TODAY’s Editor-in-Chief Resigns

This terse NASDAQ bulletin was seen on Singapore Surf:

Singapore Today Editor-In-Chief Resigns – Sources

SINGAPORE -(Dow Jones)- Today newspaper chief executive and editor-in-chief Mano Sabnani has resigned and will leave the newspaper in the next month, people familar with the situation said Tuesday.

State broadcaster MediaCorp., which is the majority owner of the daily freesheet, wouldn’t confirm Sabnani’s resignation.

“When there are major changes in our management line-up, we will issue a media statement accordingly,” a MediaCorp spokeswoman said in an email.

Sabnani referred questions to MediaCorp’s corporate communications department.

Launched in November 2000, Today has built a daily readership of 550,000 with independent commentary that has occasionally tested the limits of the Singapore government’s tolerance for media criticism.

In July the paper dropped one of its columnists, popular local blogger Mr Brown, after the government stridently attacked an article he wrote that poked fun at a spate of price increases in the wake of May’s general elections.

Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. (T39.SG), which publishes the city-state’s biggest circulation English daily The Straits Times, owns 40% of the MediaCorp unit that publishes Today.

-By Kevin Lim & Stephen Wright, Dow Jones Newswires;

65 6415 4156; kevin.lim@dowjones.com;

65 6415 4151; stephen.wright@dowjones.com

Advertisements

Political elitism

Again from Little Speck
Takes an emotive turn

The term is becoming synonymous with ‘privileged class’ and ‘leadership arrogance’, threatening PAP’s long-term rule. By Seah Chiang Nee
Oct 29, 2006

Singapore’s People’s Action Party is confronted with a widening class divide and a creeping political elitism that could drive it from power, if they are allowed to fester.

Inter-related, these problems are shaping up into the ruling party’s biggest challenge in the next election in 2011 – and probably beyond.

They are neither new nor unique in the world, having prevailed in advanced nations like the United States, Britain and even Japan – except in Singapore, the small size and meagre safety net are exacerbating matters.

The General Household Survey revealed that the top 20% of Singapore’s households last year earned 31 times that of the bottom 20%. And the gap is widening.

Two events last week showed up how much disconnect there is between a segment of the political elite and the citizens it has to represent.
The problem is serious. [to continue reading]

Political elitism

Again from Little Speck
Takes an emotive turn

The term is becoming synonymous with ‘privileged class’ and ‘leadership arrogance’, threatening PAP’s long-term rule. By Seah Chiang Nee
Oct 29, 2006

Singapore’s People’s Action Party is confronted with a widening class divide and a creeping political elitism that could drive it from power, if they are allowed to fester.

Inter-related, these problems are shaping up into the ruling party’s biggest challenge in the next election in 2011 – and probably beyond.

They are neither new nor unique in the world, having prevailed in advanced nations like the United States, Britain and even Japan – except in Singapore, the small size and meagre safety net are exacerbating matters.

The General Household Survey revealed that the top 20% of Singapore’s households last year earned 31 times that of the bottom 20%. And the gap is widening.

Two events last week showed up how much disconnect there is between a segment of the political elite and the citizens it has to represent.
The problem is serious. [to continue reading]

Wee Shu Min Is she devastated?

Spotted on Little Speck

Wee Shu Min
Is she devastated?
Far from it, ex-classmate says she’s ‘laughing’ at and ‘mocking’ web responses. Weikiatblog.

Oct 30, 2006

“I was a top student from RJC (Raffles Junior College). Just graduated a few years ago. Most people that I know in RJC were just too full of themselves.

They thought that since they are from RJC, they are the smartest in Singapore. Unfortunately, many of my RJC friends have low EQ and common sense.

Most only know how to memorise and practice questions and possess very weak critical thinking skills.”

“To follow up on what fellow Rafflesian, Gene, said above, I would like to emphasise that the majority of us from RJC are not like Shu Min.

In fact, few of us sympathise with her current “plight” (not that she is taking it badly, she was in fact laughing and mocking at the responses on various websites).

