01 November 2006

Drama in the Courtroom

ST Nov 1, 2006
Chee's bid to abort trial fails

By Ken Kwek

SINGAPORE Democratic Party chief Chee Soon Juan and party member Gandhi Ambalam have failed in a fresh bid to abort a trial against them for speaking in public without a permit.

Justice Choo Han Teck dismissed their applications in the High Court yesterday.

He noted that their trial, in the subordinate courts, had 'hardly begun' and they should wait until it ended before considering further legal action.

Both men made the application even though party supporter Yap Keng Ho, who is on trial with them, failed in his attempt on Monday, also before Justice Choo, to have the trial aborted.

The trio wanted the trial aborted on the grounds that the investigating officer, who is a witness in the case against them, was in the courtroom and had heard testimony from three witnesses in the opening days of the trial.

They believed that as a witness, Assistant Superintendent Jeremy Koh should not have been allowed to listen to the testimony.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Lee Lit Cheng acknowledged to trial judge Eddy Tham last week that she should have sought permission for ASP Koh to be present. But she also said in response to Chee's accusations that there was 'nothing sinister or unusual' in ASP Koh being there.

DPP Lee Lit Cheng was one of my ex-colleagues, from my DPP days. She has plenty of experience and I am a bit surprised that she slipped up like that. I guess we all get careless once in a while.

The basic rule is that witnesses who haven't given testimony yet shouldn't be allowed to be in the courtroom. That's because we don't want them to hear what other witnesses are saying in court. And the reason for that is that each witness should testify based on what he can recall of the actual events in question, without being consciously or subconsciously influenced by what he has heard other witnesses saying in court.

What about the investigation officer? Many DPPs like the I.O to sit in court, somewhere at the back, because the investigation officer assists as a kind of coordinator and assistant (for example, in getting physical exhibits, making sure that the next witnesses are punctual etc), and also because DPPs can often quickly check with the investigation officer on little points of the case as they crop up in the course of trial.

This is perfectly okay, if the DPP does not intend to call the I.O as a witness (that is, the DPP plans to adduce all the relevant evidence through other witnesses). If however the DPP intends to call the I.O as a witness, the DPP needs to ask the court for permission for the IO to sit in court prior to giving testimony. The DPP also needs to assess whether the nature of the case is such that the I.O's evidence might be contaminated by his hearing what other witnesses say.

In some cases, even if the I.O is to testify, his presence in court beforehand is not really material to the integrity of the case. That's because the I.O, in some cases, is a "formal witness". A formal witness is a witness whose testimony is needed to "complete the legal picture", but who otherwise isn't very significant to the case (his evidence will be non-contentious).

For example, a chemist who tested a urine sample for drugs or a doctor who certified the victim as dead or the police officer who answered a "999" call may often be regarded as formal witnesses. In court, formal witnesses are sometimes completely dispensed with - in other words, they need not come to court at all - because their testimony is really a formality and neither the prosecution, the defence nor the court wish to waste time on them.

As I said, DPP Lee is an experienced DPP and I would not be surprised if there is more than meets the eye. Possibly what happened is that DPP Lee thought that she would not need her I.O to testify and therefore kept him in the courtroom. As it turned out, after the first few days of trial, and perhaps a few surprising turns, it transpired that she did need him to testify. She then called him as a witness, and then Chee promptly seized the opportunity to allege unfairness etc and seek to abort the entire trial.

Just my guess, since I wasn't in court myself.

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62 comments:

reti said...

If you are interested in the details, you can always read the articles on http://sgdemocrat.org/ Numerous articles have been posted regarding the court case there. The version the Straits Times provides seems sorely lacking compared to what is claimed in those articles.

Anonymous said...

I would think that if Dr Chee did the same thing, the DPP will make a meal out of it.

Anonymous said...

So Mr Wang,

Was the judge right to dismiss Yap, Chee and Gandi's application to dismiss the trial?

A bigger question is, Should speaking in public without a permit be a crime? Are ministers who speak in public without permit criminals too? Do shopkeepers who use loudhailers to sell their products criminals too?

So are salesman who bug us on the streets criminals since they disturb us more than Chee and co.

One might not also agree with Chee but give Chee a break!

Anonymous said...

If Dr Chee did the same thing, he would probably face new and trumped up charge(s).

Mr Wang, you seems to have great faith in our justice and legal system when it comes to political cases. I wonder what are your thoughts on the current Chief Justice who famously ruled during the 1997 GE that PAP ministers who are inside the polling stations did not break any law even though the law states clearly that non-candidates are not allowed inside.

Anonymous said...

The behaviour of the DPPs and Judges are disgusting and blatantly biased. They have perverted justice. They sure understand which side their bread is buttered.

There is only one lawyer on this island who has a moral consciense, he is M Ravi.

Anonymous said...

i would disagree with you, mr. wang. we dont guess if it was an oversight from the dpp. as it is, the io just shouldnt be at the witness box.
i dont think its fair to say that chee 'seize the opportunity' to abort the case. i think it should be the opposite, where the 'establishment' is trying all possible means to nail them down. the whole case is laughable. what crime have they all committed? its sad that singaporeans arent even thinking.

Anonymous said...

Of course DDP can do no wrong, but CSJ every thing he do is wrong.

Anonymous said...

Its amazing that people still have a shred of faith in our world class K.C. Anyone who have read the history of our system and the cases would have lost faith a long long time go. Even the people who invented English would turn in their grave if the they knew the how simple sentence have been intepreted by our world class K.Cs. The famous words are no longer "I have a dream" but "I have in my hand"..LOL

Anonymous said...

Mr Wang,

Based on your comments, one can assume that the DPP wants the said IO to testify on something that is material, ie to Chee's detriment. If the judge allows it, does it not tantamount to a miscarriage of justice and the court has shown itself to be acting for the state when it should be maintaining strict neutrality.

franky said...

