S’pore Democrats urge Bush not to ignore repression in S’pore

October 21, 2003
Singapore Democrats

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21 October 2003

Mr George W Bush
President
United States
United States Embassy
Singapore
Fax: 6476-9389

Dear Mr President,

On behalf of the members of the Singapore Democratic Party I bid you a very warm welcome to Singapore. From all accounts you have had a very successful APEC meeting in Bangkok where issues about the fight against terrorism were the main concerns.

I am sure your discussions with the Singapore Government during your stay here would also touch on this weighty matter. It is my hope, as I am sure it is the hope of all democracy-loving Singapore citizens, that in your deliberations you will bring to the attention of the Singapore Government officials that democracy is a key and indispensable tool in the fight against terrorism.

I am certain too that you will have heard of the autocratic nature of your Singaporean counterparts and the undemocratic system that continues to be a scourge on our country. In your attempts to eradicate terrorism, it would be a tragedy to inadvertently encourage the proliferation of terrorist networks in Southeast Asia by allowing repressive regimes in the region to continue to stifle dissent and deny their citizens democratic freedoms sorely needed to help in the fight against terror.

As such I urge you not to ignore the repression that exists in Singapore and, more important, to impress upon the rulers of this city-state of the need to respect and practice democracy if not for its own sake then for the sake of the wider effort to combat terrorism.

I wish you a pleasant stay in Singapore.

Sincerely,

Chee Soon Juan
Secretary-General
Singapore Democratic Party