What had happened also did not surprise us because she is well known in school to have an inflated sense of superiority and low tolerance of the pedestrian and the uncultured.

But please remember that one Wee Shu Min does not make RJC. The rest of us from RJC should not be impeached because of her.”

“I’m a classmate of Shu Min in RGS and RJC. Many of us don’t know her well because she does move around in her own exclusive circle of the smart and well-connected.

And yes, she is conceited, overbearing and thinks that she and her clique own the world. But, I do think some of the comments here are excessive, even unreasonable.

You can fault her character and her worldview, but is there a need to descend to vulgarity?”

“As a Rafflesian, I am saddened that our good name has been smeared by the poison pen of one elitist female.

The saddest part of this episode is that she reminds me of the remark made by newbie Michael Palmer, “Before I joined the grassroots organisation, I never knew there were poor people in developed countries”.

Where does the PAP find such freaks? They are no better than the Hitler Youth, and our country can only be the worse because of them.”

http://weikiatblog.blogspot.com/2006/10/looking-back-home.html

Wee Shu Min Is she devastated?

Spotted on Little Speck

Wee Shu Min
Is she devastated?
Far from it, ex-classmate says she’s ‘laughing’ at and ‘mocking’ web responses. Weikiatblog.

Oct 30, 2006

“I was a top student from RJC (Raffles Junior College). Just graduated a few years ago. Most people that I know in RJC were just too full of themselves.

They thought that since they are from RJC, they are the smartest in Singapore. Unfortunately, many of my RJC friends have low EQ and common sense.

Most only know how to memorise and practice questions and possess very weak critical thinking skills.”

“To follow up on what fellow Rafflesian, Gene, said above, I would like to emphasise that the majority of us from RJC are not like Shu Min.

In fact, few of us sympathise with her current “plight” (not that she is taking it badly, she was in fact laughing and mocking at the responses on various websites).

What had happened also did not surprise us because she is well known in school to have an inflated sense of superiority and low tolerance of the pedestrian and the uncultured.

But please remember that one Wee Shu Min does not make RJC. The rest of us from RJC should not be impeached because of her.”

“I’m a classmate of Shu Min in RGS and RJC. Many of us don’t know her well because she does move around in her own exclusive circle of the smart and well-connected.

And yes, she is conceited, overbearing and thinks that she and her clique own the world. But, I do think some of the comments here are excessive, even unreasonable.

You can fault her character and her worldview, but is there a need to descend to vulgarity?”

“As a Rafflesian, I am saddened that our good name has been smeared by the poison pen of one elitist female.

The saddest part of this episode is that she reminds me of the remark made by newbie Michael Palmer, “Before I joined the grassroots organisation, I never knew there were poor people in developed countries”.

Where does the PAP find such freaks? They are no better than the Hitler Youth, and our country can only be the worse because of them.”

http://weikiatblog.blogspot.com/2006/10/looking-back-home.html

Prosecution makes another U-turn; trial gets more and more comical

This case is starting to look like it should be linked to wiki’s definition of a Kangaroo Court.

From the Singapore Democratic Party Site
30 Oct 06

Deputy Public Prosecutor Ms Lee Lit Cheng unbelievably made another U-turn today.

After firmly ruling out showing the video evidence in court against the Defendants, Mr Gandhi Ambalam, Dr Chee Soon Juan and Mr Yap Keng Ho, DPP Lee said that she has decided to admit the video after all.

The three men are being charged for speaking in public without a permit on 22 Apr 06 during the general elections period earlier this year.

Ms Lee said that because the Defendants have been making “spurious allegations” against the Prosecution, she decided to use the video evidence.

On the second day of the trial, the Defendants discovered that the Investigating Officer ASP Jeremy Koh, who is also one of the Prosecution’s witnesses, was sitting in the courtroom and listening to the testimony of the other police witnesses.

He was also found to have gone in and out of the witness room and talking with another witness who had yet to testify. Under the rules, this is disallowed as the witnesses can influence one another’s testimony.

