truth comment: to go to jail fighting for a cause and against
an evil leegime is to me the ultimate sacrifice a singaporean
can make. so we much honour these people for their courages
and sacrifices in fighting for the rights, freedom and dignity
Mr Gandhi Ambalam and Dr Chee Soon Juan informed the courts yesterday
that they would like to serve their jail term for their conviction for
distributing flyers critical of the PAP Government.
They were convicted in December last year by District Judge Chng Lye
Beng and were fined the maximum of $1,000 for the offence. Ms Chee Siok was
also convicted of the same offence. She served her sentence two weeks ago.
All three have appealed the conviction which will be heard in the High
Court in the coming weeks. the Defendants argued that the charge stating
that it is an offence to oppose the actions of the Government is ultra vires
of the Constitution.
The right to criticise one's government is the right of every citizen
and to criminalise such activity is the height of abuse of power by the
The fact that the Defendants had no permit is moot because the police
have indicated repeatedly that they will not issue permits for outdoor
Besides, groups of 5 or more persons distributing flyers is a common
sight in Singapore. Singling out SDP leaders for their activity that is
critical of the PAP Government is unlawful discrimination that is disallowed
under the Constitution.
The Defendants are determined to bring these issues before the High
Court and for the Judiciary to rule on them.
They also presented case studies that clearly demonstrate that laws
and administrative acts that are clearly ultra vires needed to be addressed
by judges at every level. There is strong legal precedence to show that
citizens cannot be convicted of laws that contradict the Constitution.
District Judges repeatedly cite the fact that they cannot rule of such
matters at their level and that such arguments on constitutionality need to
be dealt at hearings called Judicial Reviews.
As indicated, however, the rulings in common law show clearly that
this should not be the case as citizens have the right to contest such laws
and acts at all criminal hearings.
Mr Ambalam and Dr Chee will serve their one-week sentence starting
today but are determined to continue with the struggle for the political
rights and freedom of Singaporeans.