Source: Singapore Democrats

District Judge Christopher Goh dismissed a Magistrate’s Complaint filed by Ms Chee Siok Chin and Mr John Tan last week.

Ms Chee and Mr Tan had filed the complaint in February this year for unlawful detention and selective use of the law by the Singapore Police Force when the two were walking along Orange Grove Road in 2007 (watch video Part I and Part II).
In her complaint, Ms Chee stated that during the ASEAN Summit that year, police officers along Orange Grove Road harassed and stopped her and Mr Tan from walking to Shangri-la Hotel. The police had told them that the area was under gazette at that time.

Ms Chee argued that if that was the case, why were other pedestrians and vehicles allowed in the vicinity while she was being prevented from proceeding.

Mr Tan also said that he had been assaulted by the police officers in the the van.

The SDP leaders stated that after they were forced into the van, the police officers told them that they were not being arrested but refused to answer repeated questions about where they were being taken.

On Tuesday last week, the judge told both complainants that in response to the complaint, the Internal Investigation Department of the Singapore Police Force had come to the conclusion that Ms Chee and Mr Tan were removed from the vicinity under the Protected Area and Places Act. The report was sent to the Attorney-General’s Chambers who decided that there was no case for the police to answer. The judge thus dismissed the matter.

Ms Chee pointed out that the investigation was carried out by the same body against whom the report was made.

Mr Tan argued that the two main issues highlighted in the complaints were not being addressed by the investigation. He asked the judge to demand answers to the questions raised, but was rejected. The selective application of the law and the wrongful detention of the aggrieved persons were dismissed by the district judge.

Judge Goh responded by saying that he had no powers to initiate prosecution. In other words, he could only act on the direction of the AGC.

Despite much explicit reasoning, the judge could not see the absurdity of an investigation carried out by the perpetrators and the decision not to carry out further action by their accomplices.

The PAP has for decades used public institutions against its political opponents and dissenters. This is a serious misuse of power. Unfortunately, Singaporeans have been subjected to such abuse for so long that many have come to accept it as normal.

Is this the Singapore-styled democracy to which Mr Lee Kuan Yew is referring when he rejects “liberal democracy?” Is this the kind of democracy that Singaporeans have pledged to uphold? The answer is clear. The function of all government agencies or public institutions is to serve the people, not the party in power.

This is why the Singapore Democrats and Friends continue with the struggle for democracy and pursuit of justice and equality for all.


By Chee Siok Chin

The allegation made by the police that I had “tried to bite a female police officer when the
latter tried to arrest her” and that I had “attack(ed)” her is a serious one. It is also a lie.

The statement made it look as if I had resisted arrest by trying to bite one of the police officers as they were leading me to the police van. The numerous clips that have been posted on the Internet have proven that this never took place.

The press statement issued by the police is malicious. Its intent is obvious.

If the police have evidence that I had attacked or even attempted to attack an officer, then they should produce it.

Otherwise they must retract the slanderous and scandalous statement, failing which I shall consider taking action against them.

Chee Siok Chin
CEC Member
Singapore Democratic Party

Monkey see, monkey do

In 2007 Mr Tian Chua, Chief Information Officer of the Parti KeAdilan Rakyat was also accused of biting an officer when he was arrested during a protest in Malaysia. Mr Chua, now a member of parliament, documented the lie in his blog.

Now it is the Singapore police’s turn to fabricate such lies to demonise protesters.

Just who is trying to hurt whom?



Police (back)biting by Tian Chua

This young man who claimed to be a police officer alleged that I bit him on his arm.

Later I discovered in a video record that he actually hit my head while I was being forcefully taken by the police.

It is most ridiculous that I could be accused of assaulting anyone under those circumstances.

I am amazed that the BN propaganda machine could spin such an incredible story to defame me.

The NST (New Straits Times, Dec 12) not only reported this unverified story [so did the Straits Times and Channel News Asia on Ms Chee Siok Chin], it even carried the issue of biting in the headlines of the front page.

I have no hatred towards ordinary policemen and women. Despite many unhappy incidents, I hold no grudges against the police force.

