Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
In a dramatic twist of events, Dr Chee is now accepting legal help from a foreign talent! The foreign talent happens to be Mr Robert Amsterdam, a Canadian lawyer.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
"How does one ought to 'reasonably' know that having more than one person assemble outside Parliament is an offence?"Even the average Joe in Orchard road can tell you that SDP activists did not simply assemble outside Parliament. They protested, donning cheaply printed T-shirts, and holding placards. Why is it that every time SDP claims it is campaigning and then later deny it when they go into the courtroom? Can anyone trust this party at all?
"Under cross-examination by one of the defendants, Mr Carl Lang, during the hearing yesterday, police witness Sergeant Nor Hidah said that she was "not sure" whether the area around Parliament House was a gazetted place within which a gathering of more than one person needs police permission. And get this -- she has been a police officer for eights years.
This begs the question, doesn't it? If an experienced police officer doesn't know the above requirement (and we'll wager our last dollar that Sgt Nor Hidah is not the only police officer who doesn't know) how does one expect the average guy to, reasonably or otherwise?"
Stay tune to more entertainment brought to you by SDP in the courtroom for the days to come.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
TBT Traitor 1: Ng E-jay
TBT Traitor 2: Jeffrey George
In order to be able to attend work on time, Jeffrey George thought of an ingenious idea. He decided to plead guilty since SDP donations could subsidise his penalties.
TBT Traitor 3: Yap Keng Ho
When cross-examining the police photographer, Yap Keng Ho repeatedly ask questions about the camera being used. He asked about the flash used to establish authenticity, thereby dropping hints that he didn't stand for TBT campaign and thus disassociating himself from the group. He's smart in not pleading guilty since he knows SDP donations are too little and can't help him much. The other 15 noticed that and lost patience with him. Chia Ti Lik even allied with the Prosecutor to get Yap Keng Ho to shut up! See the news report extract below:
Jeremy Au Yong, Political Correspondent
The Straits Times
25 October 2008
"THERE were disagreements in court on Friday as the first prosecution witness took the stand in the ongoing trial of 17 people charged with taking part in an illegal assembly outside Parliament House on Mar 15.
However, this came from among defendants themselves, as they could not see eye-to-eye on a number of matters.
Chief among these was the line of questioning of police photographer Nor Hidah Ali Jinnah, the witness.
At one point, lawyer Chia Ti Lik, a defendant, interrupted fellow defendant Yap Keng Ho's cross-examination to say: 'Your Honour, I do not see the relevance of this line of questioning. And I wonder why the DPP (Deputy Public Prosecutor) has not objected.'
Yap had been questioning the police photographer on the type of flash she used to take pictures of the scene. He said it was to establish the authenticity of the photos.
Staff Sergeant Nor Hidah had been tasked to take pictures of the area where the assembly and procession had allegedly taken place, to establish the setting.
Half an hour of questions from Yap delving into technical details of her camera equipment made his co-defendants lose patience..."
Friday, October 24, 2008
"The morning started off with Mr Ng E-jay pleading guilty to the charge of taking part in an assembly outside Parliament House. The second charge of participating in a procession was taken into consideration. Mr Ng was subsequently fined $600."Compare this to the article "Come and support the activists during the trial" which read, "We are proud of being able to come together to defend and push for the rights of our fellow citizens, for without these rights we are at the mercy of the PAP. We know that we are guided by the truth and righteousness."
If SDP knows it's righteous, why did its activist pleaded guilty in the morning?
"In the end, Mr George pleaded guilty as this was the only way for him to get back to his work. He was fined $1,200."What's more, one of the SDP activists pleaded guilty just to go back to work! Seems like career is more important than political stand.
The Best Job Insurance: SDP calls out for supporters to donate to its legal defence fund, which will be used to keep Mr George's job.
With the guilty pleas, SDP has lost its legitimacy among its supporters. This is because SDP has gone back on its civil disobedience action. Remember how Dr Chee claimed to be on hunger strike but secretly drank glucose water?
Oscar Award for the most illogical statement of the YEAR:
"I understand what was read out to me," Mr Jufrie replied, "what I don't understand is why are we being charged. You see groups of tourists and other people everyday in front of Parliament. Why are they all not charged?"This either shows the naivity of Mr Jufrie to law, or that he's trying to say the SDP did not campaign at all in front of Parliament. So wasn't there a demonstration?
