Friday, October 16, 2009

State controlled Singapore newspaper insults a free and democratic Australia.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The online edition of Singapore's state controlled newspaper the Straits Times of Oct 16, 2009 has this article "Falungong man arrested". This article insults a proud and democratic Australia, a country which prides in their rule of law, by comparing one of Singapore's unjust laws that permit the police to order anyone to move away or face arrest; by claiming that "these laws were modelled after similar measures in Australia." It is as if Adolf Hitler claims their laws of sending Jews to concentration camps were modelled on similar laws in England!

Tell me whether this Singaporean law is just and whether the man will ever be arrested if he did it in Australia?

The man Chua Eng Chwee, 69, a Falungong practitioner was seen by Singaporean police peacefully protesting with some placards under a bridge. He was not bothering anyone, he was not violent, there was no danger to anyone else. In other words, he was as peaceful as a tombstone.

For no apparent reason whatsoever, Singaporean police come along and tell him to get lost. He refuses, and so would I if I was a Falungong practitioner in his shoes. Merely for refusing to move, when there was no harm to anyone else, he is arrested and thrown in jail. He will have a trial after which he will spend a specified number of additional days in jail, and if he was a foreigner, deported.

Under a new Singaporean law, the Public Order Act, it is an arrestable offense not to go away after being ordered to do so a few times by Singaporean police. It does not matter even if you were peacefully protesting quietly alone, as in this case. In this Singapore Police State, where the police can order you to do almost anything they want, you must comply with their orders or go to jail.

Not only in Australia nor in England and nor in any other civilized country in the world would this man be arrested for what he did. He had broken no law. Of course if a man was about to commit an offence, or if a protest is getting out of hand and becoming violent, the police would of course have the right to take the necessary action.

But for Singapore's state controlled newspaper to have the gall to say that this man's arrest was based on similar laws in Australia is to insult every single upstanding self respecting Australian.

No one would have complained had this Singapore's state controlled newspaper compared this Singaporean police action to that which happens daily in Burma or North Korea. But this sort of thing will never be tolerated in Australia, I can assure you that.

Stop insulting the Australians!

Gopalan Nair
39737 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite A1
Fremont, CA 94538, USA
Tel: 510 657 6107
Fax: 510 657 6914

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Anonymous said...

I CAN'T BELIEVE IT!!! How dare PAP insult a nation like Australia, democratic nations which follow the true rule of law would never enact such legislation's. A state controlled press will say whatever they may want to dignify the image of a corrupt government.

Go all the way and find the truth Gopalan.

JamesTan said...

I wonder which part of the Public Order Act does Singapore model after Australia.

Text from the Council of NSW Civil Liberities (CCL)

*Do you want to organise a protest?*

You do not have to tell police that you are organising a rally, but CCL recommends that you do. Your protest will be a more pleasant experience for everyone concerned (you & your colleagues, police and the general public) if you work cooperatively with police from the beginning.

All you have to do is inform police that your protest is on, when and where and how many people you expect. There is a form called a 'Form 1' that you can fill out and hand in to the police station nearest to where you want to hold your protest. If possible, the form should be handed in at least 7 working days before the protest.

Police will use the form to organise resources to control traffic etc.

If you do not hand in a Form 1 to police, you may not be able to obstruct traffic or pedestrians during your protest. And if anyone gets hurt, you might be liable for the injury.

The good news is that the police cannot refuse your Form 1 (unless there is special legislation covering the public area in which you wish to protest). If police want to stop your rally, they must take you to the Supreme Court to get an order of the court.

If you find that police are unlawfully trying to prohibit your march or rally, then make a complaint to CCL and we will try to help you uphold your right to peaceful assembly.

(The legistration concerning Form 1 is published here.

Can Singapore model that?