ruleoflaw1Judge refuses to consider ban on protests unconstitutional
Thursday, 04 December 2008
Singapore Democrats

In the ongoing trial of four activists charged for attempting to participate in a procession, Dr Chee Soon Juan asked District Judge Toh Yong Joo to allow the defendants to question the police on why it rejected the application for a permit to conduct a rally and march. The Judge refused.

Dr Chee also asked the Judge to determine that the policy to ban all demonstrations and processions in Singapore is unconstitutional. The Judge also refused.

Dr Chee is charged together with Mr Gandhi Ambalam, Ms Chee Siok Chin and Mr Teoh Tian Jing for protesting during the WB-IMF meeting in Sep 06.

In his submissions Dr Chee cited a decision made by former Chief Justice Yong Pung How who had relied on Lord Justice Woolf’s judgment in an English case.

Woolf LJ had ruled that where it is pointed that there has been an abuse of power and bad faith on the policy maker a criminal court should allow cross-examination of the prosecution witness to determine the issue.

The issue stemmed from prosecution witness Deputy Superintendent Marc E Kwan Szer’s testimony that the “policy position of the police regarding outdoor processions and demonstrations is one of disallowance.”

Dr Chee asked Judge Toh to rule that this policy contravenes the constitution that guaranteed Singaporeans the right to freedom of speech and assembly.

“No person, able to reason, would conclude that the policy is not substantially out of line and patently unreasonable with the Constitution, both in spirit and in the letter,” the SDP leader pointed out.

He added that the police are playing the fool with the Constitution which according to Article 4 “is the supreme law of the Republic of Singapore and any law enacted by the Legislature after the commencement of this Constitution which is inconsistent with this Constitution shall…be void.”

He cited Lord Justice Woolf’s judgement on this issue: “No citizen is required to comply with a law which is bad on its face. If the citizen is satisfied that that is the situation, he is entitled to ignore the law.”

The Prosecutor insisted that the only thing that mattered was whether or not the defendants had a permit to conduct their activity. But didn’t DSP Marc E testify that all applications for demonstrations and processions would be disallowed?

“The illogic of the charge jars the reasonable mind. Can the police accuse anyone of not having a permit when it makes clear that it will not give that permit?” Dr Chee posed the question to the Judge.

“If the Constitution clearly tells me that I have the right to freedom of speech and assembly,” the SDP leader continued, “but the police tell me that it will not grant me a permit for it, then the police policy is clearly [unconstitutional].

“This being the case, LJ Woolf, to which Yong CJ attached much importance, tells me that I am not required to comply with such a policy.”

Judge Toh dismissed Dr Chee’s arguments and insisted that the only thing that was important was the “existence or non-existence of a permit.”

The hearing continues at Subordinate Court 19 at 9:30 am tomorrow.


43 responses »

  1. wandererAUS says:

    I agree, in any country there is biasm in favour of the ruling govt. If it was done in the interest of the country, it maybe quite acceptable.
    In this Bolehland, we are talking about not only biasm but pure corruption. Politicians especially from UMNO will get away with murder in our Malaysian’s courts.
    Try corruption in Singapore, you will be damned to hell! Having said that, still no administration is perfect.

  2. Batu Ferringhi says:

    “Kuman diseberang laut nampak, gajah didepan mata tidak kelihatan”. Lets fight the battle on the home front first, Susan.

  3. wits0 says:

    That’s so WandererAus, The garbage at home is 360.

  4. khfdews says:

    Had Singapore’s leaders been ruling resource-rich Malaysia, Malaysians would be on par with Canada and Australia by now

  5. Anonymous says:

    The pot is calling the electric kettle black !

  6. 2dinos says:

    Malaysians has a huge inferiority complex when it comes to Sg. Always like to compare and they think if Sg is not doing well, they are happy. I am M’sian btw. I think Malaysians have to concentrate on their own problems first. To be honest, most Sg dun compare themselves to M’sians. I’ve been here for decades to comment on this. My advice to M’sians is go get a life, improve ur own lot and dun look over the fence to see wat ur neighbour has. It doesn’t do u 1 iota of good. IMHO, Malaysia and Malaysians are screwed. Most of the problems M’sia has are instituionalised. It would be very difficult if not impossible to change them. Not yet Zimbabwe but quite definitely Indonesia in the near future.