What the good judge refused to read:

The Criminal Motion

Take notice that the Court will be moved on the day of 2006 at am/pm on an application on the part of the Applicant for the following orders:-

1. That there is a mis-trial in that the DPP had misled the court in not informing the trial court in PS00733-2006 on 25 & 26 of Oct 2006 in that the witness Investigating Officer Jeremy Koh had witnessed the proceedings from the outset of the trial in which event the said trial is aborted;

2. That the accused had suffered grievous injustice in violation of Article 9 (1)(2)(3), Article 12 and Article 14 of Constitution of Republic of Singapore;

3. That the Attorney General had misled the court and violated Articles 9 and 12 of Constitution of Republic of Singapore and that he be disciplined by this Honorable Court for misleading the Court, and that the Attorney-General be referred to an independent tribunal. Alternatively a complaint is laid before this Court to take necessary disciplinary measures against the Attorney-General and the Deputy Public Prosecutor concerned;

4. That the State Council be directed by this Honorable Court to advise the President of Singapore to convene a constitutional court under Article 100 of the Constitution of Republic of Singapore on an emergency for serious breaches of the separation of powers.

Gandhi Ambalam
Chee Soon Juan
(Applicants)

voodoochile said...

Mr Wang,

I suppose the judge Eddy Tham, a former DPP, was your ex-colleague at the AG office?

How is it that your judicial system allows interchangeability of personnel between the AG- Chambers and the Bench? You could very well end up with a newly promoted judge presiding over cases where he has a hand in the prosecution.

palmist said...

pressures from above can make people lose the good judgment they once had. :)

I suppose if you know the prosecutor you wouldn't be giving an untainted view.

The Geriatric Eunuch said...

"I am a bit surprised that she slipped up like that. I guess we all get careless once in a while."

Huh? You are being rather generous, to put it mildly, are you not? Tongue firmly in cheek, Mr. Wang?

A basic error such as that from a DPP with "plenty of experience"? Come, come. Even the most cursory glance at the history of political trials in S'pore will highlight the glaring fact that the judicial deck is well and truly stacked against any opponent of the incumbent government. We all know, as undoubtedly do both CSJ and his co-defendants, that they do not stand a cat-in-hell's chance of a fair hearing and that the eventual verdict will be a foregone conclusion - a little matter of dotting the i's and crossing the t's.

It would be risible to watch the judicial process contort itself into a pretzel while trying to defend the indefensible charges and excuse the inexcusible prosecution lapses if the consequences weren't quite so serious for the hapless trio in the dock. What must the Canadian Court of Appeal currently deliberating the Enernorth-Oakwell case make of this pathetic farce? Shut their eyes and consider it irrelevant? Perhaps you would care to comment.

And Justice Choo Han Teck dismissed their applications in the High Court yesterday to the rousing strains of 'We've only just begun'. Heh.

Anonymous said...

I think the reporter Ken Kwek is the guy who asked LKY on TV to comment on why so many of the electorate were afraid not to vote for the PAP, and LKY's response went chillingly along the lines of: "What are their names?"

Mr Wang Says So said...

Well, okay. Let me quickly address some of the points.

"I would think that if Dr Chee did the same thing, the DPP will make a meal out of it."

- I don't think DPP would try to abort the trial. That would only make Dr Chee very happy.

"Was the judge right to dismiss Yap, Chee and Gandi's application to dismiss the trial?"

- Yes, definitely. A mistrial, if there has been a mistrial, should be declared a mistrial only after the entire trial is completed. If the trial is not even over, how would you know that it is a mistrial?

Example: suppose the investigation officer is treated as a "bad" witness, because he had already been in the courtroom prior to giving testimony. However, suppose that whatever he said on the stand turned out to be irrelevant, or insubstantial, or unnecessary (say for example, because other witnesses were able to provide the same evidence). In fact, suppose that on the stand, I.O testified for no more than 15 seconds before running out of things to say.

In such a case, the trial judge could well totally disregard the IO's evidence, and still form a proper decision to convict or acquit Dr Chee. There would be no "mistrial", or to use the correct term "miscarriage of justice".

Now, to know whether this is the case, or whether this is NOT the case (ie there IS a miscarriage of justice), you obviously have to let the trial run its course. Which sensible High Court judge would declare a trial to be a "miscarriage", when that trial is not even halfway through?

Should speaking in public without a permit be a crime?

Good question and in my view, Singapore's statutory laws on issues relating to the freedom of speech are generally much too strict. However, courts are not able to change statutory laws - Parliament does that - so the question is not relevant to the current discussion on what the judge should do in Chee's trial.

Are ministers who speak in public without permit criminals too?

Could be, if their activity constitutes "public entertainment" and they did not get a licence. Of course, being ministers, they would not have any difficulty getting a licence, while the practical reality is that this would often be a difficulty for opposition politicians or even gay activist/blogger Alex Au (Yawning Bread).

If Dr Chee did the same thing, he would probably face new and trumped up charge(s).

No, I don't think it would be legally possible.

Mr Wang, you seems to have great faith in our justice and legal system when it comes to political cases.

I don't, actually. In fact, I've previously written somewhere that while Singapore's courts are ranked world No. 1 (by PERC), this is in relation to their handling of commercial/business cases, not so much for other kinds of cases like constitutional or criminal cases.

There is only one lawyer on this island who has a moral consciense, he is M Ravi.

By the way, he refused to act for Chee in this case.

i would disagree with you, mr. wang. we dont guess if it was an oversight from the dpp. as it is, the io just shouldnt be at the witness box.

But we agree with each other. I already said that the I.O shouldn't be there.

Personally for me, when I was a DPP, I often liked to put I.O as my first or second witness (in other words, early on in the trial). After he has given testimony, there's no problem for him to sit in court and assist me.

i dont think its fair to say that chee 'seize the opportunity' to abort the case.

Aborting a trial is very extreme. Theoretically it can be done but I have not come across a single such case in my own actual experience, and I can't even remember whether I've seen such a case in recorded case law.