In fact, I deeply sympathize with the predicament faced by my fellow-citizens in uniform.

The mass arrest at Parliament on December 11 last week was shameful for all rational thinking Malaysians.

Razak Ismail and I, who arrived at the entrance to Parliament at about 10:30hr, were the first to be arrested. Our arrest was recorded on video by many people.

Two versions of the arrest have been posted online:

Tian Chua Arrested At Malaysian Parliament

BERSIH: Penyerahan Memo Di Parlimen

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

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.


Chee Siok Chin

By Chee Siok Chin officer warned us that we were violating the Istana Order, whereby a gathering of two or more persons is considered an illegal gathering. We asked him where we should move to. He refused to answer.

Within minutes, I found myself being led away into a police van. Two policewomen held me. I asked them t

o loosen their grip as their grasp was hurting me.

As the van passed Plaza Singapura, a lady showed me ‘V’ sign to show her support. I waved back.

We were taken to Tanglin Police Station. I was held in a cell the size of a squash court. In a corner was a toilet, blocked from view by a low wall.

The eight hours that I was in the lock-up gave me time to rest my weary body as the past week’s activities at the Burma Embassy were beginning to take a toll on me.

I felt cold as I was still damp from having stood in the rain outside the Istana. I was hungry too but refused the meal they offered. The combination of cold, hunger and fatigue in a jail cell does something to one’s spirit.

I covered myself with a poncho-like sheet, curled myself in a sitting position against the wall and tried to take a nap. But the slamming of doors every few seconds made this impossible.

My thoughts wondered to Burma and what the people there are being subjected to. I thought about those who were being imprisoned indefinitely. I thought about the thousands who had been killed. I thought about the suffering of the victims of the cruel regime.

Then I thought about the Singapore Government’s role in the carnage in Burma. I remember the plea of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, “Please use your liberty to promote ours.” Even though I was not free, I was determined to do my part. I replied quietly to her, “I will.”

I have no doubt we will be found guilty of whatever charge the police is going to prefer on us. But in the meantime, I will stand firm and encouraged by Daw Suu and do whatever I can to help free the victims of the junta.

Source: DPA

Four leaders of an opposition party were arrested Monday while protesting the Singapore government’s involvement in Burma, the group said.

Each of the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) participants held a placard saying, “No Deals,” “No Arms,” “With the Junta,” and “Free Burma.”

The group was composed of Chee Soon Juan, the most vocal opposition leader and secretary general of the SDP; Gandhi Ambalam, SDP chairman; John Tan, assistant secretary general; and member Chee Siok Chin, Chee Soon Juan’s sister.

Chee Soon Juan has been rendered bankrupt for remarks made about Singapore’s leaders during a general election campaign and has been in and out of jail on several occasions for speaking without a police permit.

The SDP said the four were arrested by plain-clothed police once they began their protest in front of the Istana, where Singapore’s top leaders have offices.
The four “were taken to the police vans waiting nearby,” the SDP said in a statement.

They had planned to hold a 24-hour protest preceded by the submission of a petition to Myanmar Ambassador U Win Myint.

The protest was aimed “at raising awareness of the Singapore government’s exploitation of the situation in Burma,” a SDP statement said.

“We demand that the government open its books of the Government Investment Corp and Temasek to the people, starting with its investments in Burma,” it added, referring to government investment agencies.

The party’s petition with 1,107 signatures had been gathered since Burma’s military junta began its bloody crackdown on monks and anti-government demonstrators.

“The ambassador refused to come out and accept the petition himself,” the SDP said. “One of the embassy staff finally showed up and said the embassy could not accept the petition.”

The assembly of more than four people outside without a police permit is illegal in Singapore.

More than 400 Burma nationals packed a hotel room during the weekend to pray for their brethren. The gathering included 12 members of Burma’s Buddhist clergy.

Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, in his capacity as chairman of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), strongly criticized Myanmar last week for the crackdown.

Foreign Minister George Yeo has emphasized the importance of keeping Burma as a member of the ASEAN family.

ASEAN is made up of Singapore, Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Brunei, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos.