Chee to launch new book

Singapore Democrats

Dr Chee Soon Juan has written a new book titled Democratically Speaking which deals with various subjects including Singapore's political economy, the need for dissent in the country, and the dangers of the lack of the rule of law.

The book will be launched on 5 August, Sunday at The Substation starting at 3pm.

Dr Chee's latest publication also contains letters, speeches and legal submissions that he has written over the years. It is the eighth book that the SDP secretary-general has written.

Democratically Speaking
consists of 16 chapters clustered around four parts. Part 1 talks about the future of our economy and the PAP Government's push into the world of high-finance and our becoming a tax haven.

Part 2 relates how Singaporeans have been forced into accepting the future direction of our political economy. It details the importance of dissent and points out how we, as a people, can go about reclaiming our political rights and civil liberties.

Such an effort, however, needs the rule of law. Part 3 of the book discusses the concept of the rule of law. It also demonstrates how the Government has decimated the practice of the rule of law in Singapore and explains the need for the Judiciary to ensure the robust adherence to the principle and, so doing, protect the fundamental freedoms of the Singaporean people.

Part 4 includes the many missives, articles, interviews and speeches that Dr Chee gave in the past – from the early years of his political involvement to the present.

Below is an excerpt from one of the chapters:
Apart from Mayan eschatology, 2012 is also significant—for me, at least—in another respect. It marks the 20th anniversary of my involvement in politics, or more accurately, in the struggle for freedom in Singapore.

During the period, I have raised a plethora of issues—from the high-profile to the more obscure, crossed swords with the rulers of this country and partaken of significant political events in Singapore. I hope that I have been able to influence, to whatever degree, Singapore’s politics; it certainly has influenced me.

Through it all, one word has always occupied the centre of my political work. Indeed, it is more than a word. It is a belief, a way of life that has eluded this nation and her people. It is a goal to which I have dedicated my life to achieving. That word, that belief, that goal is democracy.


I admit that democracy is not a subject that lends itself to urgent attention in a society preoccupied with material riches. But I can no longer wait to warn the people of the dangers that lie ahead than can society afford not to pay attention. Unfortunately, by the time the situation turns so dire, we may rue the lost opportunity to defend our political rights and ourselves.

There is much that we can do to change course and we must apply ourselves with urgency. For this reason, as unattractive and as unenviable as the task maybe, the effort to rouse the nation from its political slumber must continue. This book, a summary of all that I have been saying and doing for the last two decades, is my contribution to that effort.
Event: Launch of Democratically Speaking
Date: 5 August 2012, Sunday
Time: 3-5pm
Venue: The Substation Theatre, 45 Armenian Street, S 179936
Prices: $30 (paperback); $50 (hardcover)

Buy: Democratically Speaking is available for online purchases here.

Singapore Tuesday, 17 July 2012 SDP Print