Seems to me that the normal thing for the defence to do in such a case would be to argue that the I.O shouldn't be allowed to testify, and next, if the judge rules against that, to later argue that the I.O's evidence was contaminated by his having heard the other witnesses, and next, if that fails, and after losing the case, to appeal.

Of course, the reality is that it may not be feasible for the defence, if in fact what the I.O testifies to is very separate and distinct from what the earlier witnesses had said and therefore wouldn't have been contaminated at all.

... one can assume that the DPP wants the said IO to testify on something that is material, ie to Chee's detriment. If the judge allows it, does it not tantamount to a miscarriage of justice ...

You, as judge, need not make that assumption. After all, you can allow the IO to say it first, and then decide. For example, as I mentioned, the IO may have nothing to say except formalities (see my post about formal witnesses).

... and the court has shown itself to be acting for the state when it should be maintaining strict neutrality.

The court IS the state, just one particular organ of it. And a judge allowing or disallowing a witness to testify is never going to be a "miscarriage of justice" in itself. That's because after the witness has testified, the judge can decide whether to totally accept the testimony, totally reject the testimony, or accept/reject parts of it.

In fact, some judges' style is to let all witnesses run on and on and on, say a lot and support and corroborate or contradict and dispute each other, and a lot of it may well be lies and untruths or mistakes, or just irrelevant, but after hearing what everybody has to say about everything, the judge then sifts through the totality of the evidence and makes his findings of fact.

What the good judge refused to read:

This is the criminal motion. If the High Court judge had not read this, he wouldn't even know he was supposed to be in court to listen to anybody. The date and time and venue is affixed to the criminal motion.

I suppose the judge Eddy Tham, a former DPP, was your ex-colleague at the AG office?

I don't remember him, actually. Not that this would be relevant.

How is it that your judicial system allows interchangeability of personnel between the AG- Chambers and the Bench? You could very well end up with a newly promoted judge presiding over cases where he has a hand in the prosecution.

Yes. In such a scenario, the judge would have to discharge himself from hearing the case. This kind of discharge is not that uncommon. For example, judges would discharge themselves from hearing a case if it turned out that either the plaintiff or defendant has some kind of family connection to the judge.

We all know, as undoubtedly do both CSJ and his co-defendants, that they do not stand a cat-in-hell's chance of a fair hearing and that the eventual verdict will be a foregone conclusion - a little matter of dotting the i's and crossing the t's.

If you really want to know what I think, the present trial is going exactly the way Chee wants it to go and he is getting what he wants out of it - publicity - so he should be quite happy.

The verdict, I would intuitively say, IS probably a foregone conclusion. In the end, the charge is very simple, and the possible defences are also quite basic:

1. either you made a public speech or you did not

2. either you had a licence to do it or you did not

... but of course in Chee's position, you would want to squeeze as much publicity as you can, out of it.

As I mentioned earlier, I think that Singapore's statutory laws on these kinds of topics are too strict. But this really is a very separate issue from whether the judge is acting fairly or not.

By the way, what do you think - did Chee Soon Juan make a public speech without a licence, or did he not?

Try to answer that, and I think you will see what I mean.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad we have mr wang here to explain about the legal processes.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mr Wang

Thank you for the other side of view as compares to Dr Chee's http://www.singaporedemocrat.org/

What's your take on the video evidence? What @ the U-turn?

Thanks

Anonymous said...

Question: If Dr Chee did the same thing, he would probably face new and trumped up charge(s).

Mr Wang's Answer: No, I don't think it would be legally possible.


My response: Come off it Mr Wang. In case you have forgotten, JBJ's "I hold in my hand..." was construed as throwing a molotov cocktail and deemed defamatory by the S'pore court and justice. Or take the article on NKF that earned Dr Chee another libel charge. So it is legally possible, precisely because the S'pore court is a kangaroo court in action when it comes to cases involving opposition politicans. And what about the current Chief Justice's ruling on the polling station issue in the 1997 GE? I see you are choosing to evade some of the questions.

p.s. Mr Wang, you are far from being a dim person. But for some reason when it comes to Dr Chee I sense the wheels of logic seemingly grind to an uneasy halt. This seems to be exactly what is happening to your ex-colleagues now.

Anonymous said...

Mr Wang's answer: If you really want to know what I think, the present trial is going exactly the way Chee wants it to go and he is getting what he wants out of it - publicity - so he should be quite happy.

As I mentioned earlier, I think that Singapore's statutory laws on these kinds of topics are too strict. But this really is a very separate issue from whether the judge is acting fairly or not.

By the way, what do you think - did Chee Soon Juan make a public speech without a licence, or did he not?

Try to answer that, and I think you will see what I mean.

My response: The laws are there but see how they are selectively applied. As someone already pointed out, there are so many instances of "speaking in public without a permit" happening everyday, I see you choose not to address that.

There is also such a thing call civil disobedience that is specifically used against unjust laws. If Mahatma Gandhi did not do what he did, India might still be under the very shackles of colonialism. And in S'pore our founding leaders did the same. They fought the British, broke laws, got jailed, and the rest is history.

I don't see how you could explain away the systematic targeting of Dr Chee by an unjust court and the sinister intentions behind it simply by harping on the fact that laws were broken.

the geriatric eunuch said...

It's rather puzzling that if this case really is as cut and dried as you seem to indicate, Mr Wang, wouldn't it be laughably simple to bring these 3 evil, scheming miscreants to book in a trice?

1. The prosecution has video evidence of the offence of public speaking since the police video everything that so much as twitches
2. They can presumably show that no licence was granted
3. Case proven, guilty as charged, no?

Why the long drawn-out charade? Aside from the IO fiasco we have, on the fly: / yes, we'll use the video evidence / no, we won't / erm, p'raps we will after all / and no, you can't have a copy to authenticate / ok, you can have a peep at it but only at the police station....with the trial judge purportedly nodding his agreement at every twist and turn. WTF?

Oh wait, all this has to do with justice being done and being seen to be done I suppose. Nothing whatsoever to do with a flimsy accusation and confused panicky responses as the prosecution case unravels. Silly me.

Anonymous said...

