Ladies and Gentlemen,
Singapore's state controlled newspaper the Straits Times online edition of Feb 26, 2010 has an incredible story titled "New Sub Court Initiatives".
It talks of yet another of Singapore's "brilliant" (or harebrained, depending of which way you look at it) story of it's government compliant chief Justice introducing new initiates in the Subordinate Courts.
It says, since at least a 3rd of criminal litigants represent themselves, because they cannot afford fees for private attorneys, a body has been set up in the courts to provide resources to help them with "basic court procedures and processes".
You can see the hypocrisy of this uncaring government staring at you. If what this means is a set up to teach criminal defendants defend themselves in court, tell me how is this possible in a few minutes to accomplish this, when it takes at least 4 years of tertiary education and several years more of legal experience to be able to defend oneself in court in even a rudimentary fashion!
If I am hearing this nonsense correctly, is this report saying that since these poor litigants are unable to defend themselves in their criminal cases, this body to be set up in the Subordinate Court is going to provide sufficient instruction and training for them to defend themselves before a trained judge and a trained prosecutor? And how long is this training going to take? A few hours?
You can see the dishonesty of this government clearly. First it is the government's responsibility to provide trained lawyers at government expense to defend indigent accused citizens. This they refuse to do, when every other self respecting democracy accepts it's obligation to these people as a duty under the tenets of the rule of law. Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Canada, USA, Finland, Spain and every other self respecting country do so.
Singapore on the other hand goes out with a great deal of hot air in their state controlled newspapers claiming to have the best legal system in the world and even more hogwash. Yet they refuse criminal representation to their needy citizens, a duty that goes to the root of any democracy based on the rule of law.
The Chief Justice is not fooling anyone by this stupidity. If you are serious provide assisted legal representation to the indigent. If not, just shut up.
The truth is, there is great injustice going on in Lee Kuan Yew's courts. It is one law for the rich who hire government connected lawyers and get away with driving a car and killing a motorcyclist while speaking on the cell phone like the Chinese woman editor of a state controlled Chinese newspaper who manages to walk away with just a fine. I mentioned this case in this blog.
It is quite another law for the masses who are uneducated and indigent who cannot speak English let alone understand complicated criminal procedure who have to defend themselves against a trained Singaporean prosecutor. Or go to jail.
Mr. Chief Justice, who are you kidding? You are making a fool of yourself! Stop it! Stop it now!
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