In conclusion, SDP doesn't really care about the poor in Singapore as much as they say they are. It protested outside Parliament House but said they were just like tourists walking pass Parliament without intention of demanding more to be done to alleviate poverty in Singapore. All else said, after the bankruptcy of SDP, it could consider joining the Entertainment industry.
Jeremy Au Yong
The Straits Times
Headline: 19 on illegal assembly trial
IT WAS a lively start to the first day of court proceedings for 19 people accused of demonstrating in front of Parliament House in March.
The 19, who include Singapore Democratic Party chief Chee Soon Juan and his sister Chee Siok Chin, have been charged with taking part in an illegal assembly and a subsequent procession.
The group piled into Court 5 of the Subordinate Courts at 9.30am on Thursday, and extra chairs had to be put in place to accomodate all of them.
The public gallery was filled with about 20 people, including supporters of the SDP and those on trial.
Amid the noise and commotion as the defendants were taking their seats before proceedings started, one of them, blogger Yap Keng Ho, 45, remarked to the rest: 'This is the largest pasar malam in the history of Singapore'.
During the course of proceedings before District Judge Chia Wee Kiat, several of those who were charged rose to ask questions or make applications.
There were requests for copies video clips taken by the police of the March 15 event; one accused sought an adjournment as he wanted to get back to his job; and one asked for the Court to observe a minute's silence for the late opposition polition JB Jeyaretnam, who was to have represented several of the activists.
But the first order of formal business on Thursday morning for District Judge Chia was to deal with the decision by one of the accused, blogger Ng E-Jay, 31, who said that he was pleading guilty.
He told The Straits Times that he had decided to do so just on Wednesday.
Proceedings were then adjourned so that his case could be dealt with before the trial of the remaining 18 accused could continue.
Ng was fined $600, or six days in jail in default, after he admitted to the charge.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
18 October 2008
Govt responds to call by US advocacy group to desist from 'using defamation suits to stifle political opposition'
THE Government yesterday gave its position on criticisms levelled against government leaders by opposition politicians, in response to a statement by a New York-based advocacy group, Human Rights Watch (HRW).
The group had called on Singapore's leaders to 'end the practice of using defamation suits to stifle political opposition'. In comments posted on its website yesterday, it highlighted a High Court ruling this week.
HRW noted that the court had awarded Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew six-figure sums against the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP), its secretary-general Chee Soon Juan and his sister Chee Siok Chin for defamation.
In reply, the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts' spokesman noted that in Singapore, opposition politicians have the right to criticise the Government and government leaders.
But, Ms K. Bhavani added, 'that does not entitle them to tell lies or defame'.
'If they do, the leaders must either sue to clear their names and be prepared to be cross-examined in open court, or allow the lies to stand unchallenged and the public to believe that the defamations are true.
'This is the way to establish the truth, and to keep Singapore's public discourse honest and responsible.''
In reference to the court ruling, Ms Bhavani noted that the Chees and their political party, the SDP, had accused PM Lee and MM Lee of dishonesty, nepotism and corruption, among other things.
They had done it just before a General Election in 2006, she noted in a statement to the media. 'When the two ministers sued, the other members of the SDP central executive committee apologised, but Chee and his sister refused to do so.
'The Chees had every opportunity to justify and prove their allegations in court, but totally failed to do so. Therefore, they have to pay damages commensurate with the seriousness of the defamation and in accordance with the judgment of the court.'
The defamation was committed in articles published in SDP's newsletter, The New Democrat. Nine of its leaders settled earlier with the Lees, apologising and paying them $170,000 each.
That leaves the SDP and the Chee siblings owing the Lees $610,000 in all. The siblings are bankrupt. If the SDP is unable to pay, the 28-year-old party faces the prospect of being wound up.
The possibility was highlighted as well in HRW's statement. It reported its deputy Asia director Elaine Pearsonas saying: 'Using defamation laws to silence peaceful political speech makes a mockery of Singapore's claim to be a model democracy. Opposition criticism of the Government is an essential ingredient of a democratic political system.'
The group urged the Government to 'lift legal restrictions on freedom of expression to bring the country in line with international law'.