Based on this and the Prosecution’s refusal to admit the video evidence, the Defendants charged that the DPP was using underhanded tactics.

Under this pressure, Ms Lee has relented and will now admit the video as evidence. She had wanted to only rely on the evidence of 12 witnesses – all police officers.

However, she now refuses to give the Defendants a copy of the tape. Judge Eddy Tham pointed out that there was no harm giving the Defence a copy of the VCD. The DPP remained defiant and, worse, refused to give a reason.

She told the Judge that the Defendants could view the tape at Jurong Police Division Headquarters but remained adamant about not giving the Defendants a copy.

Dr Chee said that at last the Prosecution had come to its senses but wanted to first verify the authenticity of the tape before agreeing to it being used in court.

He said that with everything that had gone on, including letting ASP Koh sit in on the trial while his colleagues were giving evidence, the Defendants had every right to be suspicious of the DPP’s motives and moves.

At this point, the frustrated Judge commented that it was “unfortunate” that this dispute about the authenticity of evidence should have been settled during the pre-trial conference.

Dr Chee then reminded the Judge that it was the Prosecution who first indicated that it would be using the video evidence during the trial and even agreed to give the Defendants a copy. Halfway down the line, it changed its mind. Now during the trial it has changed its mind again.

Dr Chee said that it may not be proper or correct under the rules to admit evidence halfway through a trial and, worse, to refuse to give the Defence a copy of the evidence.

Mr Eddy Tham, who had been a colleague of Ms Lee Lit Cheng as a DPP until a few weeks ago when he was promoted to a District Judge, then backtracked and ruled that the video could be admitted as evidence.

Unsurprisingly, he also agreed with Ms Lee that the Defendants need not be given a copy of the video and said that if the Defendants wanted to they could view the video at Jurong Police Division.

Mr Yap Keng Ho then protested and said this was “a joke.” He noted that on the first day of the trial, he had applied for the video evidence to be admitted but Judge Tham refused it. But now when the DPP makes the same application, the same Judge allows it.

Mr Gandhi Ambalam, shaking his head, then told the Judge that he was tired of the whole charade. He told the court that it might as well dispense with the rest of the police witnesses and just pronounce the Defendants guilty so as not to waste any more time.

Earlier in the day, the High Court dismissed Mr Yap’s Criminal Motion application to abort the trial due to ASP Koh being present throughout the testimony of the first three police witnesses. Not surprisingly, it was rejected.

Mr Ambalam and Dr Chee filed similar Criminal Motions today. Their hearing is scheduled to be heard tomorrow, 31 Oct 06, at 11 am in the High Court.

Meanwhile, Judge Eddy Tham has adjourned the hearing to the afternoon (2:30 pm) of 31 Oct 06.

If there are any lawyers who can give any legal input about evidence being admitted halfway through a trial and the Defence not given a copy of the video, please email speakup@singaporedemocrat.org. Thank you.

Why Does Singapore Imprison the Victims of Trafficking?

Human Trafficking
Akha Woman Imprisoned in Singapore’s
Changi Prison – Why Does Singapore Imprison the Victims of Trafficking
?

How one woman’s “babe” permit expired.
The Imprisonment of Ms. Meitinee Wongsa. Changi Prison ID S12369
We request her release.

Now an interesting situation is coming to light in the case of Ms. Wongsa. It appears that Singapore “allows” women to come into the country to “solicit”. They make no note of who they are or if they are trafficked from what we can tell. Apparently Singapore needs people to come into the country to meet the needs of Singapore men who can’t get enough in their own country. And then when Singapore is done with these women, they send them home, or send them home early if they don’t work out.

These women, such as Ms. Wongsa, are banned from coming back into the country like so much used up trash. Flush.

In this case an Akha woman, Ms. Wongsa, who was brought into the country in the name of a business woman in Hatyai, in order for that woman to make a profit, meets the definition of a person being trafficked. Ms. Wongsa did not come on her own. She saved that for later when she was a free woman.

