Saturday, July 19, 2008

July 19, 2008, Singapore

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The latest position is like this.

On 2.15 pm, Monday 21, 2008, at Subordinate Court No. 6, my lawyer Mr. Chia Ti Lik will apply to withdraw from further representing me in the July 4, 2008 disorderly behaviour case. I will represent myself. Mr. Chia is a good man and an excellent lawyer. Unfortunately his work load is too heavy at present to deal with this. This withdrawal application has my full approval. Thanks Mr. Chia.

Mr. Chia had earlier applied in Court 3 Subordinate Court on July 16, 2008 during the Pre Trial Conference for the disorderly matter for my passport to be released to me to attend to my matters in the US pending trial. This application was refused. I will be making a renewed application for this in Court 6, Subordinate Court on July 21, 2008. My application is supported by the US Embassy who have given a letter to the Court supporting my application.

I understand from the US Embassy that US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will be in Singapore on July 24, 2008. I also understand that the US State Department at the highest levels is being briefed daily daily on my matter. I have asked the US Embassy to put my case to the Secretary of State while she is here.

I have received dates for the disorderly behaviour trial. They are in the Subordinate Court as follows. The dates includes many half dates and intervals between dates. This is because Mr. Chia had other matters to attend and therefore dates were unavailable. Since I will be conducting my own trial, I will ask for earlier uninterrupted dates to speed up the matter.

Dates as follows: All hearings in Court 6, Subordinate Court. July 24 full day, July 28, 9am to 1 pm, July 29 2.30 to 5 pm, July 30, 2.30 to 5 pm, July 31 9 am to 5 pm whole day, August 6, 9 am to 5 pm whole day.

High Court Blogging trial, Sept 8th to the 19th, High Court.

I will be disputing the disorderly charge and the charge that I insulted police officers. My stand will be that I was neither disorderly or insulted anyone on 4th July 2008, American Independence Day.

As for the the blogging trial that I insulted Judge Belinda Ang in my blog (the blogging case) , my stand will be that I insulted no one. I wrote a blog and I am entitled under my right to freedom of speech to say what I say during the 3 day trial of May 26 to May 28, 2008 in the High Court. The words that I used in the blog clearly meant in the English language that judge Belinda Ang had abused her authority, and it was not meant to be understood in any other sense. If in fact the selection of my words, although proper in the English language, was harsh I apologize to Judge Belinda Ang for it. However my stand will continue to be that in the English language, it was a proper use of the words to describe her actions.

As to her conduct of the case, I intend to stand by what I have said. She did not appear to be impartial at all, and Dr. Chee Soon Juan and his sister and the SDP was not given any real opportunity to put their case forward. That will continue to be my stand.

I cannot understand the Singapore Government in pursuing these matters against me. If indeed it is to punish me, it would be indeed a useless exercise. After all I am an American citizen. I will be returning to the the US after all, despite my punishment. And any amount of punishment cannot change the way I think. Any punishment meted out to me will not change my impression of the Singapore authoritarian government and Singapore's using the courts to silence Singaporeans yearning for democracy and freedom.

On the other hand, if it is an attempt to intimidate any other Singaporean from speaking up against injustices, it is clearly a failure. As you know, 19 Singaporean protesters have stood up against this government to voice their disaffection, during the Ta Boleh Tahan March 15, 2008 Parliment House protest, for which all of them have been charged in court. I was in Court 24 on July 18, 2008 in Court 24 for their pre trial conferences. Far from being intimidated, they have all been seen to be in very high spirits and look as if they are all ready to take on these unjust laws yet again. And what is more, all signs indicate that more and more young people are coming forward to stand up to repression and intimidation, their hearts emboldened and strengthened by this outrage against them.

All this is happening with the backdrop of the 72 page scathing report of the International Bar Association which clearly spells out the fact that the Singapore judiciary is an instrument of political repression against Singaporeans in order to perpetuate the Lee Kuan Yew Regime. The Guardian newspaper of London has only yesterday come up with an article stating the government of Singapore uses its so called economic success as an excuse to deny their people their human rights. Of course Lee Kuan Yew and the Mr. Teo, the Singapore High Commissioner to London have come up with the same old lame excuse that Singapore is unique, being Asian, small and multi racial, and therefore not suited to Western norms of human rights.

I will tell this to Mr. Lee and the High Commissioner. Human beings are human beings whether Asian, Australian or Eskimo. And being humans they are all entitled to human rights. And by the way human rights is universal. It is not particularly only for Europeans or Americans.

So stop trying to pull wool over our eyes. We are not babies.

