Dr Chee Soon Juan has been invited to speak at the Oslo Freedom Forum again. The annual event held in Oslo, Norway features speakers from various areas of advocacy, business, academia, politics, media, and technology.$CUT$
This is the second time Dr Chee will be addressing the forum. He was invited last year but had to record his speech in a video because he could not travel due to his bankruptcy.
The bankruptcy was annulled last year when he raised $30,000 to pay Mr Lee Kuan Yew and Mr Goh Chok Tong who had sued him for defamation in 2001.
Titled ‘Economic Sustainability in Authoritarian Systems‘, Dr Chee’s talk is scheduled for 15 May 2013, Wednesday, at about 12 noon, Oslo (6 pm Singapore) and will be streamed live here. He will speak on the need for political reform in Singapore in order for our economy to progress.
This year’s speakers include Ms Ambiga Sreenevasan, former president of the Malaysian Bar Council. Ms Sreenevasan led the Bersih 2.0 rally in Kuala Lumpur in 2011 which saw 20,000 Malaysians take part, calling for free and fair elections in Malaysia.
Another prominent Asian speaker is Mr Chen-Guangcheng, a blind Chinese civil rights activist who was placed under house arrest for speaking up against forced sterilization and abortion in China. Mr Chen made a dramatic escape to the US after he was prosecuted and faced imprisonment.
Asian opposition leaders Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Burma’s Daw Aung San Suu Kyi have also spoken at the forum in past years. Other prominent speakers included former Polish president Lech Walesa and Russian chess supremo and democracy advocate Gary Kasparov.
Dr Chee will also participate in a panel discussion under the theme The Threat of Authoritarian Capitalism that will take place immediately following the speech. The discussion will be moderated by BBC presenter Jamie Coomarasamy. The session will discuss governance models that sacrifice civil and political rights in the name of stability and economic growth.
The Economist describes the forum as “a spectacular human-rights festival on its way to becoming a human rights equivalent of the Davos Economic Forum.”
Former US president Bill Clinton said that Oslo Freedom Forum is “a unique gathering of the best minds, bravest hearts and strongest pillars of the human rights community.”