  7. Anonymous says:

    How come I do not hear pariah Indian Mahathir and racist UMNO members calling out loud these days to cut Malaysia supplying Singapore with water anymore ? Why- is that all you have ?
    It used to be Malaysia and UMNO members only threat and nothing else, how ridiculous these good for nothing (sorry very good at corruption) people are !
    In fact, just a reminder to these green-eye monsters, Singapore did not even want to renew one of the two contracts supplying them with water when it came up for renewal a few years back ? Now you can keep the water, to drown in or may be to flush down the toilet, for yourself.
    And for your information ,especially pariah Mahathir and his cronies , get ready Singapore wouldn’t renew the remaining one remaining one contract comes up for renewal .
    Singapore have now built fourteen reservoirs in Singapore to supply water to their people.
    Also Singapore water renewal companies are now helping to build water renewal factories in the Middle East, China and many other parts of the world.
    Malaysia one day, I am sure, will approach them to do the same ?
    It is always the inability of pariah Mahathir to match what the Singapore leaders can do that makes him soooo anti-Singapore. LKY got a first class honor from Cambridge University to become a lawyer and he did not have to repeat repeat himself like pariah Mahathir did in his medical school before he became a Doctor !

  8. wg says:

    I am a Singaporean. I know nothing about politics and does not care. I am only concern that I can walk the street at night and still feel safe, my degree from NUS us ranked among top 30 in the world and my passport is widely respected among other countries. There is no race quota to speak and each is judge on his or her own merit. These are the factors that contributes to the definition of human right. Can Chee and his gang guarantee and safeguard all these privileges ?

  9. harrison says:

    I really miss the universal acumen of 2 of the commentators here namely “2dinos” and “wg” here.

    As of the inferences that we should be looking only after our own country’s affair is a non-starter and sets a bad example of what our Minister’s are doing and hoping while lobbying and meddling in other countries affairs in Myanmar by playing intermediary roles acting at the request of the UN, the sharp criticism of Israel, and pro-Palestinian, the criticism of Abu Ghraib prison and Gauantemano Bay while at the same practice blatantly holding some ALLEGED “TERRORIST” at Kamunting not to mentioned political prisoners, the Malaysian Government are ever-readily in their diplomatic onslaught against any country who criticizes our domestic policies.

    It’s not just hypocrite but the intention is to manacle any diplomatic interference by especially the US and European Union of what Malaysia deemed as it’s internal affairs and not subjected to diplomatic scrutiny by other countries while Malaysia maintained it’s critical role of worldly affairs which it deemed fit to scrutinize. Sanctimonious or self-righteous bastards? I say both.

    THE ISSIE HERE IS ABOUT HUMAN-RIGHTS of which alluded that the constitution of Singapore provides the rights of freedom of speech and assembly concurrently and ostensibly neglect the rights of some Singaporeans the rights with the refusal of police permits compulsorily needed at any (political)gatherings esp. protest and a court system that seems to be puppeted by the ruling party that governs.

    *John Rambo in Rambo 4 spouted to other mercenaries who refused to render rescue mission wherein he said:-

    “We don’t like to be at someone’s (Myanmar’s) backyard, but this is who we are and this (being mercenaries) is what we do. Live for nothing, die for something”.

    The chief mercenary before answering Rambo’s question with an arrow pointed at him, another mercenary retorted “What’s yours (call)…” and Rambo said “Let’s move” and all followed.

    Universal Declaration of Human Rights is not restricted to our own countries but the concern and possibly, diplomatic actions of fellow nations
    in one voice calling for the freedom of others like if you follow, all Nobel Laureate are in one voice calling for their co-winner -Daw Aung San Syu Kyii to be immediately released from house-detention and a fair election to be commenced forthwith.

    If we need the world(other nations) to assist us in lobbying for our poor Human-Rights records, who are we in abstaining to voice out when others’
    are facing the ordeal we are facing anew?

    Below is 4th para from the bottom that may enlightened some commentators.
    “If the Constitution clearly tells me that I have the right to freedom of speech and assembly,” the SDP leader continued, “but the police tell me that it will not grant me a permit for it, then the police policy is clearly [unconstitutional].

