IBA delegates aware of repression in Singapore

October 16, 2007
Singapore Democrats

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As Chee Soon Juan’s protest in front of the Istana goes into its second day, people continue to take note of not only his message “No Arms, No deals to the Burmese junta” by the PAP government but also how freedoms of speech, assembly and expression are denied to the people.

In fact, some International Bar Association (IBA) delegates, now attending their annual conference at Suntec City came to see for themselves how ridiculous the restrictions on protests are in Singapore.

Some of the delegates who are in Singapore for the first time became aware of political repression and denial of the rule of law through an eight-page flyer that has chronicled decades of executive abuse of power by the PAP government.

One of the delegates from Europe, holding a copy of the flyer said: “it’s preposterous. In spite of all this, the IBA is holding its annual conference in Singapore.”

Another delegate from Switzerland, noting “how difficult it was for the opposition in Singapore” said she understood the plight of dissidents and admired their courage.

Referring to Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, a delegate said: “Why did they (the IBA leadership) ask him to open the conference?

“I know a thing or two about dictatorship and I’m from Colombia,” he asserted.

Some delegates and officials from IBA have contacted and will meet with SDP leaders.

Meanwhile, Mr Philip Jeyaretnam, president of the Law Society in a press statement has made an oblique reference to the SDP by saying that the rule of law symposium scheduled for Friday, 19 Oct should not be politicized.

The SDP has absolutely no intention to do this. In fact Mr Jeyaretnam himself chose to politicize this event by inviting Minister Mentor Lee to speak at the opening ceremony. By doing so, he has given the PAP a platform to spew its propaganda that must be rebutted resolutely.

This will be done during the rule of law symposium. To this end, we encourage all Singaporeans who are interested in the rule of law, not the PAP style, to attend the symposium. To register click here.