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Readers may recall that when the Singapore Democrats visited the Law Faculty — dubbed “Asia’s Global Law School” (by NUS, of course — two weeks ago, campus officials asked the SDP to write in for permission to distribute flyers to students. We did just that on 28 Aug 08.
The head of the university’s Corporate Relations Office, Ms Ovidia Lim-Rajaram, replied a week later: “As the University has a policy of not allowing the distribution of flyers by outside individuals, groups or companies on our campus, we are unable to accede to your request.”
The Singapore Democrats pointed out that it was important for students to be aware of national issues and counter proposed that the SDP be allowed to visit students on campus and interact with them to raise political awareness.
The SDP also wanted to know if the students had been consulted about the decision not to allow us to visit the campus:
5 September 2008
Dear Ms Ovidia Lim-Rajaram,
Thank you for your reply.
I am sure you are able to appreciate the fact that we are not a company or group promoting a product or service for private gain. We are a political party working to raise awareness on democracy and other issues that affect our nation and its future. Surely this distinction is important to you.
I would like to ask if you had consulted the Law Faculty students before you turned down our request to distribute flyers to them. Did the students have a say in your decision?
I ask this because when we were at the campus, students took and read our flyers with great interest. It seems that they want to know more but are prevented from doing so by the university’s administration.
Since our request has been turned down, we would like to make an alternative proposal, that is, to come down to campus and conduct talks and seminars with your students.
We hope that this will be acceptable. It is my hope that you will forward this email to student bodies and have their views solicited.
Chee Soon Juan
Singapore Democratc Party
We will keep Singaporeans updated on this matter and will continue to try stamp out political apathy among our university students.