  10. Ahmad Chong says:

    “Had Singapore’s leaders been ruling resource-rich Malaysia, Malaysians would be on par with Canada and Australia by now”

    Ya, when that really happens, let’s call this “bolehland” as “cinaland”.

    That sounds nice, don’t you think so? 😉

  11. shinwee says:

    With all complains about the brain drain etc. Sometimes you just get the impression that the Malaysia government just doesn’t bother to make any effort to retain those really bright ones.

    To build a mosque is extremely simple. To build another religion place of worship requires applications which may be delayed up to 20 years and even beyond.

    What is up with all the hypocrisy?

    Malays in Singapore are given special privileges. This is because the government is conscious that they are minority citizens. The special privileges include financial, education and even political representation.

    I scored straight As in every single exam I took in Malaysia. I topped my school year after year in every examination. I am active in extra curricular activities etc……….

    But because I am non-malay, I have not been appreciated. Another country has recognized my talents and has offered me a generous scholarship. It has been almost 9 years in this foreign country – and it has nurtured me very well. I got all my first choices. I am considering converting my citizenship. I feel very appreciated for my talents here.

    Malaysia did not help me when I needed scholarship, funding etc. The other country did and they did it generously. I can proudly say that because of the other country, I am now a very successful researcher in the life sciences field.

    I have got all As in my SPM yet I could not enter local university but one the only malay of my school was given scholarship to Japan for further studies!

    I studied STPM and not managed to enter local university to study science and surprised to find that the ‘hot’ courses like medicine, law and engineering were taken up by many so-so result malay and lazy malay students!

    No wonder patients mistreated, houses collapse, criminals on the street!

    Thanks to Lee Kuan Yew for me to work in Singapore. It is equal opportunity here. People work hard and get rewarded and not based on race.

    Singapore has almost no nature resources vs. Malaysia, yet it has strived to become a better country in many aspects. Malaysia’s nature resources have been wasted by the lazy malays. When other people getting achievement, you ugly malays marginalised the rests.

  12. fargowin says:

    Malay leaders in Malaysia like to see their folks contained in a chicken coop. They tell them that they are free and yet to be beholden to them as they are the ones providing them their feed.

    They even believe that if they left the coop, they might be eaten up by the wily fox, and that they might otherwise starve to death.

    The Singapore malays is in no illusions and they know they are out of the coop. They got to find their own nourishment and they got no leader throwing in the crumbs to them.

    If they don’t want to labour for their food, they can always go across the causeway and be given citizenship rights and take advantage of all the crumbs thrown at them. But most of them will not.

    Of course the chicken shit from there have all long crossed over. But the rest have a little more dignity and stay on to show what they are really made up of.

    I respect the Singapore malays for that. It does not matter that they have made a lot of wrong turns or that they have hardly a fighting chance. But they got more respect and dignity than their kinsfolk from over here Malaysia.

    This is what half-past-six ministers that we have in Malaysia. Even comparison between Singapore malays and Malaysian Chinese, Singapore malays are never discriminated by their government based on equality.

    I have so many Singapore malay friends from school mates, college mates to business partners. Penang malays would be so glad if they are treated like Singapore malays. Just ask the Singaporeans……….do they want to be back to Malaysia?

    The problem with the Malaysia malays is their jealous attitude. If they are left behind, they will prevent others from moving ahead too! And sometimes even sabotaging others, and some resort the use to cast spell on others.

    Not only the laid back malays are preventing their own people from being successful, but other races too. We also want the malays to be successful by creating value in the society so that everyone benefit but not by taxing the non-malays then give contracts to the malays, who will then deliver half-past-six service.

    Change your own attitude first through value creation using your own tears and sweats!

    As said before, had Malaysia been managed by Lee Kuan Yew and his colleagues for the past 40 years, Malaysia would have been much better off today, including all the malays! 95% would have owned a house, and no such rampant corruption!

    For the malay ultras, facts speak louder than your bigotry cries, wake up, grow up, be men instead of sissies!

    You see the problem here – the malays just cannot face up to their main problem – Laziness. This shows how thick-skinned and self-deluded these people are.

