Workers’ Party Invites You to a Forum on the Penal code

E.D.: Received in my email inbox at 5:41 a.m. CST. Reposted with permission.

In Nov 2006, the government floated a draft Penal Code Amendment Bill (pdf) and called for public comment. The Penal Code reflects our rights and responsibilities living in Singapore. Despite the tremendous significance of the Penal Code in guiding the way Singaporeans order their daily lives, the government has given little explanation for the proposals so far.

In line with the Workers’ Party’s concern with justice and the rule of law since the Party’s foundation in 1957, the Party will be holding a public forum on the topic: “Amendments to the Penal Code – Why We Should Be Concerned”. The details are as follows:

Date: Sat Feb 3rd, 2007
Time: 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm
What will be covered:

The forum will cover some key concerns about the draft Bill such as the proposed changes to punishments and sentencing options, provisions regarding sexual crime and aspects omitted by the draft Bill. Views from the public are also sought so as to give comprehensive input for debate about crime issues and for decision-making.

The speakers at the Forum will be:

• Ms Sylvia Lim, Chairman, Workers’ Party and Non-Constituency Member of Parliament. Ms Lim has law enforcement and criminal defence experience, and now teaches and writes about law and procedure.

• Mr Firuz Khan, Member, Workers’ Party Youth Wing Executive Committee. Firuz graduated from the University of Birmingham with Masters of Business Administration in International Business. He has been working in several industries including the social service sector. During the course of his work he manages children, family and domestic violence cases.

Guest Speakers:

• Mr Thomas Koshy, a lawyer in private practice of 10 years’ standing with experience in criminal litigation.

• Mr Anthony Yeo, a Consultant Therapist of Counselling and Care Centre with 35 years of experience in the field of psychological counselling including marital counselling. He is author of over 10 books on marriage, counselling and stress as well as being consultant to various government and non-government organizations.

Who should attend:

All citizens concerned about criminal justice and having a balanced approach towards law and order.

Those interested are requested to come early as we have limited places.

I will be looking forward to your presence at the forum. 🙂

BERNARD CHEN JIAXI
EXECUTIVE COUNCIL MEMBER OF THE WORKERS’ PARTY YOUTH WING.

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Mahathir supports Thailand in S’pore row

SIAM THIS MORNING
Mahathir supports Thailand in S’pore row

Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad threw his support behind Thailand’s diplomatic spat with Singapore, accusing the city-state of interfering in the country’s internal affairs and violating diplomatic norms by permitting a senior government official to meet ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra.

In an interview with Nation Channel’s Thepchai Yong over the weekend on this island resort, Mahathir said Singapore had permitted Singaporean Deputy Prime Minister S Jayakumar to meet Thaksin in spite of their awareness that such an act would seriously upset Bangkok.

[See full interview]

“Singapore doesn’t really care about the opinion of its neighbours,” said Mahathir, adding that the decision was “unfeeling and not sympathetic”.

“Singapore believes the most important thing is what profits Singapore,” he said.

Thai-Singapore relations have hit one of its lowest points following the controversial meeting. The Foreign Ministry insisted that it had given the island-state prior warning about Thailand’s strong objection to the meeting.

Two weeks ago, army chief General Sonthi Boonyaratglin accused Singapore of spying on Thailand by eavesdropping on telephone conversations, adding more fuel to what was billed as an already difficult situation between the two countries.

“That’s the kind of things they do,” Mahathir said.

The Singaporean government dismissed Sonthi’s claim.

When asked about his 22 years of dealing with Singapore, Mahathir said “You’ll get nowhere with them either by being nice or by being tough, they only think of themselves,” Mahathir said.

Nevertheless, Mahathir said both sides need to patch things up but in away “that is honourable”, which, he said, should start with an apology from Singapore.

The former Malaysian leader said he would welcome a meeting with Thaksin only if the former Thai premier asked for it – but then quickly downplayed the idea, saying: “I don’t have anything to discuss with him.”

Thaksin has publicly praised Mahathir as his role model during his time in office.

“Although he has said I was his friend and he wants to follow my way, many of his ways are not my way,” Mahathir said.

