we have the government encouraging us to speak freely, don't be afraid, and there they are suing the pants out of the likes of CSJ and other opposition members.

And LKY says he doesn't sue LTK? Perhaps LTK's style is a much more pragmatic approach and less boisterous and aggressive, while CSJ is more fervent and passionate.

Yet you can't 'box' people up and let them follow your style and your laws just because you like them to. Everyeone is different. Yes there are boundaries, but so far, I have yet to see CSJ doing something that is way out of boundaries.

It all points out that he (also being a taxpayer) wants accountability to where his tax goes! Even I want that answer, just that I don't have the guts to voice it out strongly.

Telling me that should other countries know where our wealth is invested and speculated is going to be crippled SG is pure hog-wash.

First, the money is not yours to keep and decide. You are only the stewarts of the public money and you should be accountable to us.

Second, whatever profits/surplus you have should be transferred back to the public, not for the furtherance of what you think should be invested. We have 3-4 trillion worth of economy and capital and investments, and only a trickle goes back to the taxpayer tentamount to 'robbing' us in the daylight.

Liken in the Mas Selamat case and other events, where is your accountability?

So I don't really fault CSJ for asking valid questions. Where is our money? Where did it go and how is it managed? Why be a black box?

Well, it will be years before we will know.

Anonymous said...

Mdm Yeong have produced the transcript. Technically, it looks like he did used the words "rapist" and "child molester".

Davinder is the best!

NoName

Anonymous said...

Ha Ha Ha Kaffein

you have no sense of proportion!

3-4 trillion of what? Rupiah?

I know LKY ever use that "trillion" word to describe our economy. Are you as senile as the old man?

Anonymous said...

Since its inception, PAP has been in this business of destroying opponents :

- who are paid by the govt such as being a lecturer (CSJ) or have hitherto being mixing around with PAP politicians (TLH).
- whose criticism of the PAP borders on the personal, such as naming the Lees
- who do not play by its rules (Lim Chin Siong's very active role in labour movement in 50's to early 60's, CSJ's protest in public places)
- who come on strongly & rather personally (JBJ) frightening the chicken so much as to turn on his defensive-aggressive instinct.

Why LTK & CST have not been sued? Because they know how to play by these rules, picking on policies and speaking in less personal and threatening terms.

Now only LTK & his party WP has the potential to tackle issues with PAP without giving the latter cause to turn aggressive. Unfortunately there is a toning down of their opposition role.

Anonymous said...

in other words, you can't call a spade a spade in this country.

in other words, you need to learn the finer art of fanning backside air if you want to make a difference.

in other words, you need to be submissive to the coital position of the dominant male on top of you

respect is not an option. it is a demand by law - according to mr woon.

and mr woon did put up a credible defense for law and order don't you think?

Robert HO nric S0197974D said...

71)Robert HO on July 3rd, 2008 3.09 pm

RH:

1. This is how Dr CHEE can sue the pants off and wipe the evil grin off LIE KY's face, once and for all, and permanently. I believe God's hand is writ large all over these series of absolutely unbelievable events.

2. First, Dr CHEE must sue. I know most Singaporeans are fearful of LIE KY, having had Fear deliberately written into their minds from the cradle, and Dr CHEE is no different. So, he must find the courage first, then the money for the court deposit to begin his lawsuit.

3. The first thing to do is to announce asap THAT HE WILL SUE LIE KY. The longer Dr CHEE delays calling a press conference to announce this intention, the weaker his case becomes. If he takes a long time to announce he will sue, it will seem that he has no case or a weak case, or just making things up opportunistically. Worse, LIE KY may die. So, immediately begin the lawsuit process to ESTABLISH that there was criminal wrongdoing on the part of LIE KY. So, even if LIE KY dies, his estate may have to continue his defence [get legal advice on this].

4. The public announcement and a proper legal submission of the suing intention to the courts will be enough. THEN Dr CHEE MUST SUE THE WALL STREET JOURNAL FIRST, IN AMERICA, WHERE THE WSJ IS BASED.

5. This will be a 'friendly' lawsuit, to establish the case legally IN AMERICA first, so that its legal findings and quantum of damages will then establish legal and monetary benchmarks for the Singapore courts when Dr CHEE sues in Singapore.