Mr Wang,

I supposed having being part of the "evil empire" it would have been difficult for you to speak ill of your ex-colleague or the system that gave you a living. So I suspect you will not answer direct questions about the state of the judiciary other than to bamboozle us with legal technicalities. Instead, let me throw a hypothetical challenge to you.

Imagine, you became a court appointed lawyer for Dr Chee et al. How would you defend them, on this case, fearlessly? Let me borrow a catchphrase "can you handle the truth"?

Before I sign off, I have some legal technical questions, which I hope you are able to enlighten me.

Question 1: In the Singapore legal system, is the presumption of innocence its foundation? If so, should it not be the burden of the prosecution to prove the case, in this instance, to demonstrate that CSJ et al made a speech, not the other way round?

Question 2: It has always been said that the Singapore legal system is fair in "commercial" or non political cases. My question to you is this: How many commercial cases, involved say a foreign corporation challenging a GLC or Statutory institution? I know there is an on-going one between IBM and CPF. The reason I ask this is because, having worked for a consultancy firm advising UK companies intending to invest in Singapore, they privately warn that, let's just say -- wink --, not to tangle with GLC or Stat Board in Singapore courts. Publicly, they would state that the court is impartial but privately, it's another matter altogether.

Question 3: Does Singapore practice common or statutory law? If it practice the former, then it would give the courts considerable latitude to define the law, does it not? So, in the current CSJ case, the judge would have latitude to determine if CSJ had indeed made a speech or not?

Question 4: In the UK, courts typically are reluctant to permit defendent without lawyer. It seemed strange that defendant without legal background are, for want of term, permitted to stand trial without lawyer. Come to think about it, why are the local law fraternity so afraid to take on political cases?

Mr Lee, an ex-Singaporean

Anonymous said...

Read 19 September 2006: "Just Another Day in Singapore". Extracts: "Hey, police officers, she can sue you for that, you know?"...."I never did like Chee Soon Juan. But the Singapore authorities are certainly doing a great job in making me feel more sympathetic to his cause."

Use your judgement!

kitsura said...

Q1: In Singapore presumption of innocence is not the foundation. Therefore you are guilty until proven innocent. Dr Chee would have to go about proving himself innocent of the charges levelled against him otherwise he would be guilty as charged.

Mr Wang Says So said...

Okay, let's see.

What's your take on the video evidence? What @ the U-turn?

The U-turn is very simple. During the pre-trial stage, the DPP offered to provide a copy to the other side.

Under current laws, the prosecution is never obliged to give away any evidence before the trial actually starts. However, sometimes, the prosecution will voluntarily do so.

Example: let's say we have a shoplifting case. During the pre-trial process, the defence lawyer says, "My client told me that he wasn't even standing in the electronics section of the department store, how could he have possibly have stolen that MP3 player?". The defence lawyer sincerely believes his client, that the department store manager has made a big mistake, and so the defence lawyer wishes to fight all the way.

The DPP laughs and says "Come on lah, I show you the video. There's your client, standing there in that section of the department store, CCTV picture very very clear, see his hand reaching out to the MP3, notice his furtive expression, see how he now stuffs the MP3 into his pocket. See for yourself. I make one copy for you, ok?"

The reason why the prosecution would volunteer such information is that if the evidence is clearcut, everyone's time would be wasted going to court. Typically, the defence lawyer, after being shown such clear evidence, would then advise his client, "Hey, the evidence is very clear, I suggest you plead guilty, say you're sorry and try to get a lighter sentence."

Chee's case is different because Chee is not really there, as I said, to prove his innocence. As I had said before, his basic motive is publicity. And as I said before, ultimately the issues are very clear:

- did he give a public speech or did he not?

- did he have a licence or did he not?

What do you think? I asked you people to answer. None of you would, heheh.

Anyway, if this was a typical criminal case and everyone just zoomed to the real issues, this would be very straightforward. But of course this is not a typical criminal case.

Chee just wants the publicity. So he will muck everything up, and make everybody - prosecution, judge etc - look as bad as possible. If you give the video, then he will spin round and round with it and say it is doctored, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that it wasn't doctored, why didn't the prosecution have an expert to verify the authenticity of the video; Chee will then make some ridiculous application to the court that he wishes the top video expert in Sweden and the top Queen's Counsel in London to examine the video; if it can't be done, then he will cry foul and say the whole system is rigged against him.

And many of you laymen will once again be fooled.

Meanwhile, I'll just remind you that really the issues are very simple:

- did he give a public speech or did he not?

- did he have a licence or did he not?

Heheh. Anyway, the DPP earlier volunteered the video, probably foolishly believing that Chee would therefore plead guilty since the evidence is clear.

Then later the DPP realises that the evidence is crystal clear anyway and Chee is just going to spin everything into a juicy media story. If you give him the video, he'll spin even more about the authenticity of the video. But if you don't give him the video, he'll also spin even more about how he was denied the video.

So that essentially is the DPP's problem.

Question: If Dr Chee did the same thing, he would probably face new and trumped up charge(s).

Mr Wang's Answer: No, I don't think it would be legally possible.

My response: Come off it Mr Wang. In case you have forgotten, JBJ's "I hold in my hand..." was construed as throwing a molotov cocktail and deemed defamatory by the S'pore court and justice. Or take the article on NKF that earned Dr Chee another libel charge. So it is legally possible, precisely because the S'pore court is a kangaroo court in action when it comes to cases involving opposition politicans.


Ok, if it is possible, then tell me the offence. I can't think of any.

And what about the current Chief Justice's ruling on the polling station issue in the 1997 GE? I see you are choosing to evade some of the questions.

Actually, as anyone who is half-rational can see, I am putting a lot of effort answering many readers' questions. I hope some people at least appreciate that.

Now if you can find a link to the 1997 matter so I can refresh my memory on all the facts, then I might give you my opinion on it again.

But what is the point? If I said, "The AG was wrong in 1997" or "The AG was right in 1997", how does that concern the present case?

p.s. Mr Wang, you are far from being a dim person. But for some reason when it comes to Dr Chee I sense the wheels of logic seemingly grind to an uneasy halt.

