Public forum on elections in Singapore

January 6, 2005
Singapore Democrats

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A rare public forum will be held on 9 January 2005, Sunday at 2:30 pm to discuss the elections system in Singapore. The event will take place at the Holiday Inn Parkview (next to Centrepoint and behind The Le Meridien Hotel) and is organised by the Alliance for Reform and Democracy in Asia (ARDA).

The discussion is part of the program of an international team which is visiting Singapore this weekend to conduct a study of the elections system here. The team would like to hear from Singaporeans themselves about the electoral process and the public forum is one way to do it. The team has also asked to meet with the Elections Department, Singapore Press Holdings, MediaCorp, political parties, and NGOs (see the ARDA press statement below). The SDP will be meeting the team on 8 January.

The Singapore Democrats would like to take this opportunity to encourage citizens to attend the forum and express their views on elections in Singapore. Moderating the public forum is Mr. J. B. Jeyaretnam. The speakers will be Mr. Yap Keng Hoe, an internet activist, and Dr. Tan Chong Kee, the originator of Sintercom, an internet chatsite.

Remember elections is not a privilege bestowed upon us by the PAP, it is a right that the government cannot take away and should not be hijacked. It is the duty of citizens to guard the process jealously and make it genuinely free and fair.

We take this opportunity to publicise the efforts of a conscientious citizen who is an internet activist and goes by the name of Uncle Yap. He has drawn up an online survey on the subject and requests Singaporeans to participate in it. We reproduce his message below:

Event Alert: Public Forum On Singaporean Election System
Date: 9.Jan.2005 Sunday
Time: 2:30pm to 5 pm
Venue: Holiday Inn Parkview Hotel, 11 Cavenagh Road
Tel: +65 6733 8333
ARDA Event URL: http://www.asiademocracy.biz/content_view.php section_id=1&content_id=191
ARDA Home Page: http://www.asiademocracy.org/
(This flyer is created by: http://www.jbjeya.org/ We are a website founded by supporters of Mr. J B Jeyaretnam. Mr. J B Jeyaretnam would be the moderator of this ARDA public forum event.)

For those who are unable to attend in person: Cyber-Participation via email & on-line survey. Write an email to [email protected] about you opinions & comments on Singaporean Election System, and your entry would be relayed to the ARDA study team. http://www.jbjeya.org/info.arda.forum.html

At the very least you can fill up an on-line survey form at the above address, which takes you only few minutes without revealing your identify. Ask friends to take part!

ARDA PRESS STATEMENT
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATED January 5, 2005

The Alliance for Reform and Democracy Asia (ARDA) will be sending a team to Singapore to learn more about the election system in the city-state. This is the first time an international team is studying the elections system in Singapore. The ARDA team will visit Singapore from January 8-9, 2005. This study is part of the on-going project to analyze the electoral and democratization processes in Asia.

In March 2004, ARDA had sent election observers to Malaysia to monitor the general elections. The Alliance sent another team to Hong Kong to study the election system in the city in August 2004 and followed that up with another team to observe the Legislative Council elections in the city a month later.

The team that will visit Singapore will comprise of the following members:

Dr Paul Scott. Dr Scott is a Steering Committee member of ARDA and is the team coordinator for this visit. He is Professor of Modern Chinese and Japanese Studies in the Asian Studies Program at Kansai Gaidai University, Osaka, Japan.

Mr Herman Vermeer. Mr Vermeer, from the Netherlands, was a European Member of Parliament from 2001-2004. He has worked for electoral reform in Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

Mr Martin Lee. A well-established Queens Counsel, Mr Lee made his mark in Hong Kong politics when he challenged the Chinese government to allow China to become a democracy. Mr. Lee was recently re-elected as a Legislative Council member.

Mr. Earl Parre?. Mr. Parreno is a political analyst and he has written books and articles on Philippine politics and elections. He also helped in setting up the Asian Network for Free Elections.

Mr. Michael J. Mitchell. During the George H.W. Bush administration, Mr. Mitchell was Director of Congressional Relations for the Department of States Office of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. He is the author of several articles on building democracy in Mongolia and Burma. In 1999, he was awarded the Order of Freedom by the Mongolian government for his work in building democratic institutions in that country.

The team has written to the Elections Department, Singapore Press Holdings, MediaCorp, political parties, and NGOs to request for meetings. As it is important that we hear from Singaporeans as well, ARDA has organized a forum whereby members of the public are invited for a discussion on the elections system in Singapore. Moderating the public forum is Mr. J. B. Jeyaretnam, a former opposition member of parliament. Speaking on the panel will be Mr. Yap Keng Hoe, an internet activist, and Dr. Tan Chong Kee, the originator of Sintercom, an internet chatsite. The forum will take place at the Orchid Room of the Holiday Inn Parkview, 11 Cavenagh Road, Singapore 229616, beginning at 2.30 pm on Sunday, January 9, 2005. ARDA would like to encourage Singaporeans to attend the discussion and to meet with team.

The team will write a report of the findings following the mission.

CONTACT: Dr. Paul Scott [email protected]