6. Dr CHEE will only accept enough damages from the WSJ to pay off all his costs, and nothing else, except maybe US$1 as a token. However, the WSJ must not be allowed to settle out of court quietly, as the main intention of suing the WSJ is to publicise the entire case worldwide, to give LIE KY the publicity he so craves. So the hearings and lawyers submissions must proceed until judgements and verdicts.

7. With the WSJ sued successfully, Dr CHEE can then sue LIE KY in Singapore, using the entire court proceedings in America against the WSJ as precedent both legally and financially as benchmarks and guidelines. This will make it almost impossible for any Singapore kangaroo judge to rig the case like LIE KY rigged the 1963 GE, the 1997 Cheng San GRC election and most probably also the OTC Presidential election.

8. And please, Dr CHEE, when you face LIE KY in court again, please don't let him get away with similar remarks like "See, even the SDP doesn't believe I rig elections." [Note he never said, "I don't rig elections."]. You CHEEkened out that time but now God has given you a second chance. Don't blow it. You don't win against the strongest opponent in the world with feeble, half-measures. Go the whole hog. Live up to the brave words and quotations in your Blog.

72)Andrew Loh on July 3rd, 2008 5.37 pm

For the record, as reported by the Straits Times, here is what transpired leading to the allegations that Dr Chee called the Lees "rapists", "child molesters", and so on.

Straits Times
May 29
Home 4

During the last few minutes of Senior Counsel Davinder Singh's closing submission:

Mr Singh: "And to conclude on Dr Chee's submissions, he says that he doesn't wish Mr Lee Kuan yew and Mr Lee Hsien Loong ill. In that same breath, he says he stands by The New Democrat article, which alleged that they are 'criminals, corrupt, and covered up matters in the NKF'. And under his breath, he's now just said 'murderers and robbers'."

Dr Chee: "And rapists, too, you might as well throw it in, you know, right? Child molesters."

Mr Singh: "And this is the man who says: 'I don't wish them ill'."

80)Robert HO on July 4th, 2008 10.14 am

RH:
1. Thanks Andrew for the excerpt of the transcript in 72.

2. This transcript in no way justifies what LIE KY and his spokeswoman wrote, to WSJ. Their statements were so totally exaggerated to be lies altogether. Totally unreflective as to the content as to be lying allegations without substance.

3. Anyway, let us hope Dr CHEE finds the courage and money to sue the WSJ in an American court to establish the truths and legal principles of the case.

4. Not that American or British courts are very much better than our kangaroos. I dont read local or intl news due to unpleasantness, except for an occasional flip, but in the last few years, I remember 1 news that 'an American judge smuggled a penis pump into court under his judicial robes and masturbated while the lawyers were arguing the case'. In the British court when our Medical Association [SMA] sued Prof Shorvon for his proved offences in Singapore, namely giving and changing patients medicines without telling their doctors, effectively guinea-pigging them for his own research, for which he was sacked, the judge acknowledged all the facts produced by SMA but still acquitted Shorvon! So American and British courts — and there are probably hundreds more news I didnt read — are as hypocritical as ours, though less corrupt.

5. Another possible development for this case is for the WSJ to consult its lawyers and if they advise that indeed, the WSJ had published false statements from LIE KY and YYY, for WSJ to apologise in as public a manner as the very damaging lies were made, that is, in WSJ, plus pay damages, maybe just token, to Dr CHEE. This would throw much light, instead of "heat" on the issue and be fair to Dr CHEE, since he has now been defamed in a worldwide media, by total and farfetched lies from MM, YYY.

Desmond Lim said...

It is so pointless for CSJ to sue isn't it. Not as if our judicial system is really impartial.

gravedigger said...

"Singapore has freedom of speech"......if you say what this government likes to hear.

"Nobody in Singapore has been persecuted for saying the truth"......only good things about this government is the truth.

"Nobody is going to be persecuted for saying what he believes in and standing up for it"......but many have lost their pants and shirts.

"Davinder is the best"......in Singapore , JB and some say Batam also.

