The Real Singapore
Oct 27, 2013
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Dear readers of The Real Singapore,
It’s been half a month since the donation drive started to recover the expenditure of $10755 for the filing of applications on the lawsuit against Singapore’s biggest law firm, Allen & Gledhill, as well as the Attorney General’s Chambers.
I’m thankful for the people especially Mr Ravi with the legal proceedings, Mr Leong with the donation drive, Mr Richard Wan and various alternative media for publishing the news.
Through this episode and follow up, we hope that Singaporeans can be educated about the law on whether government bodies and institutes can sue citizens for defamation.
In the European countries as well as the United States, even politicians can be made fun of and nothing will happen to the citizens.
Singapore is our country and this is where we belong, we should work towards a better future together.
With the freedom of speech, this is where there will be increased transparency as we question and seek accountability, especially towards the usage of taxpayers’ money for the benefit of Singaporeans rather than to silence us.
Imagine if statutory boards are corporatized like what happened to NUS and NTU.
1. Do we want back our money from Central Provident Fund Board (CPF) so that elderly can retire and enjoy their golden age instead of selling tissue papers or working as cleaners?
2. Is our economic growth that bad that we have to depend on vice and by the Casino Regulatory Authority of Singapore (CRA) that doesn’t do much to help the gambling addicts?
3. How has our Economic Development Board (EDB) help citizens’ income to grow according to inflation?
4. Did our Health Promotion Board (HPB) allow average Singaporeans to have an $8 bypass or just special citizens?
5. Why is it that the Housing and Development Board (HDB) is unable to allow young couples to own flats near their parents?
6. Shouldn’t the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) tax the rich people more instead of making the poor suffer through goods and services tax?
7. There are so many breakdowns of trains and buses but is the Land Transport Authority (LTA) doing anything about it?
8. Who is the one who gave Media Development Authority (MDA) the authority to set regulations without debating it in parliament?
9. Can anyone explain why the National Environment Agency (NEA) has the ability to twist their words regarding Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council?
10. Are Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP), Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP), Republic Polytechnic (RP), Singapore Polytechnic (SP), Temasek Polytechnic (TP) and Institute of Technical Education (ITE) not part of the government?
There are more than 60 statutory boards in Singapore – which provides public service from housing to healthcare to education and the Arts – and the Court’s ruling will have impact on criticisms of these public bodies, and the rights to free expression of members of the public. If public bodies, funded by the public, can sue for defamation or libel, it might lead to a stifling of criticisms, or genuine grievances, especially from those who do not have such an amount of resources. Public bodies should never be allowed to use the threat of lawsuits to silence criticism.
Mr Leong asked “how much taxpayers’ monies have been spent by the CPE in engaging one of the largest law firms to make legal submissions which may exceed 100 pages, to sue a citizen for defamation because she had made allegations that what a CPE staff said to the media about her was not true?
Couldn’t the CPE have simply provided documentary proof to the public that her allegations about the CPE staff was false?
Which is the greater issue from the perspective of the public interest – the issues raised by Han Hui Hui or her allegations about the CPE staff’s remarks to the media?”
Mr Ravi remarked, “I hope that Parliament will act soon to amend the Defamation Act to ensure that government agencies do not continue to use tax-payers’ dollars to fund actions against their own citizens in Court. The government – particularly in Singapore where the mainstream media is state-controlled – has ample resources and opportunity to respond to any inquiry or criticism raised by the public without resorting to punitive civil action against private individuals.”
As of 27 Oct 2013, a total of $8,001 has been raised – just $2,754 more to the target of $10,755.
You may continue to donate to POSB Savings 279-12328-0.
Thank you everyone for the support.
Related Article: STATUTORY BOARD WILL NOT TAKE LEGAL ACTION AGAINST STUDENT BLOGGER