Ok, you tell me where I am being illogical then.

My response: The laws are there but see how they are selectively applied. As someone already pointed out, there are so many instances of "speaking in public without a permit" happening everyday, I see you choose not to address that.

Actually, I agree with you. In fact, I would go even further. My argument is that the Public Entertainment Act should in fact be revised such that it becomes explicitly clear that it applies to the conventional idea of "public entertainment" - think singers, actors, dancers, clowns etc - and should NEVER apply, say, to people who wish to make a public speech on social issues. Well, unfortunately I am not NMP yet, so you won't get to hear me making that kind of argument in Parliament.

There is also such a thing call civil disobedience that is specifically used against unjust laws. If Mahatma Gandhi did not do what he did, India might still be under the very shackles of colonialism. And in S'pore our founding leaders did the same. They fought the British, broke laws, got jailed, and the rest is history.

You're right. I agree. In fact, I already said about three or four times that I think Singapore's laws on matters relating to speech are too severe.

I don't see how you could explain away the systematic targeting of Dr Chee by an unjust court and the sinister intentions behind it simply by harping on the fact that laws were broken.

1. What makes you say that the trial court has been unjust in this case? Can you tell me more precisely?

2. Or do you mean that the High Court judge has been unjust? How? Can you tell me more precisely?

3. Where's my harping? I only asked you what you think about this:

- did he give a public speech or did he not?

- did he have a licence or did he not?

It's rather puzzling that if this case really is as cut and dried as you seem to indicate, Mr Wang, wouldn't it be laughably simple to bring these 3 evil, scheming miscreants to book in a trice?

1. The prosecution has video evidence of the offence of public speaking since the police video everything that so much as twitches
2. They can presumably show that no licence was granted
3. Case proven, guilty as charged, no?

Why the long drawn-out charade?


I told ya. It's spin. I don't know if you remember this traffic accident case a couple of years ago - the accused knocked down a family crossing the road. Should have been quite simple, right.

Well the accused was an extremely wealthy foreigner. There was tremendous spin as well - international road traffic experts & engineers were flown in to analyse the road texture; the weather conditions; the angle of the sun falling in from behind the trees affecting driver's vision; the design of this car model's brakes etc.

And what should have been a one-day trial spun into 15+ days. Over a hit-&-run, heheh.

I supposed having being part of the "evil empire" it would have been difficult for you to speak ill of your ex-colleague or the system that gave you a living.

No, I don't think I owe anything to them. If you plow through my blog, you'll find many instances where I have criticised the prosecution or court, and many other instances where I have said they did the right thing. I'm pretty objective that way.

So I suspect you will not answer direct questions about the state of the judiciary other than to bamboozle us with legal technicalities.

If anyone is not clear about the "legal technicalities", feel free to ask again.

Imagine, you became a court appointed lawyer for Dr Chee et al. How would you defend them, on this case, fearlessly? Let me borrow a catchphrase "can you handle the truth"?

In a purely professional sense, and if he had breached the relevant provision of the relevant act, I would advise him to plead guilty. This is the professionally correct approach, as I have explained in another context (not involving Chee). An important reason is that people who plead guilty normally get a lighter sentence than people who claim trial and then get convicted - this is a sentencing principle.

Now, assuming however that I am not purely acting in a legal/ professional sense, but wished to assist the client in stirring up publicity, then in court I would ask questions and make loud irrelevant statements like:

1. "Your Honour, is your bonus not determined by the Chief Justice who is known to be on good friends with Lee Kuan Yew?"

2. "I demand that this trial shall be stopped immediately pending the appeal in the Enernorth case where it is alleged that the entire judicial system of Singapore is fundamentally corrupt."

3. "Your Honour, I wish to make the DPP a witness and ask her about her personal relationship with the investigation officer, as I do not believe that they have a purely professional working relationship."

4. "Your Honour, I wish to ask the DPP whether Lee Kuan Yew assigned her to handle this case."

Etc etc. For more ideas along these lines, you can look at Chee's criminal motion (reproduced somewhere above). Note his suggestion that the President of Singapore immediately declare a national emergency.

Question 1: In the Singapore legal system, is the presumption of innocence its foundation? If so, should it not be the burden of the prosecution to prove the case, in this instance, to demonstrate that CSJ et al made a speech, not the other way round?

Yes.

Question 2: It has always been said that the Singapore legal system is fair in "commercial" or non political cases. My question to you is this: How many commercial cases, involved say a foreign corporation challenging a GLC or Statutory institution? I know there is an on-going one between IBM and CPF. The reason I ask this is because, having worked for a consultancy firm advising UK companies intending to invest in Singapore, they privately warn that, let's just say -- wink --, not to tangle with GLC or Stat Board in Singapore courts. Publicly, they would state that the court is impartial but privately, it's another matter altogether.

I also work in the commercial world, you know, for an global financial institution. In our contracts with GLCs (or for that matter, other Singapore companies) we are generally quite happy to specify submission to jurisdiction of the Singapore courts, that is, if a dispute arises, we are happy to take it to the Singapore courts.

The main consideration is NOT that the courts are partial or impartial. The main consideration is that if you sue a GLC, then obviously the GLC won't be very happy with you in the future. So you lose that business relationship. In a big country with deep markets and many companies and potential clients, this may not matter much, but in Singapore, the economy is heavily dominated by a handful of GLCs.

My wife works in another industry where they deal a lot with oil companies like BP, Chevron etc. Again people are very reluctant to sue such companies (anywhere in the world, not specifically in Singapore courts) because they are so big and powerful and they generate a lot of business for you.

One thing about Singapore is that you always have the same 50 or 60 directors circulating around the boards of GLCs. This is another reason for not suing a GLC. If you sue a GLC, their director may be unhappy, and their director may be sitting on the board of three other GLCs, so you've just damaged your chances of doing business with all the other 3 GLCs as well.