It seems rather high moral ground, that Singapore uses up these women, how ever they get into the country, and then sends them out, and will criminalize them if they come back. What Singapore has used and “degraded”, is no longer welcome, thank you.

Therefore, the case of Ms. Wongsa does NOT clarify for us how Singapore fights injustice and opposes trafficking.

Obviously, Ms. Wongsa did not make up the fake travel documents. Apparently the brothel owner in Hatyai did. Maybe Singapore could pressure the Thai government to arrest this woman for being a trafficker, but then of course the women who are badly needed in Singapore might quit coming.

The Brothel and Trafficker:
New Rose Karaoke
3/4 Chaiyakul Uthit Rd Soi 3
Hat Yai Songkhla, Thailand
Tel: 074-223 176
Mgr: 01-738 1797 (Ah Kib)
Name of trafficker : Chatkaew Sripormma (Female)
Contact Number : +66-8-94662262

We call on the Thai Police to arrest this trafficker.

How is it that the Singapore Police are so inefficient to find this information, when we are able to find out exactly what brothel and the woman who trafficked Ms. Wongsa into Singapore?

We know there are MORE Akha women in the Changi prison.
How many Akha women are in Changi Prison?
We request to know the answer.

We request to know, how ICA knows she came into the country, if they do not have a record from Anti Vice, and if they have a record with Anti Vice, then they know who Ms. Wongsa was sent to in order to get her permit for “work” in Singapore. Those are the individuals who have contacts with the trafficking agents. ICA is not being honest about this case.

ICA said that Ms. Wongsa applied to solicit legally in singapore through AVB. AVB rejected her application and recommend to ICA to ban her from entering singapore in the future. Ms. Wongsa was directed to go to Anti Vice and apply, through prior arrangement. Why she was rejected is unknown at this time, but Anti Vice is certainly aware of the particulars.

At the time that Ms. Wongsa entered Singapore, she could not speak Thai, or any other language but Akha, could not read or write. Certainly the arrangements have been made between Hatyai and Anti Vice.

We are concerned that the government of Singapore does not recognize the issue of trafficking and that Akha women are trafficked into their country for brothels. The Singapore Immigration people (ICA) have repeatedly told us that they are “checking into the case” but then never reply to our email.

We are informed that there numerous Akha women in Changi prison, possibly also victims of trafficking into Singapore. Does Singapore arrest victims of trafficking? We find it disgusting that Singapore allows women to be trafficked into the country for what ever reasons. We find it more disgusting that they put the victims in prison.

Ms. Wongsa was sentenced to one year in Changi Prison this last week.
She entered Singapore on documents supplied by her Employment Agent from Thailand but was refused a work permit and sent out of the country in 2004. Now on her own documents, Thai ID card and Passport, she has entered Singapore with her fiance. When she applied for an extension of visa as she and her fiance were to marry, the Singapore authorities told her that she had previously traveled under a different name and passport supplied by her employer, so was now to be arrested.

Upon her previous trip and return to Thailand, her employer told her that the Singapore police demanded 100,000 baht and she was made to repay this money working in Hatyai.

When Akha children are born, Thai authorities often give them a Thai name on their travel documents and any made up birth date. Employers often supply the Akha with documents for travel, as they may not even have an ID card of their own. These are the agreements they have to live with as contract labor. In some cases, contract labor may be more like trafficking or debt bondage. While it appears that Ms. Wongsa’s employer was familiar to the Singapore police, Ms. Wongsa is being made to pay the price for what is often standard practice for people being shipped from Thailand to foreign countries.

There is little to no protection for ethnic women who find themselves in this situation in Thailand.

We have contacted the Singapore Embassy and Ambassador in the US, the ICA in Singapore, an MP in Singapore, Amnesty International and a number of individuals and agencies regarding this case. We are asking that her case be reviewed and that Akha women are not made to pay the price for either trafficking or unethical Agents who put them in these situations. We are asking that she be released and NOT deported from Singapore.

Please contact the Singapore Embassy regarding this case.