Letter to Wong Kan Seng

November 21, 2007

21 November 2007

Mr. Wong Kan Seng
Minister for Home Affairs
New Phoenix Park, 28 Irrawaddy Road
Singapore 329560
wong_kan_seng@mha.gov.sg

Dear sir,

I would like to refer you to the incident that occurred on 20 November 2007 along Orange Grove Road when Mr John Tan and I were illegally detained by the police.

The intent of this letter is not to inform you of the incident as I am certain you have been quite thoroughly apprised. Instead I would like to seek several clarifications from you as the Minister for Home Affairs.

Although Mr Tan and I were told that we were in a Protected Area, at no time did the police say that we were trespassing or forbidden to be in the vicinity. None of the police officers were able to cite any law that prohibited us from going to the Shangri-la Hotel.

What right did the police have to stop Mr Tan and I from going towards the Shangri-la Hotel after having been told that we were going there for a meal?

When asked if we had committed any offence and if we were being arrested, we were categorically told “no” to both questions. That being the case, what right did the police have in man-handling and forcing us into a vehicle?

If the vehicle belonged to the Singapore Police Force, why was it unmarked?

Was it legal for the police to take us to a place against our will when we had not committed any offence?

What right did the police have in not only harassing but manhandling Mr Tan and me?

What right did the police have in forcefully taking us away to a place when we were not under arrest?

In addition to this, Mr Tan was prevented from leaving the police vehicle when we were brought to Orchard Hotel? The police had restrained him and he had to physically struggle with the officers to get out of the van. Is this not a form of physical abuse?

The actions of the police in the mentioned incident is a grave violation of our constitutional rights, individual liberties and personal security.

How can it be said that the Singapore is built on the rule of law when those of us living in this country can be subjected to such arbitrary, illegitimate and physical actions by the police?

I look forward to your clarifications.

Sincerely,

Chee Siok Chin

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