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.