Thaksin has been living in exile since he was ousted in September. The former premier has launched a media campaign to discredit the military-appointed government in Bangkok and the junta itself, accusing them of mismanagement and being undemocratic.

The purchase of the Thaksin family-controlled Shin Corp in January by Singapore’s investment arm Temasek Holdings triggered an outcry in Thailand and exploded into a national scandal that precipitated his downfall after it was disclosed the family paid no taxes on the Bt73-billion deal.

The deal allowed Temasek to control operation of mobile phones, satellite and television networks, which the junta deemed as a possible access to areas of security concern.

Mahathir said Thailand had benefited economically under Thaksin but added that his handling of policy and controversies were not very diplomatic.

Mahathir dismissed a suggestion that Thaksin had followed in his footsteps by meddling with the freedom of the press. He said his outspokenness against Western countries was responsible for his being cast in a bad light in the foreign press.

Malaysian former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad’s interview with Thepchai Yong will be aired on Channel 5’s “Siam This Morning” on Wednesday at 6.15am.

Don Pathan
The Nation
Langkawi, Malaysia

6 Falun Gong followers stand trial in Singapore over alleged protest

The Star Online

SINGAPORE (AP) – Six Singapore-based followers of the Falun Gong spiritual movement were in court on Wednesday facing charges of holding a protest without a permit in the tightly controlled city-state.

The group, made up of ethnic Chinese women aged from 37 to 55 years, were charged in April last year with taking part in an unauthorized assembly the previous October in the busy Orchard Road shopping area. If convicted, they face a maximum fine of 1,000 Singapore dollars (US$630; euro500).

The court on Wednesday was shown police security footage shot at the scene in which the women were seen carrying banners and distributing flyers in pairs or groups of three as they walked along the main shopping avenue.

The printed material was said to describe the alleged atrocities committed against Falun Gong followers in China, where authorities have outlawed the group and violently suppress it as a cult.

The defendants – who are Pang Su Chin, 55, You Xin, 37, Wang Yuyi, 50, Ang Soh Yan, 47, Ng Chye Huay, 41, and Cheng Lujin, 38 – have denied the charges.

They were representing themselves in the trial because they could not find a lawyer who was willing to defend them, said Wang, one of the defendants and spokeswoman of Singapore’s Falun Buddha Society.

“Worldwide, people go to Chinese embassies to protest, to tell the truth about the persecution of the Falun Gong members in China,” Wang said outside court. “We are Falun Gong practitioners outside China. We are lucky we have access to the international media, and the best thing we can do is to tell the truth.”

Falun Gong is not outlawed in Singapore, but public assemblies require prior permission from police, and authorities have previously arrested members on similar charges. Protests and demonstrations are rare in the Southeast Asian country.

Singapore’s authorities regularly come under fire from international human rights groups for tightly restricting speech and assembly. The authorities say such controls provide the stability that has helped turn the Southeast Asian city-state into a global economic powerhouse.-AP

Singapore. Stop deceiving innocent school children by makin them sing the national pledge.

From Singapore Dissident

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Singapore national pledge, required to be sung by schoolchildren each morning of their school going lives reads as follows:

“We, the citizens of Singapore
pledge ourselves as one united people
regardless of race, language or religion
to build a democratic society
based on justice and equality
so as to achieve happiness, prosperity and
progress for our nation”

Schoolchildren who are required by their teachers to sing this each morning are not aware, becasue of their youth and innocence, that almost every line in this pledge contains shameless falsities and untruths of which the Lee government is fully aware, and yet, deliberately, without any regard of the fact that they are deceiving young innocent minds, continue to make them utter this falsity, realizing fully, that they are doing a great injustice to them at a young age, being innocent children, into believing something that is patently false.

This deliberate and wilful deception on the minds of young schoolchildren by the Lee government is a crime and I ask them to cease and desist forthwith this deliberate deception on these children. I also ask parents of the children to ask them not to sing the pledge, when next they are in school, on the grounds that it is shameless lie, deliberately perpetuated by the Lee government.

We can take this line by line.

