PM Lee’s remarks on 377a – sub judice contempt?

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRESS RELEASE
22 JANUARY 2013, 8PM

Sub Judice Reminder on Public Comments for and against the “repeal” of section 377A, Penal Code

1. Various comments have been made in public, both for and against the ‘repeal’ of section 377A, Penal Code, which makes it an offence for a male person to commit an act of gross indecency with another male person.

2. The issue of the constitutionality of section 377A is before the High Court in two cases. When the cases are heard, the arguments relating to the constitutionality issue will be fully aired in Court. Meanwhile, we would remind all parties that statements made by members of the public would be sub judice contempt, if the statements are calculated to affect the minds of the courts hearing the case, the minds of parties who are concerned in the case itself, or if they amount to public pre-judgment of the case, and there is a real risk of prejudice. Continue reading “PM Lee’s remarks on 377a – sub judice contempt?”

“We are professionals” – and out you go

“Well, everybody has a car, we have two — my wife drives one, I drive one. We are both professionals, we need to travel.”

The above was said by the PAP candidate Koh Poh Koon in an interview with the media during the Punggol East by-election. What caught my attention was not the fact that he revealed he and his wife drove a car each – something which many online have criticised him for. What threw me was his remark – “We are both professionals, we need to travel” – and the way he said it, with a smirk on his face.

“We are professionals…”

“We need to travel.”

And the earth parted.

It reminded me of this episode back in 2006: the Wee Shu Min affair.

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The PAP doesn’t seem to have learnt its lessons from GE 2011, the presidential elections and the Hougang by-election. Continue reading ““We are professionals” – and out you go”

Time for co-driver to give driver a kick, instead of a slap

The Workers’ Party (WP) chairman, Sylvia Lim, fired another salvo at the People’s Action Party (PAP) over the AIM saga at the WP rally on Tuesday night. It was a little of a surprise since she had withdrawn her adjournment motion which she had filed in parliament, citing the convening of the review announced by the prime minister as the reason.

Nonetheless, kudos to Ms Lim for not letting the matter rest – and for also raising it during the by-election, a period which she knows would give it maximum publicity.

And indeed it has.

Swiftly, though, the man on the other side of the fence – Dr Teo Ho Pin, coordinating chairman of the 14 PAP town councils at the centre of the controversy – issued a statement on the same night in response to Ms Lim’s rally attack. Continue reading “Time for co-driver to give driver a kick, instead of a slap”

A little tribute to the “small” guy

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My little tribute to the “small” guy whom everyone seems to be making fun of.

I don’t know Desmond Lim very well, although I did interview him for GE 2011 at his office. What I do know is that he gave 14 years of his time to the Potong Pasir Town Council (PPTC), and to the Singapore People’s Party (SPP).

At PPTC, as I understand it, he was more or less Chiam’s right-hand man. Or at least he was very much involved in the running of the TC.

“Those who know me know that over the past 14 years,” Desmond once said, “I have devoted all the time, energy and money to working for the Potong Pasir Town Council and the People’s Party. After my office hours, on public holidays and weekends, I would be working for them. I was even on call to help solve problems that happened during the wee hours of the night. All these I did without any incentives and rewards.” Continue reading “A little tribute to the “small” guy”

The authorities harassing workers?

Reading this report by Alex Au – “Injured worker awarded $69,000 in compensation, employer not paying” – is disturbing. While the situation of the worker in question is not entirely new  [see this other case], Alex’s report that “the [MOM] officer was intent on tripping him [Uzzal] up, and fishing for ways to reverse the court order; perhaps even looking for a way to prosecute him for lying under oath” is appalling, if true.

Just recently, the Minister for Manpower was laying down his “zero tolerance” stance on workers who go on strike, during the SMRT drivers’ saga.

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One of the so-called “leader” of the group of Chinese workers was swiftly dealt with, sent off to the courts to face charges, was given a 6 weeks sentence, and upon release, deported. Continue reading “The authorities harassing workers?”

More of the same, more of the same, or something different?

“For me the main issue of this by-election is sending a signal on how our country should be governed,” a friend commented to me, “what sort of representation we want in the highest body of government and demonstrating that we collectively be proactive and can make a difference.”

“The participating parties should evaluate the result of the by election carefully and not take it as a mandate to do more of the same they are doing now.”

That, in a nutshell, is the real issue – not just in this by-election in Punggol East but also in any election, in fact.

Promises of “reform” and “change”, and how general election 2011 was a “watershed” election, and how the subsequent cabinet changes were “epochal”, and how Singapore had entered a “new normal” raised expectations that the ruling party had, at last, seen the light and significant changes were afoot.  Continue reading “More of the same, more of the same, or something different?”

SDP’s political naivete

The Singapore Democratic Party’s (SDP) overtures to the Workers’ Party (WP) are, to put it simply, upsetting to SDP supporters, one would imagine. The party’s actions have attracted criticism all round – from both sides of the fence – and deservedly so. Alex Au called the SDP’s proposal for a “joint-campaign” with the WP a “hare-brained” idea.

I would call it naive too. My jaw almost dropped to the floor when I first read about it online.

Right from the get-go, the SDP faltered, by laying its stake or claim to Punggol East – only to later propose a “discussion” with the WP over who should be sent to contest the ward. And as if that is not already seen as dishonest enough, the SDP chose to release and publish its email correspondence with the WP. It is something which I will never understand, no matter what reasons are proferred. Who would want to talk to you from now on, knowing that whatever they may say to you in private and in confidence may be revealed to the entire planet – even if you do not publish each word said?

Continue reading “SDP’s political naivete”