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Dr Chee Soon Juan today did an interview with CNN which centred on the banning of the Far Eastern Economic Review by the Government and the lawsuit taken by Mr Lee Kuan Yew and Mr Lee Hsien Loong against the journal.
According to CNN, the interview will be broadcast on 24 Oct 06, Tuesday, the eve of the FEER lawsuit hearing fixed for 25 Oct 06 at the High Court.
The presenter, Ms Eunice Yoon, started off by asking Dr Chee his thoughts on the ban and the lawsuit to which the SDP secretary-general replied that he was not at all surprised because of the history of litigation by the PAP.
Having domesticated the local media the Singapore Government had to now silence international critics in order to continue its propaganda that it ran a successful system based on transparency and democracy, Dr Chee added.
The FEER case was just one example, the Singapore Democratic leader cited. He brought up the Andy Xie sacking by Morgan Stanley for writing an email that Singapore was depending on money-laundering from the Chinese and Indonesians.
Ms Yoon then asked if the PAP’s reputation as a clean Government was deserved. Dr Chee replied that with on-going suspicions about Singapore being a money-laundering hub and the scandal over the Temasek-Shin Corp deal, the Singapore Government had to rely on silencing the media to propagate the falsehood that it ran a clean government.
The CNN presenter than commented that Singaporeans seemed to be more concerned about their financial security than their political rights. Dr Chee stressed that this is not true especially when one looks at the Internet where there’s a free flow of information. Where Singaporeans are given the opportunity to freely express themselves, they show that they are very concerned about the democratic freedoms and rights.
Singaporeans, having been deprived of an open discussion in the mainstream media, are turning to the Internet to express their frustrations and their desire to see a more open and democratic system.
Dr Chee was also asked what he thought of the label ‘martyr’ that the PAP has sarcastically used on him. The SDP secretary-general replied that it did not bother him the names the PAP used on him. He added that what mattered most is the work that needs to be done to for democracy and justice in the country. Every name and every action that the PAP took against him only made him more resolute to fight on.
The 10-minute interview will be edited down to a couple of minutes for broadcast. In the past Dr Chee has been interviewed on the network on programmes like Q&A with Rhiz Khan and, more recently, TalkAsia with Lorraine Hahn.