The POFMA case between the SDP and MOM will be heard in the High Court on Thursday, 16 Jan.
Unfortunately, the matter is scheduled to be heard in Chambers (6F) rather than open court. This means that the public and media will not be allowed to attend.
The SDP will, however, apply to the judge to have the case heard in open court. This will be the first thing we do when the session is convened on Thursday morning. If the judge allows our application, the case will, presumably, be transferred to and continued in Court 6F.
Given that the matter has drawn widespread and intense public interest, the SDP is of the view that the case be open to the public.
Not only has the matter of POFMA been strongly criticised by the opposition, civil society and the general public as an unfair weapon of the ruling party, the issue of foreign PMETs flooding Singapore is also a controversial policy that has gripped the attention of Singaporeans.
Given that these two issues will be hotly debated and decided by Singaporeans in the looming GE, the SDP will appeal to the judge to make the hearing open to the public.
As Lord Atkin once noted “Publicity is the very soul of justice. It is the keenest spur to exertion, and the surest of all guards against improbity.”