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A resolution expressing concern over the arrest, conviction and detention of Dr. Chee Soon Juan and Mr. Gandi Ambalan, urging Singapores PAP government to respect freedom of expression, and reiterating CALDs commitment to democracy in Asia
Aware that last May 1, 2002, Dr. Chee Soon Juan, Mr. Gandi Ambalan and other members and supporters of the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) held a public rally;
Knowing that Labor Day was chosen by the SDP in order to underscore the opposition partys concern regarding the inability of Singaporean workers to organize themselves and to protect their rights and interests due to the continued political repression in Singapore;
Saddened that Dr. Chee and Mr. Ambalan were arrested during this Labor Day rally for speaking without a permit and later convicted and fined for S$ 3,000;
Noting that Dr. Chee had chosen to serve a default jail sentence while Mr. Ambalan was subsequently bailed by his own family due to his heart ailment;
Citing that Dr. Chee had previously been jailed twice before for refusing to pay the fine, once for seven days and another for 12 days, making his current detention of five weeks the longest yet;
Believing that the arrest, conviction and detention/fining of Messrs. Chee and Ambalan further demonstrate the People Action Partys intolerance of peaceful dissent aired by people with genuine grievances and with sincere desire for political reform;
Remarking that CALD agrees with the assertion of Dr. Chee that laws put in place by the PAP to bar citizens from openly congregating and pressuring the government to serve the peoples interests instead of its own, are not just unjust but also unconstitutional.
Now therefore, be it resolved that the Council of Asian Liberals & Democrats express concern over the arrest, conviction and detention of Dr. Chee Soon Juan and Mr. Gandi Ambalan, urge Singapores PAP government to respect freedom of expression, and reiterate CALDs commitment to democracy in Asia.
For the Council of Asian Liberals & Democrats:
M. R. Sukhumbhand Paribatra, MP
October 20, 2002
Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines
* This resolution is not supported by the Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia