Rule of law in Singapore? You must be joking

October 10, 2002
Singapore Democrats

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During Dr Chee’s and Mr Ambalam’s Labour Day rally trial, the prosecution argued that the rule of law prevails in Singapore. Is this true? One of the main ingredients of the rule of law is that all citizens are treated equally under the law, meaning that all political parties enjoy equal protection by the law.

Everyone in Singapore knows, however, that under Singapore law the PAP can never be wrong and the opposition can never be right. Below are some examples:

1. In 1995, although the authorities pulled down and confiscated the SDP’s National Day flags and bunting put up in SDP-held constituencies, they allowed the PAP’s flags to be displayed freely.

2. In 1995, Ling How Doong, a SDP member of parliament for Bukit Gombak, was not allowed to give a speech during a National Day dinner he organised in his own constituency and for his constituents. Days later, Lim Boon Heng, a PAP minister, and another official of the Residents’ Committee came to the constituency and gave two public speeches. PAP members give public addresses to their constituents as a matter of routine.

3. The NTUC staged a mass demonstration against the United States for “interfering” in Singapore’s domestic affairs over the 1987 “Marxist” conspiracy detention of 22 Singaporean activists. The opposition is, however, repeatedly, denied permits to hold public events. The NTUC protest comprised of 4,000 participants (see photos) whereas there were only Mr Gandhi Ambalam and Dr Chee Soon Juan at the Labour Day rally. And yet the Government said that there were potential law and order problems in the Istana matter and none for the NTUC demonstration. Strange things happen in Singapore’s politics.

4. PAP candidates are allowed unauthorized entry in polling stations during the 1997 GE as a matter of course whereas opposition candidates are even stopped from entering polling in their own constituencies when they do not have their badges/labels properly worn.

5. The police handed over reports made by Mr Tang Liang Hong about PAP
leaders to the PAP leaders whereas they (the police) refused to do the same for the opposition when PAP members lodged reports about the oppositionists. These are just of examples of the bias and unprofessional conduct of the police when it comes to treatment of the PAP and the opposition. Under such a climate of abuse, there can never be the rule of law in Singapore.