A GROUP of Asian and European liberals and democrats has urged the Singapore government to adhere to its constitutional principle of freedom of speech and freedom of assembly and to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to which Singapore is a signatory.
In a resolution at the end of a three-day conference in the Korean capital Seoul, some 40 Asian and European liberals and democrats said that Singapores interests are best served by adherence to her own constitution and such adherence will ultimately benefit Southeast Asia as a region of peace, prosperity, progress, justice and democracy.
The resolution adopted on the last day of the meeting on Friday (1 Nov) comes in the wake of the arrest and conviction of Dr Chee Soon Juan and Mr Gandhi Ambalam and the continued detention of Dr Chee, Secretary General of the Singapore Democratic Party.
The resolution noted that SDP chose to hold a public rally on 1 May this year when the two leaders were arrested to underscore the opposition partys concern regarding the lack of opportunities for Singaporean workers to organize themselves and protect their rights and interests.
The conference in Seoul brought together for the first time leading political party activists, including several members of parliament who are in government in their countries, from the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD); and the European Liberal, Democratic & Reform Group (ELDR) of the European Parliament.
Participants to the meeting also called on President Kim Dae Jung at the Blue House, the Presidential residence in Seoul, at which the Korean leader emphasized the importance for Asian countries to uphold the values of human rights and freedom which are necessary ingredients to achieve sustained economic and social development.
Mr Gandhi Ambalam, a Central Executive Committee member and head of SDPs Public Relations and International Affairs, represented SDP at the conference.