But none of this actually has anything to do with the courts.

Question 3: Does Singapore practice common or statutory law? If it practice the former, then it would give the courts considerable latitude to define the law, does it not? So, in the current CSJ case, the judge would have latitude to determine if CSJ had indeed made a speech or not?

We're like the UK - essentially a common law jurisdiction, but where Parliament has passed a statute, then the statute prevails over the common law.

For your 2nd question, if a person made a speech, then he has made a speech, whatever kind of law you're thinking of.

Think of it as a man standing in a public place, opening his mouth, sounds coming out, people listening to him ...

If it happened, it happened,

Question 4: In the UK, courts typically are reluctant to permit defendent without lawyer. It seemed strange that defendant without legal background are, for want of term, permitted to stand trial without lawyer.

People acting for themselves in court is an increasingly common phenomenon in the US actually.

In Singapore, the state will arrange for defence lawyers in every capital case. In other cases involving potentially serious punishment (eg long jail term, caning), the state may also arrange for lawyers.

For other poor folks, they get legal aid depending on some kind of means test administered by the Legal Aid Bureau (now headed by an ex-DPP).

Amount of free legal aid available also depends to a large extent on the number of lawyers who are willing to volunteer their time.

Come to think about it, why are the local law fraternity so afraid to take on political cases?

Well, the straightforward answer is that they're probably afraid to offend the Lee family.

However, it's also pertinent to note that clients like Chee are bankrupt. Basically, most lawyers are just like most other people - they don't like to work for free.

Read 19 September 2006: "Just Another Day in Singapore". Extracts: "Hey, police officers, she can sue you for that, you know?"...."I never did like Chee Soon Juan. But the Singapore authorities are certainly doing a great job in making me feel more sympathetic to his cause."

Yup ... You should also read my comments for that post. Note that I made those comments back in September, BEFORE the current trial started, and yet, haha, the comments are just as applicable to the current trial. I'll reproduce part of those comments here:

I have observed how he often plays up certain events in his legal proceedings in the Singapore courts, which make it seem as if the judge is treating him in some horribly unfair way or as if the courts are trying to hide something from the public.

I note that on those occasions, actually nothing very unusual is happening and the case is just proceeding as per normal, according to the standard rules of court procedure.

That's what I don't like about Chee.


Go read the rest, if you're interested.

http://commentarysingapore.blogspot.com/2006/09/just-another-day-in-singapore.html

Anonymous said...

Taken from a blog by Yap Keng Ho,one of the three defendents on trial.

http://uncleyap-news.blogspot.com

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Human Rights Lawyer Ravi fight till last min for Took
Displaying his selflessness and strong compassions, M Ravi dispite his own suspension and other important personal matters, still devote himself to help many others, that includes my trial under Public Entertainment Act. Took Liang How from murder case of Huang Na is due to be hang tomorow dawn. Ravi could not sleep at all last night, and did not sleep well the past few nights due to his care and compassion for Took's execution.

Ravi already himself had been under great stress and pressure from all the high profile cases he was handling as lawyer, and was just not too long ago discharged from hospital. I saw initially upon his suspension, that to be a blessing for Ravi's own health. But now that I still see him fighting restlessly as an individual for his cause instead of as a lawyer, I think he is still not getting all the rest which his health needs.

Being so driven by justice, love and compassion, having a lawyer practice license or not does not change things for Ravi. I think this man is extrodinary and had done great contribution to Singapore not less than the great Mr. JBJ. I appeal to public to give M Ravi the support he deserves.


posted by uncleyap at 3:35 PM

Public Entertainment by Kangaroo Circus
SDP's news informed the public that the famiLEE LEEgime's prosecution wasted entire week of trail time, and after much saga arrived back as the very beginning point, just exactly as it was on the very first day of trial.

I just want to assert my opions in addition to SDP's news release here.

The famiLEE LEEgime originally in Pre-Trial Conference months ago wanted to use video evidence, and our lawyer then - Mr Ravi asked for a copy of this video, the famiLEE LEEgime prosecution agreed. But as the trial began, they changed their mind for 1st time, to say that they then don't want to use that evidence and refuse to give a copy to us.

The video matter came in to argument at the begining of trial, and at that time I personally made an application to the judge to admit the video as evidence and give us copy of it. The LEEgime prosecutor again refused to give, but the judge ruled in her favour.

So the trial went on without the video, and they relied on their mata witnesses instead of video. But they blundered twice and let me caught them twice, to have witnesses in side court irregular to trial procedure. I took them to high court for these, and surely, LEEgime's high court threw out that motion.

What the public may not had been informed by 146th [I did't read ST & other English papers for even my own news :-) ] that, jointly, the 3 accused without Ravi [in suspension] managed to break and lock the LEEgime's witnesses evidence just with only normal litigation methods.

Yesterday, they changed back their mind about using the video, after getting no where spending all these days.

CSJ & Ghandi rejected the admitance of video on the ground that copy of video not given to us. I however stated to court that, I maintain my original earlier position of apply for the admitance of this video, and I would fight all the way to high court / supreme court / court of appeal until I get a copy of it.

As said in the SDP media release CSJ & Ghandi in most part of today's trial protested in silence, by showing non-cooperation to boycott the trial, due to the prosecution's refusal to give us the copy of video. I did not follow them to boycott, but instead, went on alone to enguage the prosecution & their witness.

After the judge inidicated that he will order the prosecution to give us a copy of video when the video is determinded to be admited, I accepted the arrangement, and indicated also that I then would have no objection to the admitance to the video evidence, if I get a copy of this video BEFORE it is being used in trial. CSJ & Ghandi just kept silent with their boycotting, and did not answer these questions asked by judge regarding their position.

Then judge announced that he ruled that the video is admited as evidence, and copies are to be made for all 3 of the accused. I then gave the court a good gesture toward this ruling, I think this ruling is fair and reasonable at that time.

