Tuesday, November 4, 2008

SDP Activist John Tan gets suspended by James Cook University

John Tan, a lecturer at James Cook University (Singapore), has been suspended due to the ongoing charges of contempt of court against him. John Tan pointed to the picture of a kangaroo on his T-shirt and saying, "This is a kangaroo court" to Mr Lee Kuan Yew when the Minister Mentor walked past him outside the courtroom. John Tan is also Assistant Secretary General of SDP.

SDP is quick to jump in defence of John Tan in its website. However, the bulk of the defence is irrelevant and misleading. SDP cited these reasons as why the suspension is "completely out of order":
  1. Mr Tan has not yet been convicted of the charge. The trial begins only tomorrow, 4 Nov 08. He was suspended on 21 Oct.
  2. The action appears to have been triggered by an email complaint that cited Mr Tan's association with Dr Chee Soon Juan and which was copied to Dr Ng Eng Hen.
  3. The suspension stayed despite an appeal by Mr Tan citing testimony from 28 of his students that he had gone about his work in a professional manner.
1) Usually, employers sack employees who are charged in court by the state. Even during job interviews, employers do have concern whether the person they are going to employ has ever been charged in court or broken any law. In this case, it is justifiable for JCU to suspend (note that it's different from sacking) John Tan.

Contempt of court is a serious matter and it is duly right that lecturer John Tan face suspension. Even a secondary school boy who gets into a fight or comes late to school can be suspended.

2) Who sent the email is not important in this case. The school's decision to suspend John Tan is due to the information received. And that information is that John Tan is charged for contempt of court. The fact that the email is copied to Dr Ng Eng Hen isn't important too.

SDP is trying hard to imply that the PAP government has a hand in this matter.

3) 28 students seem to be a very small minority for the whole campus. JCU has a reputation to uphold and keeping a lecturer who is charged in court for breaking the law seems to not give a good image.


SDP's article also mentioned that:
"even if Mr Tan is convicted, does the university not have the obligation to protect the free speech of its employees?"
SDP is asking the obvious. Employees should know that they are part of the organisation that they work in and their criminal actions would tarnish the organisation's image and reputation that has taken so long to build.

It is disgraceful that John Tan and the SDP chose to politicise this issue as an academic and as a party. By making use of education and the school, John Tan should be given the boot.


  1. When John Tan decided to carry out the protest he knew he'll be charged and was prepared for it, so why is he complaining now??

  2. when they think they are the LAW and things happened the other way round, their arrogance and pride won't allow them to blame themselves.

    it's always the other party at fault :(

  3. Anonymous (November 4, 2008 10:15 AM)

    "when they think they are the LAW..."

    Don't it sound like the same accusation they often make at the PAP. It is ironic for the SDP to be the same especially when they pride themselves to be most different from PAP.

  4. I thought this John Tan was lecturing at NUS? Now suddenly he was from JCU?

  5. No wonder Singaporeans deserve to be screwed over and over again by the very people they elect into office. Bird brains!


  6. Take from CNA:

    "The university's chief executive officer Dale Anderson said Mr Tan was not a staff member at the university but was contracted to teach Psychology."

    So Tan still has his job at NUS (if he is a lecturer there). What's the big fuss now?

  7. JCU tell him he suspended because his trials will disrupt the students, he make so much noise and expose private letter. Maybe now JCU will sack him.

    So selfish of a man. He want his students to fail their exams when he go jail is it?

  8. Look 'Pui Tan', the shirt you wear insults the court. Plain simple. You chose to insult a court of law. Try going to a hawker center and tell the cook, who puts in long hours, that his food tasted like shit and tell that to the next patron, I guess the cook will just wack you with his wok. Even simpler, walk up to anyone on the street and tell him his mum is a whore that you had patronized. You probably won't get away with it with only a few bruises.
    Now you chose to wear a shirt that says those judges who put in long hours, sentences people to jail or the gallows, sees all human dramas everyday in a room and tries to his best knowledge to lay down justice, that all their work are crap, a farce, joke, nonsense, etc... and you expect to get away with that by saying 'we have freedom of speech to say what we want and wear what we want'. Isn't that abit too naive for a university lecturer. Now you drag in the international community to help dig yourself out of the hole which you buried yourself in. Show some backbone as assistant secretary general.
    I think you should watch the movie 'BIG STAN' for there is a great quote in that movie: 'IF YOU WALK INTO A LOCKER ROOM, YOU ARE GOING TO SEE SOME DICK'.
    That's the bottom line. I hope the courts trashes you HARD to get some respect.

  9. SDP has no respect for people at all... apparently posting the 'support' letters students write about John Tan on SDP web without their permission. One student has asked for his/her letter to be taken down from the web. Tsk Tsk Tsk.

  10. Tried to post my comments that it is already out that John Tan is not an employee of JCU and I questioned why doesn't SDP get their facts right before making those remarks. I got a message that says "comments will be posted after moderation" or something like that...I wonder moderate what? Got things to hide?

  11. SINGAPORNEAS SUCK COCK!!!!!!!11!!1!!1ONE

    PAP = PEOPLE'S ASS POKER!!!!1!!!11!



  12. --"Employees should know that they are part of the organisation that they work in and their criminal actions would tarnish the organisation's image and reputation that has taken so long to build.

    NO, This is wrong, because he was just exercising his freedom of speech. The university has a moral duty to support freedom of speech..


Please note that we will adopt SDP-style of allowing no-reply-to-comments-and-no-allowing-of-anonymous-comments approach