    Malaysia is a multi-racial country. Jika kamu tak suka, kamu boleh blar……….tiada orang larang kamu.

    The fact is malays you are the biggest loser! I am trying to wake you up instead of using the way like what our government is practice to provide NEP even though it is proven NEP is a failure in the past 30 years. Keep on dreaming if you think Malaysia could achieve Vision 2020 with your kind of attitude!

    Speaking without substances and distorting facts seems to be the good old habitual ways of Malaysia malays, which is probably inherited by their much loved masters, the “malay killers” – Umno.

    To add to this, constant distorted facts with regards to the situational state of the Singapore malays remains among the commentators of Umno. It is hard not to see that some people really need to see the situation and know it first hand before dishing out their empty vessel mentalities.

    Anyways, good thing you be it Malay, Indian, Chinese in Singapore is open to competition, and cherish diversity. Not like the radical son of terrorist we can find many in Malaysia.

    Most malays in Malaysia hate diversity and discontent to the minorities, especially the Chinese. In blog, radical malays can be either extreme or pretentiously diverse-minded. Very few is genuine.

    I do admit there are lazy malays that depend on handouts, but this kind of malays will be phase out and this kind I would say hypocrites. They tend to claim they work hard to achieve success, in fact they relaying on government support. I myself despise this kind of human being.

    Little do they realize this safety net is fast disappearing because the government is finding it increasingly difficult to maintain the system in the face of global challenges! But these handouts have become an addiction. Refuse the junkie and you get booted out of power.

    It is the malays themselves that must come to realize the damaging side effects of the NEP. For someone who wants no better than to see his own race succeed, this must be painful.

    And you can often see the malays are usually envious of not only the non-malays, but of their own successful malays as well.

    Malays failed is a fact. What make non-malays not happy about their failure is, they fail despite get ample help from the government.

    And they continue putting the blame on their fail to, especially the Malaysian Chinese. This is why created so many issue and argument here.

    But those greedy Umno guys keep emphasis the NEP, how many percent of the country wealth belong to malays. In fact, those Umno guys having super good life by easy way.

    And they keep on demanding, not really review what was wrong with it, putting the blame to non-malays, to stir the racist sentiment in the country.

    If present situation continue, even the malays get 60% of the country wealth, majority of the malays will still munch.

    Simple solution – come to Singapore and see for yourselves even if you want to guise that our Singapore malays are in lesser numbers on success than the Malaysia idiotic counterparts – our Singapore malays are based on merit and not on such keris wielding Umno policies……….are you proud of that?

    Once again, in a subtle and indirect manner, this forum has proven how naive and “katak bawah tempurung” a Malaysia malay can be. Blame who? The Umno policies.

    Yes, start collecting the achieves with regards to moral degradation among Malaysia malays. Look at the Umno ministers when they speak on national TV. Qualify or not become ministers with such low reactive capabilities?

    Some Malaysia malays saying Singapore malays quota should be more in the Singapore cabinet if compared to the Indians. First, Singapore government is based on merit system and not like you bunch of racist morons here. That is why Malaysia is so backward if compared to Korea and others.

    Not many Malaysia malays can survive if they go oversea because they are slow and lazy and that is why they can’t compete with the competitive market out there. Normally they will end up hiding their heads in Malaysia with the protection and biased system by the Malaysia government.

    Come on, man. We do not have time to argue the truth of your on and on talk about “not all malays are spoon fed, not all malays are lazy”. Like we are dying to argue that when we already know it is true.

    It is human nature to blame everyone about their plight rather than blame themselves. The majority of new generation of malays in Singapore is educated, unlike their parents.

    Please read the comments made by Singapore malays why they can hold their heads up and be proud as a Singapore malay and then maybe it will sink into you.

    Muslims everywhere unless they are the minority, cannot tolerate people with different religions. The Singapore government handles the situation rather well as they handle their malay community with kid gloves.

  13. ruyom says:

    Then let me re-quote Lee Kuan Yew:

    Singaporean politician Lee Kuan Yew of the PAP, who publicly questioned the need for Article 153 in parliament, and called for a “Malaysian Malaysia”.