However, the DPP came out to tell the court to say that she request adjournment to take instruction [from famiLEE LEEgime boss] then judge began the lunch break. Not a big surprise but an ironical one after lunch, that DPP came back after getting her boss's instructions, told the court that they still refuse to comply the judge's ruling, and won't want us to get any copy of video.

Since the judge ordered video to be given, CSJ & Ghandi broke their silence protest, and all 3 of us began to argue about getting the copy of video. Ironically, the DPP's argument quoted the example of murder weapon to be compared with copy of video, and she asserted that murder weapons also can not be duplicated to give us a copy. Our arguement include that we need to let our legal advisors overseas view the video for legal advice. Our law capable friends including Mr JBJ, Mr TangLiangHong, Mr. FrancisSeow, etc are not in Singapore now. And Ravi had been suspended by famiLEE LEEgime.

In the end, judge made a final ruling that they must give us a copy. DPP again resisted by wanting us to agree on condition that Video Can NOT Be Used For Any Purposes Other Then Preparing For Defence. What are they so afraid of? I want reader to think about it.

I think the famiLEE LEEgime are afraid that I put this video on You-Tube, because CSJ & myself spoked very leathal scandal subjects in the video. NKF is nothing in these subjects, it includes vote buying, drug/blood money laundry, Thaksin connections, and other hot stuffs some are on my blogs & forum postings. In this regard I can understand how the famiLEE LEEgime is regarding this video as a deadly weapon, and comparing it as a murder weapon case exhibit.

I replied the DPP's demand of conditionally letting us have video, that I will only use the video for legal purposes, no illegal intention at all, and the video is police taken with public funds, there is no obsene content, no national or military secret, it is just election speech of very open nature, if they want to restrict my use of my copy of video they would have to go and apply for a restraining order to retrain my use of it, and I am prepare to fight them upon their application of such an order.

Eventually the famiLEE LEEgime prosecution gave up this argument. I would not be surprised that she would come back tomorow to appeal to high court or something, not wanting to give us the video again, because they had wasted entire week trying to avoid or prevent us from having this video.

We gave the judge a good gesture of cooperation after he made ruling in our favour by not objecting the video being used in court this afternoon, even without having a copy of it in hand as being promised.

In short, I want to say that famiLEE LEEgime is not just useless, coward and Kiasu + Kiasi. Nothing surprising. They are big waste of time and tax payer's money. We are not afraid to go to jail, not afraid to face video evidence, but they proved that they are afraid of video and have got lots of things to hide.

Regarding this transcripts of video, I found about 10% error of transcription inside, a bad transcription job. After viewing the video, the judge also felt unsatisfied of the transcripts, and ordered the prosecution to fix all the omissions, errors and confusions he had found in it. Prosecution had been ordered to provide another better verion tomorrow.



I still want to demand the judge to address the point I had asked I think more than once, that he must explain to me the reason as to why he rejected my identical application to admit the same video as evidence, and when the DPP applied for exactly the same thing, he approved it. This is unfair to me under Constitution Article 12 assuring my rights to be treated equally and given fair trial. It is so obvious that he favour prosecution regarding video. And help the DPP who found herself in trouble without the video's help.

I told the judge that we could have saved wasting days with their useless witnesses, if he had proved my application to admit the video upon my identical application, at which time, CSJ & Ghandi weren't objecting the admitance of video. They only began to object this when DPP die-die just won't want to give us a copy.

Judge should by now know that we are not afraid of conviction or sentence, but we just refused to be bullied in famiLEE LEEgime court suffering from unfair trial. We are giving them a hard time not because we want to avoid jail or anything, but we just refuse to be bullied, and we showed them that we can also wind their balls up as well.

:-)

Anonymous said...

My response: Come off it Mr Wang. In case you have forgotten, JBJ's "I hold in my hand..." was construed as throwing a molotov cocktail and deemed defamatory by the S'pore court and justice. Or take the article on NKF that earned Dr Chee another libel charge. So it is legally possible, precisely because the S'pore court is a kangaroo court in action when it comes to cases involving opposition politicans.

Mr Wang: Ok, if it is possible, then tell me the offence. I can't think of any.

My response:
You can't think of any because it hasn't happened yet. But i gave you some examples of what did happen and could happen. One is the "i hold in my hand.." example, something that is so ordinary, yet the court could see to it that the libel suit stood and JBJ convicted of defamation. And not forgetting the application of summary judgement by the Lees in the NKF case





My response: And what about the current Chief Justice's ruling on the polling station issue in the 1997 GE? I see you are choosing to evade some of the questions.

Mr Wang: Now if you can find a link to the 1997 matter so I can refresh my memory on all the facts, then I might give you my opinion on it again.

But what is the point? If I said, "The AG was wrong in 1997" or "The AG was right in 1997", how does that concern the present case?


My response:
I am sorry Mr Wang. The point is my responses are merely intended to give an overview and context of what I see as a history of unjust legal proceedings in the S'pore court, and the current CJ is right part of it. This is just to counter what i see as preconceived ideas you have on Dr Chee while defending your ex-colleagues and the institution you previously worked for.

It isn't my intention to go into the minutiae where we start dishing out links and counter links to argue one another and overwhelm the blog with clutter. That isn't the spirit of my comments and i have rambled much. I actually think a bright person as yourself might even be insulted if I am to spoon feed you on facts of the history.

Please feel free to remove my comments if you feel they are cluttering up your blog.



My response: I don't see how you could explain away the systematic targeting of Dr Chee by an unjust court and the sinister intentions behind it simply by harping on the fact that laws were broken.

Mr Wang: 1. What makes you say that the trial court has been unjust in this case? Can you tell me more precisely?

2. Or do you mean that the High Court judge has been unjust? How? Can you tell me more precisely?

3. Where's my harping? I only asked you what you think about this:

- did he give a public speech or did he not?

- did he have a licence or did he not?


Anon's response to Wang: So I suspect you will not answer direct questions about the state of the judiciary other than to bamboozle us with legal technicalities.

Mr Wang: If anyone is not clear about the "legal technicalities", feel free to ask again.

