OA refuses to let Chee attend IBA conference

September 26, 2011
Singapore Democrats

This post is at least a year old. Some of the links in this post may no longer work correctly.

The Official Assignee has rejected Dr Chee Soon Juan’s application for permission to attend the International Bar Association’s conference in Dubai on 4 Nov.Singapore Democrats

The Official Assignee (OA) has rejected Dr Chee Soon Juan’s application for permission to attend the International Bar Association’s conference in Dubai on 4 Nov. No reasons were given for the rejection. (See letter below)

The OA has turned down every one of the nearly 30 applications Dr Chee has made to attend overseas conferences since he was declared bankrupt by the courts in 2006. This is despite all the organisers undertaking to pay for all of Dr Chee’s expenses.

The SDP secretary-general was made bankrupt after repeated defamation suits in 1993, 2001 and 2006 by PAP leaders including Mr Lee Kuan Yew, Mr Lee Hsien Loong and Mr Goh Chok Tong.

The IBA has invited Dr Chee to speak at its annual conference held in Dubai at the Rule of Law Symposium entitled Economic Sustainability and the Rule of Law.

The IBA held its conference in Singapore in 2007 during which Mr Lee claimed that it had praised the Singapore judiciary and legal system in a letter. The Association had, in fact, not written such a letter.

In 2008 the IBA Human Rights Institute subsequently published a report entitled Prosperity versus individual rights? Human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Singapore which criticised the judiciary and human rights record in Singapore.

At that Rule of Law Symposium in 2007, then Minister for Law Mr S Jayakumar defended the use of the Internal Security Act arguing that it was needed to protect the country against terrorism.

Dr Chee stood up to ask why the minister did not tell the audience how opposition leaders were detained without trial, citing the case of Mr Chia Thye Poh who was imprisoned for 23 years without ever being charged in court.

The moderater then tried to cut Dr Chee short. “The Government has had its say,” Dr Chee responded, “Now I’m sure the audience would like to hear the other side of the story.” The audience broke out into a loud and sustained applause.

Mr Jayakumar avoided answering the question and instead changed the subject by accusing Dr Chee of trying to turn the symposium into a theatre of Singapore politics.

After that exchange several of the attendees, some of whom were with the IBA Human Rights Institute, indicated that they were appalled at the human rights abuses in Singapore.

12/09/2011

Mr Chee Soon Juan

Dear Sir

We refer to your application to leave the Republic of Singapore dated 05/09/2011 and regret to inform you that your application has not been approved.

Nazrinah Bte Mohamed Ali
for Official Assignee