In concluding remarks, the HRW said 'the assault on free speech by Singapore's leaders extends to critical foreign publications circulating in Singapore'.
It mentioned several cases, involving among others, the Far Eastern Economic Review and The Wall Street Journal Asia.
Ms Pearson said: 'The history of defamation in Singapore shows a pattern of making people pay dearly for exercising the basic right of peaceful expression.
'Singapore has nothing to fear from a vocal opposition and its people have everything to gain.'
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
"Why must closed minds conjure images of pandemonium and anarchy when we talk about protests? Why can't protests be civil, disciplined, and peaceful as demonstrated by peoples all over the democratic world? Why must people who call for protests and challenge unjust laws be always demonised?"By inference, SDP feels that Singapore is already a true democracy. Protests have never been always been civil, disciplined and peaceful ALL OVER the democratic world.
"Laws against protests in Singapore were not handed down through some heavenly edict. They were introduced by white men to subjugate brown, yellow, and black ones during their colonial rule."Did Democracy come from the East?
"Have protests suddenly become morally acceptable? The truth is that freedom of assembly has never been morally undesirable. It is dictators that, for obvious reasons, outlaw them and give the convenient excuse that protests are bad for society."I don't remember any PAP leaders comparing the act of protest to morality.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
SDP leaders have to be responsible for slander. The only chance they had in court to bring in their valid arguments was wasted away by the drama they created within the court. At the end of the day, after SDP leaders had fun in the courtroom, they started to blame it on others (PAP) instead of reflecting on themselves.
PM Lee, MM Lee awarded 6-figure sums in libel case against SDP & party leadersMargaret Perry, Channel NewsAsiaThe High Court has awarded six-figure sums to both Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew in their libel case against the Singapore Democratic Party and its leaders.
Justice Belinda Ang said she came to the conclusion that a fair and reasonable figure for damages was S$500,000 for Mr Lee Hsien Loong and S$450,000 to Mr Lee Kuan Yew for defamatory remarks which appeared in an SDP publication during the 2006 General Election.
After taking into account the S$170,000 which each plaintiff had earlier received in settlement from six other defendants, she awarded damages of S$330,000 to be paid to Prime Minister Lee and S$280,000 to Minister Mentor Lee.
Justice Ang said the amount was commensurate with and proportionate to the gravity of the libel and the "egregious behaviour" of the defendants Chee Soon Juan and Chee Siok Chin.
Justice Ang said defendants Chee Soon Juan and Chee Siok Chin had played to the gallery.
She ordered them to pay aggravated damages, saying they had attempted to establish the truth of the libel under the pretext of cross-examining the plaintiffs.
She added the plaintiffs had been "subjected to insulting behaviour and more than unpleasant cross-examination, which increased their sense of having been ridiculed and humiliated".
Monday, October 13, 2008
In previous trials in court where Dr Chee and Ms Chee were debating with the MM and PM Lee, the Chees had already shouted in court and failed to respect the judiciary in doing so. However, some Singaporeans then felt that they had done a good job in bringing out some of the common grievances of the population.
This time round, it finally confirmed the lack of respect of the Courts by SDP.
"The DPP interjected saying that the defendants were jumping to conclusion that they would be found guilty. The defendants chuckled to themselves, one of whom was Mr John Tan, SDP's assistant secretary-general.How are Singaporeans going to believe that SDP wants to champion on the platform of rule of law when it has no basic respect for the institution of law?
Mr Tan then remarked: That's really funny."
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
"A check with the NUS Students' Union website showed little discussion of national affairs. The section on “Events” is blank and “Current Issues” highlights the unhappiness of the fee hike – in 2006! “NUSSU News” carries a news flash that dates back to February this year."Discussion of national affairs should never be seen to be restricted to whatever appears on websites. There are various student organisations and initiatives found on the NUS Student Organisations page.
"What about party politics? Why are our universities so consistent in their aversion to opposition parties visiting their campuses?"It's faulty to state that universities are averse to opposition parties visiting their campuses because the NUS Democratic Socialist Club has on many counts, invited opposition leaders to address students.
"Although DSC is a non-partisan student political organization, the club's leadership saw the
political necessity to push forward the agenda of raising undergraduates' awareness to strive
for a politics of balance in Singapore. Hence our administration was remembered for an
Juan." (Yaw Shin Leong, 2007)