Gopalan Nair
Singapore

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

me being a law student, i would think that if u wrote tt blog entry in the usa and not in s'pore bout how belinda ang handled the case, den as far as i know the crime (if any) has been committed in the usa.

therefore if they not happy with u, they should sue u in the usa.

Bukit Chandan said...

We are with you on supporting Human Rights, as we have said before.

Best Regards.........

unhappystinkaporean said...

[Quote] anonymous said : .....as i know the crime...." [/Quote]

there is no crime on writing about how you feel.

Anonymous said...

"I cannot understand the Singapore Government in pursuing these matters against me. If indeed it is to punish me, it would be indeed a useless exercise. After all I am an American citizen. I will be returning to the the US after all, despite my punishment. And any amount of punishment cannot change the way I think."

Sure, you try create more serious trouble that gets you ended up with an all expenses paid holiday in Changi Prison and a few strokes of the rotan (cane) we shall than see if it would be an useless exercise, and if that will change the way you think......

2morrow4all said...

I am a strong believer in Human Rights, nothing is more important than the respect of Human Rights. Thank you Mr. Nair.

Anonymous said...

Quote: "I am a strong believer in Human Rights, nothing is more important than the respect of Human Rights".

I totally agree with you there 2morrow. I believe that the right to think and say what/how we feel is what makes being a person, a human. If we are not able to express our feelings/thoughts, what sets us apart from an animal? (well, on 2nd thoughts, even animals know how to express themselves, in their own little ways...)

Anonymous said...

unfortunately, PAP is killing 2 birds with one stone.

Bird #1: The internet generation who are not showing respect for Lee and his cronies. Nothing better an finding a ready scapegoat to make an example of.

Bird #2: An enemy of the famiLEE. Time to fish up some charges to make more opposition bankrupt. You thought you got away, no way. With Stinkapore holding USA bases, guess who has the upper hand.

Anonymous said...

Human rights is a tricky topic, and it would be vastly ignorant to support it completely without taking factors such as proportionality and margins into account, something that even the European Union gives allowances for.

should the right of one person override those of many? should free speech be allowed to disrupt society even if all that is said are fallacies? these are questions that the judiciary must consider instead of deciding based on some black and white view that 'my rights are the most important thing, so fuck you, you fascist.'

no Human Rights are not black and white. what about the right to respect for private life as stated within article 8 within the European Convention of Human Rights? this Right would clash frequently with Article 10 which is about freedom of expression.

and here we come to freedom of expression, that phrase flaunted by many a person at the first sign of an obstacle to what they perceive is their right. if one bothered to do research, one would learn, and I quote here what has been set out in the European Convention of Human Rights:

'The exercise of freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.

now for those of you with a modicum of intelligence, I'm sure you will see that Human Rights are not black and white.

Anonymous said...

Sure, you try create more serious trouble that gets you ended up with an all expenses paid holiday in Changi Prison and a few strokes of the rotan (cane) we shall than see if it would be an useless exercise, and if that will change the way you think......

Those charges against him bear no mandatory caning. Please find a pokemon site that suits your IQ level, What a plick!!

Anonymous said...

I have been following your blog with great interest since you were featured in the papers. Being a student, I can only agree with what you say only to a certain extent.

On the topic of democracy, I believe its a give-and-take issue. Though our government is strict, it has brought us plenty of benefits, both in the short and long run, and in my opinion, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.

We are doing well for a small country and we have even overtaken Japan in the GDP section. Also, S'pore is now recognized by the world as a business and education hub. The inflow of forign students and workers(high skilled and low skilled) have given us a edge over our neighbouring countries. This is just one of the many advantages.

However, you have given me a totally new insights which have taken my understanding of my government to a new level. I wish you all the best in your trials and look forward to your new postings.

Anonymous said...

Human rights in Singapore is interpreted as small and limited freedoms that will give an impression of a free and democratic society to outsiders.

Keeping a glowing and saintly image of LKY and PAP is more important than telling the truth. When a straight person dares to criticize govt policies he can be jailed for several decades in the name of "prevention of disorder".

Anonymous said...

It is very simple to prove your innocence about who sent those email(s) from the yahoo email id. Have an investigator go to the email inbox of any of the recipients who received that email and have him/her lookup the senders details including advanced details in the header of the email. This will give you the ip address where it was sent from and using the IP address it is very easy to track down where it was sent from. You can at the first level find out if it was sent from the US or Singapore and then go to the domain administrator and identify the location of the machine that sent it. It is the 21st century for heaven's sake and technology is sophisticated. Good Luck! Truth always wins! Free speech rocks!