Govt was trying to delay my departure: CSJ

February 7, 2007
Singapore Democrats

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Dr Chee Soon Juan testified in court today that all the unnecessary delays in processing his travel application seemed to be to prevent him from attending the World Movement for Democracy General Assembly in Istanbul, Turkey.

“I was going to bring attention about the undemocratic nature of elections in Singapore to the conference,” Dr Chee told the court. “As it turned out the elections were just around the corner.”

Dr Chee said that the inexplicable delays by the Official Assignee’s (OA) office in processing his application resulted in his inability to leave the country.

The SDP secretary-general is charged with attempting to leave the country without permission.

“With the information that I had given the OA, make up your mind,” he said. “If you don’t want to approve my application, say so. If you do, say so. Let me know one way or the other.

“It is ludicrous that the OA had still not made a decision on the day I was due to travel.”

The Prosecutor from the OA’s office, Ms Kamala, tried to pin the blame on Dr Chee for not making a proposal to make monthly payments to his creditors, Mr Lee Kuan Yew and Mr Goh Chok Tong.

This apparently was the reason the OA held off on approving his travel application.

Dr Chee countered that he had repeatedly told the OA’s office that he had insufficient income to do so, but the office continued to insist that he make the payments before being allowed to travel.

Both the Prosecution and Defence completed their cases and will make written submissions which are due by 16 Feb 07. Judge Aedit Abdullah will make his decision on 26 Feb 07.