Pledge ourselves as one united people

There is no unity among the people. We have in Singapore a privileged class. These are the government (Peoples Action Party) supporters and cronies who are given given jobs, well paid and live a life of comfort, just as you find in all other Fascist and dictatorial countries who reward unconditional submission and obedience from its subjects. Then there are those who are unable to be card carrying members of the PAP either by reason of conscience or because they have more pride as human beings than those card carrying sycophants. These suffer from not getting the good jobs and financial disadvantage thereof. What you have is 2 classes, as expected in all Fascist societies like Singapore. The privileged government connected people and those who are not. There is no unity among such a people.

to continue reading…

Tight restrictions force topless bar to kiss Singapore goodbye


Describing a city that has legal prostitution as prudish is in my mind rather strange. I have not really been following the announced closure too much other than what I have been reading on other sites. I thought all the male tourists were simply visiting other ‘dens of debauchery’.

I was not aware that Crazy Horse was restricted in its advertising campaign. It is no great surprise that the authorities would block adverts with scantily clad women in them. So it would be interesting to see the actual adverts that were blocked. Or were they simply refused permission to advertise at all at airports and in taxis?

I also remember the Australian Tourism Board having difficulty over an advert that contained the utterance, ‘bloody’.

Guess this site is never going to go mainstream unless I change the name.

· Parisian revue to shut down after advertising ban
· Closure a setback for city-state’s tourism drive

Ian MacKinnon, south-east Asia correspondent
Tuesday January 30, 2007
The Guardian

Singapore’s efforts to cast off its joyless “nanny state” image and rebrand itself as a carefree, fun city that is a magnet for tourists has stumbled with the closure of a Parisian topless revue barely a year after it opened.

The Crazy Horse Paris cabaret, on the south-east Asian city-state’s riverfront, was unveiled with great fanfare. It was hailed as a leading attraction in Singapore’s battle to boost visitor numbers. But tomorrow night the 15 dancers in little more than wigs, g-strings and stilettos – mostly French, with a smattering of other Europeans – will strut their stuff for the last time 13 months after their first outing.

The Eng Wah Organisation beat off strong competition from other Asian cities, notably Hong Kong and Tokyo, to bag the franchise. Yet it said poor audiences had brought mounting losses after tough advertising restrictions barred images of the women in an attempt to safeguard public morals.

The Crazy Horse venture had secured the endorsement of the city-state’s founding father, Lee Kuan Yew, the man largely responsible for its prudish squeaky-clean image, and even of its tourism authority.

But Singapore’s ministry of information, culture and the arts blocked advertising at the city’s international Changi airport, in taxis and on television and radio. Even newspaper and magazine advertisements faced tight restrictions.

The twice-nightly, 100-minute mix of music and light that has played to sell-out audiences since it opened in Paris 55 years ago, could barely half-fill the 400-seat theatre most nights, despite its prime spot in the buzzy Clarke Quay entertainment district.

The closure will force Eng Wah to write off losses of $4.6m (£2.3m). Its managing director, Goh Min Yen, said Singapore might not have been ready for the show. “We may have brought it a little early,” she said. “I believe that Singapore has the potential to support a vibrant nightlife and there will be future opportunities that we can explore.”

But the dark theatre does not augur well for Singapore’s goal to double tourist numbers to 17 million annually by 2015 with new entertainment. Two casino resorts are planned, a further sign that some in Singapore wish to continue easing social controls.

Bar-top dancing is no longer illegal and Singaporeans can now buy chewing gum at pharmacies. The ban in place for 12 years after Mr Lee was alarmed by the sticky mess on Singapore’s famously clean streets was lifted two years ago – provided buyers give their name and identity card number when they make the purchase.

Tight restrictions force topless bar to kiss Singapore goodbye


Describing a city that has legal prostitution as prudish is in my mind rather strange. I have not really been following the announced closure too much other than what I have been reading on other sites. I thought all the male tourists were simply visiting other ‘dens of debauchery’.

I was not aware that Crazy Horse was restricted in its advertising campaign. It is no great surprise that the authorities would block adverts with scantily clad women in them. So it would be interesting to see the actual adverts that were blocked. Or were they simply refused permission to advertise at all at airports and in taxis?

I also remember the Australian Tourism Board having difficulty over an advert that contained the utterance, ‘bloody’.