Singapore Inc. has a stock market value of 3-4 trillion IF we factor in LKY's PE ratio. He should know because he is running the business.

"Since its inception, PAP has been in this business of destroying opponents"......one of the strategy when you are running a business for profits and more profits.

"In other words you need to be submissive to the coital postion of the dominant male on top of you"......that probably explains the difficulty in finding talent....the initiation to join the ruling party is truly frightening. lol

mr woon has yet to prove himself in his new job and he is already hinting that he deserves respect because he is the law. lol

Anonymous said...

The lsw is never fair. The law favours the rich and powerful. Get a good lawyer and you can get away with murder.

It is the same as saying everyone is born equal when it is not.

LawMan said...

precisely. granted the laws can be rather academic and complicated. granted we need train lawyers but should the people relinquish their conscience and inborn sense of judgment to empower a man to decide on the people's fate just because he/she has a bigger memory capacity?

let the legal faculty digest and summarize the issue or facts of the case FOR the people to judge!

i rather trust the people than one man/judge presiding over the rests because he/she obtain some papers that makes him more qualified than others to call a murder a murder or a lie a lie.

bring back the jury system please!!

Onlooker said...

For LKK only.
Now always on TV to say this say that, offend other countries and pretend to be very wise (some of the thing he said had been proven wrong).
Those countries are losing patient in us but most of the leaders there know the problem is not the people here, it is the leader. That's why they only listen when investment involved .When not, they ignore the senile guy :)
PS they don't give a hoot on the LKK opinion unless there is money involved

celyra said...

if our govt says that singapore has got the freedom of speech, then it must be true. To say otherwise is to imply that they lie.This is defamation. So yes, we do have freedom of speech here. Why not?

Anonymous said...

To say that Singapore has Freedom of Speech is not wrong.

Why Singapore and not Singaporeans ?

She should instead say the Singaporeans has Freedom of Speech.

Then she is an outright liar. For that, she is no better than a prostitute.

Anonymous said...

When our token opposition (CST and LTK) play by PAP's rules, so as not to get sued as Mdm Yeong said, they almost become PAP MPs. In fact, some of the PAP backbenchers sometimes more anti-govt than CST and LTK, more balls to oppose their own party than CST and LTK! Still consider them opposition meh?

Anonymous said...

Don't always assume only the west is democratic. Try comparing our system to Japan, Taiwan, even HK, which give citizens a lot more free speech than ours Their economies aren't any inferior to ours, yet thay can tolerate more democracy.

Anonymous said...

That's what Chee was telling the old man in court. Japan, South Korea Hong Kong and Taiwan have done just as well as us. But we have been conditioned to believe that Singapore today is all due to one man. and the fact that most Singaporeans believe so has left me literally speechless. Who needs freedom of speech?

Anonymous said...

Hi,
I'm just wondering...do you know if it is an offense to plagiarize a govt official's speech (PM) ?

Here's the gist of it---
I'm sure you've read abt Dawn Yang Vs XiaXue and some pple dug up evidence that she's actually been plagiarising some of her stomp blog entries.

Dawn Yang then went on the radio 98.7fm Friday and admitted it but she said it was only " 2 or 3" out of hundreds...and that she thought it was a personal blog etc basically played dumb, didn't know etc...

Anyway, AFTER this radio interview, XX's fans found more enteries were plagued with plagiarism and one of them is PM's speech!!!

Do you know if this is illegal since he is a government official and she is getting paid for blogging?

What do you think about blog integrity and is there a code of ethics among bloggers?

Link to evidence-
http://forums.cozycot.com/showthread.php?t=29280&page=722

www.XXvsDY.blogspot.com

if you wish please visit cozycot.com's forum and let us know if it's an offence. THanks!

syazni rayyan said...

ok, i'm reffering to what is written above saying singapore has free speech but only with what is permitted such as not defacing the political leaders etc....you tell me now what freedom means. i'll give you an example, freedom is about no restriction, free to do what you want, say, feel, think, nothing on your back, nothing putting you down....so if you wanna say this country has got free speech, look through your fucking eyes and see it's restricted speech, freedom of speech with rules is NOT freedom. learn what the word really means.

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