    In a speech, Lee Kuan Yew bemoaned what would later be described as the Malaysia social contract:

    “According to history, malays began to migrate to Malaysia in noticeable numbers only about 700 years ago. Of the 39% malays in Malaysia today, about one-third are comparatively new immigrants like the secretary-general of Umno, Dato Syed Jaafar, who came to Malaya from Indonesia just before the war at the age of more than thirty. Therefore it is wrong and illogical for a particular racial group to think that they are more justified to be called Malaysians and that the others can become Malaysians only through their favour.”

    Eventually, and Singapore became an independent nation in 1965, with Lee Kuan Yew as its first prime minister.

  14. bodoh folks says:

    Aiyo! Bodoh lah sloone you. Why looking so far away at Singapoorah and why don’t you looking at the synonymous rocket in Bodohland?

    There is no future in Bodohland as long as we practice nepotistic politics in Bodohland.

  15. bodoh folks says:

    Sigh! This neponistic polistics also can be allowed in Bodohland.

    Bodohland sure must have a lot of Bodoh folks.

    Let the rocket dynastic nepootism behaving like nothing has happened.

    Real Bodoh folks in Bodohland.

  16. sgrewyty says:

    Dynastic nepotism is not bad as long as the right people are involved in it. Qing Emperor Kangxi(1661-1722) and his grandson Qianlong(1735-1796) were 2 of China’s greatest emperors, bring peace and prosperity to the entire land. However, their successors were incapable buffoons who were quite unable to rule.

  17. kittykat46 says:

    No surprises there.
    When it comes to politically sensitive cases, the courts in Singapore have long been hand-in-glove with the PAP.
    The odd thing is, when it comes to commercial law, many multinationals seem to have a high respect for Singapore.
    I’ve seen a number of cross-border contracts which stipulate – The legal jurisdiction for abjudication shall be the Courts in Singapore, rather than Malaysia. I suppose they prefer a 3rd country.

  18. whispering9 says:

    Yeah…it is usually stipulated Singapore or India. Malaysia commercial court is very very slow and frustrating. Their motto is ‘What can be done today should be postponed till later.’What can be postponed should be indefinitely.’ Blah…

  19. wg says:

    Fargowin…good write up. Up to today the Mamak Kutty still warn the Malaysia Malays that their counterparts ended up as drivers or Ahmad in Singapore. Only those Malaysia Malays who never venture beyond their kampongs will believed this Indian snakeoil salesman’s tall tale.

  20. ericind says:

    Aiya,Susan,why r u so KPC on Singapore n THAILAND issues?just concerntrade on BOLEHLAND first,u r part of it.

  21. cool says:

    singaporean judge says accused cant even question police

    questioning police will cause upheaval of singaporean society ?

    malaysian judge accepts police brutality in remand

    malaysian police say t-shirts, candles, cycling are disallowed n can cause upheaval in society

    malaysia n singapore r bros in oppression

  22. […] Singapore also no better lah! Judge refuses to consider ban on protests unconstitutional Thursday, 04 December 2008 Singapore Democrats In the […] […]

  23. Razz says:

    Malaysia (Tanah Melayu) was part of the Malay Archipelago in the first place. So the question of coming from a totally unknown place did not arise.

  24. We should not worry too much about how the government of Singapore treats its citizens. Let us focus on our problen first.

  25. wits0 says:

    “Let us focus on our problem first.”

    A problem of being surrounded by near 360 meanness produced by way of bad, insensitive and arrogant policies that refused to be changed.

  26. Menyalak-er says:

    I agree wits, and these ‘policies’ can only get worse when the world recession hits us. This is not an isolated ‘phenomenon’ – just look at Greece and the angst that is fast spreading thru’out Europe. Locally, our political masters are desperately trying to make ‘dung while the sun still shines!
    Instead of letting frustrations be expressed freely, they attempt to keep a very tight lid on it. Anyone up for a discussion of the laws of political thermodynamics?

  27. Fair To All says:

    It’s not surprising that a Kiasu government produces a society of kiasus. Since it is the first republic to go into recession, it’s a humiliating experience for the arrogant government!!! But still better run than corruption ridden Malaysia lah.

  28. wg says:

    Fair To ALL,

    You are a nut head. Which country is not in recession now ? Kiasu govt, means they are taking proactive steps to alleviate the suffering of its people. So is this kiasu attitude good or bad ? How about just denying all along as what the Malaysia govt always do ?