Guess this site is never going to go mainstream unless I change the name.

· Parisian revue to shut down after advertising ban
· Closure a setback for city-state’s tourism drive

Ian MacKinnon, south-east Asia correspondent
Tuesday January 30, 2007
The Guardian

Singapore’s efforts to cast off its joyless “nanny state” image and rebrand itself as a carefree, fun city that is a magnet for tourists has stumbled with the closure of a Parisian topless revue barely a year after it opened.

The Crazy Horse Paris cabaret, on the south-east Asian city-state’s riverfront, was unveiled with great fanfare. It was hailed as a leading attraction in Singapore’s battle to boost visitor numbers. But tomorrow night the 15 dancers in little more than wigs, g-strings and stilettos – mostly French, with a smattering of other Europeans – will strut their stuff for the last time 13 months after their first outing.

The Eng Wah Organisation beat off strong competition from other Asian cities, notably Hong Kong and Tokyo, to bag the franchise. Yet it said poor audiences had brought mounting losses after tough advertising restrictions barred images of the women in an attempt to safeguard public morals.

The Crazy Horse venture had secured the endorsement of the city-state’s founding father, Lee Kuan Yew, the man largely responsible for its prudish squeaky-clean image, and even of its tourism authority.

But Singapore’s ministry of information, culture and the arts blocked advertising at the city’s international Changi airport, in taxis and on television and radio. Even newspaper and magazine advertisements faced tight restrictions.

The twice-nightly, 100-minute mix of music and light that has played to sell-out audiences since it opened in Paris 55 years ago, could barely half-fill the 400-seat theatre most nights, despite its prime spot in the buzzy Clarke Quay entertainment district.

The closure will force Eng Wah to write off losses of $4.6m (£2.3m). Its managing director, Goh Min Yen, said Singapore might not have been ready for the show. “We may have brought it a little early,” she said. “I believe that Singapore has the potential to support a vibrant nightlife and there will be future opportunities that we can explore.”

But the dark theatre does not augur well for Singapore’s goal to double tourist numbers to 17 million annually by 2015 with new entertainment. Two casino resorts are planned, a further sign that some in Singapore wish to continue easing social controls.

Bar-top dancing is no longer illegal and Singaporeans can now buy chewing gum at pharmacies. The ban in place for 12 years after Mr Lee was alarmed by the sticky mess on Singapore’s famously clean streets was lifted two years ago – provided buyers give their name and identity card number when they make the purchase.

Some Inconsistencies in This Report

The article below either contains information that points to a third individual who was supposed to be hanged on the same day as Tochi or is mis-reading the situation. I know that South Africa denied claims that a South African was hanged by Singapore, not because he received clemency at the last minute but that the South African government denied that Malachy was South African. Tochi and Malachy were both hanged, but there has been no reference to a third individual being granted clemency.

Ripples over hanging of Nigerian teenager in Singapore
TUNDE AKINGBADE
Posted to the Web: Sunday, January 28, 2007

THE authorities in Singapore, Friday, hanged a 19-year-old Nigerian Iwuchukwu Amara Tochi, under questionable and controversial circumstances. The teenager was said to have had on his person some quantities of hard drug when he was arrested in Singapore. He was not alone in the matter that eventually made him to pay the supreme price. Another African was hanged along with him. But, a South African, who was also sentenced to death by the Singaporeans along with Amara Tochi over drug related issues had his sentence reversed, following the intervention of President Thabo Mbeki who appealed to the authorities in Singapore to temper justice with mercy. For weeks, Amara Tochi stood trial over the drug matter after he was alleged to have been found with 727.3 grammes of heroin which was punishable by death under the Misuse of Drugs Act, 1973 of Singapore.

Aside from that the article does shift some of the blame of Tochi’s death to the Nigerian government.

However, there are ample reasons for the Nigerian government, the Ministry of Information and National Orientation Agency (NOA) to educate Nigerian citizens about countries that operate primitive laws and generally ask them to avoid such countries like plagues no matter the economic benefits therein and technological advancement.

Such references to Mbeki in the first extract do give the existence of a third person credibility. Can anyone clarify this matter.