Chee talks about Singapore repression in US

March 14, 2003
Singapore Democrats

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Dr Chee Soon Juan is currently on a four-city tour of the United States raising awareness of the Singapores political situation. He visited Los Angeles, Washington DC, New York City and Chicago.

In the Californian city, Dr Chee presented a talk at Clairmont University and gave interviews at a television talk-show and a national public radio programme. He also met with the editorial board of the Los Angeles Times and has been invited to contribute an op-ed piece.

Dr Chee met with State Department and Congressional officials in Washington DC. The discussion covered various topics including the soon-to-be signed US-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (USSFTA). Dr Chee stated that the SDP welcomed the USSFTA as long as it benefited workers instead of just the government and business elite.

He also encouraged the US government to pay attention to the abuses of civil and political rights in Singapore and stated that the development of democracy would be in the interest of both Singapore and the United States in terms of social and economic development. He also said that democracy would be fundamentally helpful in resolving the problem of terrorism in Southeast Asia.

Dr Chee also discussed the work of the Alliance for Reform and Democracy in Asia (ARDA) of which he is the chairman. ARDA has in the pipeline several projects that will address the problems of democratic change in the various countries in Asia and has plans to set up a secretariat that will help to implement these projects.

The Singapore Democrats secretary-general also gave a talk at the School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University in Washington DC. He was also interviewed on Radio Free Asia.

In New York City, Dr Chee met with senior United Nations officials and discussed the electoral system in Singapore. He also gave talks at the Fordham University Law School and Columbia University East Asian Studies Institute.

He has been invited back to the University of Chicago, where he was a human rights fellow, to participate in a forum Prosperity, Stability and Civil Liberties: Human Rights in Singapore Post 9-11 with Mr Francis Seow, former solicitor-general now living in exile, and Dr Jeanne-Marie Stumpf, Amnesty International representative and professor at Kent State University.