Why this, why now on M Ravi?

June 29, 2006
Singapore Democrats

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The latest action by the Disciplinary Committee against Mr M Ravi fools no one. It is another attempt by the authorities to stymie Mr Ravi’s on-going efforts to raise human rights issues in Singapore, including the lawyer’s valiant campaign to bring the internationally condemned practice of the mandatory death sentence in Singapore to the attention of the world.

To be sure, the case is a revisit of a matter that happened three years ago. Why did it take so long for it to resurface, especially at a time when Mr Ravi is in the thick of cases involving the SDP and its members?

Singaporeans should be aware that the lawsuit by Mr Lee Kuan Yew and Mr Lee Hsien Loong against Dr Chee Soon Juan and Ms Chee Siok Chin, of which Mr Ravi is the defence counsel, is due to be heard over the next several weeks. In addition, the trial of Dr Chee, Mr Gandhi Ambalam and Mr Yap Keng Ho is proceeding at the same time. Mr Ravi is, of course, their lawyer.

In addition, Mr Ravi has also been arguing many cases against the PAP, the most prominent being the Originating Summons taken by Ms Chee Siok Chin against the practices of the Government during GE 2006. The other matter involved the Originating Motion against the Government taken out by the activists who had conducted the protest outside the CPF Building in August 2005.

As can be seen Mr Ravi is the counsel in many of these cases against the PAP and the Government. With the present action against him, Mr Ravi is in danger of being suspended which will deprive the SDP of legal representation.

This action also comes in the wake of a groundbreaking trip that the human rights lawyer is making to Europe to campaign for human rights in Singapore as well as to focus the attention of Europeans to the imminent execution of two African nationals in Singapore.

Taking the above matters into account, one would be foolish to think that the disciplinary action against Mr Ravi and his on-going activities occurred as a matter of coincidence.

In addition, the Straits Times continues to run this shameless campaign against the lawyer by dragging his family into the picture. This is not the first time that the newspaper has done this. It highlighted the background of Mr Ravi’s parents and exploits the tragedy that his mother had committed suicide. What do Mr Ravi’s father and late mother have anything to do with his case? This kind of reprehensible tactic has unfortunately become the hallmark of the Singapore’s media and reflects the despicable standard of journalism in the country.

Singaporeans must wake up and act on the injustice that continues to pervade our country.

Chee Soon Juan
Secretary-General
Singapore Democratic Party