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15 April 2005
Mr Wong Kan Seng
Minister for Home Affairs
28 Irrawaddy Road
Dear Mr Wong,
I refer to the letter from the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) dated 15 April 2005, rejecting the application for Mr Tim Parritt from Amnesty International to speak at the Open Singapore Centres public forum on 16 April 2005.
Not only did the rejection come at the last minute, as it invariably does, the ICA has also found it unnecessary to tell Singaporeans why it has banned Mr Parritt from engaging Singaporeans on such a weighty matter as the death penalty. If the present Government is working towards a more open and inclusive Singapore, should not Singaporeans at least be told the reason why Mr Parritt has been banned from speaking?
If the Government cannot give a good reason for its decision, then I urge you to reconsider the rejection and allow Mr Parritt to speak. Singaporeans are intelligent people and they can make up their minds as to whether the speaker makes sense or not. There is no need for you to play mind-controller any longer.
Chee Soon Juan
Open Singapore Centre