  29. Fair To All says:

    Of course, in Singapore’s case, a society of kiasus now becomes a laughing stock to others especially Malaysians.

  30. lament says:

    singapore is open to scrutiny.
    go ahead!

  31. wg says:

    Fair To ALL,

    Laugh all you want !This world is very fair, just don’t expect handout like what Malaysia asked Singapore during the 1997 economic crisis for you will get none of our hard earned money. From young we have been taught not to ask for handouts as it is very degrading to one’s name. We have been taught the kiasu attitude – work hard, no free lunch, no crutches will be given

  32. Fair To All says:

    Hahaha, you kiasu guys gotta eat the humble pie and get govt handouts now. BTW during 1997/98 financial attack by US Hedge Funds, Singapore served as one of their platforms. Definitely a good neighbour !!!

  33. wg says:

    Fair To All,

    hahaha….Singapore govt is giving handouts to its own people to help them tie over the financial crisis. All these while of kiasuness, saving the hard earned money for raining days are now being put to good use. Is Malaysia govt doing the same for its own people. 1997/8 attacked by US Hedge Fund with Singapore as a platform ? You must be a good disciple of God ( Malaysia’s ) – TDM.

  34. kittykat46 says:

    All my comments – totally sane, level-headed comments with no profanities – are being eaten by your spam filter.

    Could you please re-check your settings.

  35. Fair To All says:

    My ignorant friend

    Malaysia is rich in crude oil and other resources to tide over the current recession. You are like a frog in a well. Recommend you come out of it.

  36. kittykat46 says:

    Malaysia’s oil exports are worth 35% of what it was 5 months ago. If you factor in the collapse of palm oil and rubber prices, Malaysian government is facing a massive financial shortfall next year. Everyone in Kerajaan Malaysia still pretending it will be OK.
    I think the Singapore Government is being more realistic, accepting things are going to be bad, and doing something about it.

  37. kittykat46 says:

    Malaysia’s oil exports are worth 35% of what it was 5 months ago. If you factor in the collapse of palm oil and rubber prices, Malaysian government is facing a massive financial shortfall next year.

  38. whispering9 says:

    Hi kk46,
    From a very reliable source, next year 2009 is still okay and our BN government can confidently boast about how resilient is our local economy. But 2010-2011 is going to be extremely painful bearing in mind that tax revenues are collected from preceding year. But then again, we still have a huge pension and EPF fund to go into deficit spending for at least 2 financial years. So if the local sheriff style plundering stops, we might actually come out okay. Ultimately, it depends on whether we are going to that lucky as before where there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

  39. wg says:

    Fair to All,

    you have just brought up a problem. Rich in resources therefore can sit back and relax. There is a Chinese saying ” eat, sit back and relax and soon all the wealth is gone “.Just wonder why the per capita income of Malaysia is far behind Singapore and why there are thousands of Malaysian have to endure the jam every day at the immigration checkpoint just to earn Singapore dollar ? Don’t have Malaysia enough jobs ?

    Well Singapore will be worried if Malaysia start to wake up and adopt kiasu attitude. But looking at it, no worry we can still sleep well for Malaysians will always be in deep coma. Some day once the country is so poor, all the assets, land will be up for sale. The rich politicians and their families would have flee the country. Don’t worry we will be kind and run the country based on merits

  40. Fair To All says:


    Poor Singaporeans gotta endure massive traffic jams at the Causeway to enjoy yummy seafood and petrol and all the lovely shopping. Doews that teach you anything about “purchasing power”??? Your kiasu mentality is self defeating lah.

  41. Azmin says:

    Clean up our own backyard first, its in bad shape now.

  42. wg says:

    Fair To All,

    agreed with your statement and oh not only to get caught in the jam chances are they will get robbed also. After that the victims have to to be laughed at by the police. Worse till need to pay by hard cash for ” traffic summon”. What a strange country.

    My Friend,Word of advise, hold on tightly to your handbag and do not stay up late

  43. Fair To All says:


    Ooops sorry, didnt know you are a lady. It is not my policy to attack women even though they are kiasus. My deepests apologies hehe

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