My response:
Your above two replies sum up my thoughts earlier about how you are choosing to just focus on the "law" bit and the legalese (a field where obviously i can't hope to match) and using that to lend weight to your position while ignoring the larger context behind this whole court saga that many here are pointing to. This is perfectly alright but obviously it is the point of separate departure of the discourse, judging by the conviction of your opinions. And i do want to add something here. There is such a thing call the court of public opinion. And at the end of the day that rises above and lasts longer than whatever the court might rule within those chambers.

It is always good to see where our diverging thoughts are coming from. And i really do appreciate your taking the time and effort to respond the way you did.

Mr Wang Says So said...

Sigh.

In the first place, defamation isn't a criminal offence. The prosecution can't charge anyone with "defamation". Go trace through the earlier comments - about your original inquiry - and maybe now you'll understand what I said.

Now - since you like the "big picture", I'll tell you what I think the big picture is.

The big picture is that the overwhelming presence of the PAP in Parliament means that statutory laws aren't going to change except in accordance with the PAP's wishes.

Since the PAP will strive to preserve its dominance, laws which impede potential challengers (like the Public Entertainment Act) are simply going to remain.

Since the ministers are all PAP, they control all ministries like the Home Affairs Ministry. So obviously the cards are heavily stacked against any challengers.

This is the simple reality and no one would deny it.

This however doesn't at all change any of my comments about Chee spinning in court.

I am just a very objective person, that is all.

For example, although I do not like Chee, in September I nevertheless criticised the way the police treated him and his sister concerning IMF. And that's because I think that the police were not doing the right thing.

Now Chee is in court, and he is spinning hard as usual, and he is confusing people like you. So I point this out. I am not going to say that the court is unjust towards him. That's because I simply DON'T see how the court is handling his case unjustly.

Now if I thought that the court or prosecution was behaving badly here, I would have said so. And if you look through my blog, you will see many instances in other cases where I *have* done so.

Finally, I don't like Chee because I don't like his character. And why I dislike his character in fact has nothing to do with the PAP, or the court or the DPP.

I've disliked Chee ever since he backstabbed Chiam See Tong in the mid-1990s and tried to usurp Chiam's position in the party that Chiam founded.

Again the fact that I don't like Chee has nothing to do with my opinion of the current court case. If I thought that he wasn't spinning, I wouldn't say that he is. If I thought that he was spinning, I would say that he is. It is as simple as that.

---

You mentioned "summary judgment" in the NKF case and you suggested that something unjust had once again happened to Chee in that case. You want to see what I think? Go back to my September post

http://commentarysingapore.blogspot.com/2006/09/just-another-day-in-singapore.html

and see my comments about summary judgment. Yet another case of Chee spinning, spinning, spinning.

Anonymous said...

So Mr Wang,

Is it ultimately a sure lose case? Is there any way for Chee to win this case?

I feel you are taking a very legalistic attitude. If everything is by law, everyone of us will be fined for jaywalking, importing chewing gum from malaysia.

Law is there to protect the people, not to persecute people. I may not be a smart lawyer but I am a decent citizen wanting to see natural justice served. What is legal is not neccessary just.

Dun know lah, Mr Wang, your legalistic motion is making me both impressed and depressed.

Mr Wang Says So said...

But you miss the point again! You are too legalistic.

Chee isn't here to win. Chee isn't here to lose.

You have to try to see that this is more than just an ordinary court case.

Chee is here to get publicity. If he gets it, he doesn't care if he wins or loses.

He WANTS to get charged. He WANTS to be in court. It will be YET another episode he can highlight to the world.

If he was really concerned about being convicted or fined or sentenced, he simply WOULDN'T have spoken in public without a licence.

Now, all this trouble is for something he believes in. He is striving to get publicity for something he believes in. YOU may share that same "vision". That's up to you. You may well accept that his end justifies this particular means.

But be clear that he wants the publicity.

If you like, you can compare this to Nelson Mandela's trial in SOuth Africa, before he was placed under arrest for, what, 32 years. Mandela WANTS the publicity. He DID get it. He HAD a mission. And winning or losing the case was NOT the mission. The mission was anti-apartheid. The trial is one battle in the war. The battle objective was publicity. Not acquittal.

So too, Chee. Now the question is whether his end justifies his means. That's up to you. I'm not answering that for you. I'm just explaining what he is doing.

Publicity is the name of the game. Not merely that, he's spinning to make the court proceedings look unjust when NOTHING is really happening. Bear in mind that in the end, it just comes down to this:

- did he speak in public, or did he not?

- did he have a licence or did he not.

Mr Wang Says So said...

If you want to understand Chee's overall strategy (not just for this court case, but his political strategy in general), you can read Cherian George's old post. I generally share Cherian's views on this.

http://cherian.blogspot.com/2006/05/singapore-elections-sdps-future-heres.html

If you read that, you may understand better Chee's approach to this present case.

Excerpt from Cherian's post:

"The new SDP, led by Chee Soon Juan, is less interested in electoral politics. It is instead engaging in a long term struggle to transform political culture in Singapore ....

[On Chee] Having been roundly rebuffed by voters in past polls, and now disqualified from contesting, he knows that his personal future lies with getting the attention and approval of foreign pro-democracy groups. Since these groups deal routinely with far larger and more brutal regimes than Singapore, Chee can only sustain their interest in him if he remains in the news as a victim of PAP authoritarianism. His repeated attempts to provoke the authorities – inviting fines, suits and even jail terms – seem crazy in the eyes of many Singaporeans, but are entirely rational when one realises who his real audience is."

So there. He WANTS to be fined, sued, thrown in jail. It is an entirely RATIONAL approach when you know his bigger picture.

recruit ong said...

"I've disliked Chee ever since he backstabbed Chiam See Tong in the mid-1990s and tried to usurp Chiam's position in the party that Chiam founded."


aiyoh that's in the early 90s lah, even a chow recruit like me also know that.. did u do research to know the other side of the story or not, or u just take the 140th version of the story? oops i mean 146th now hehe. Chiam is not what u think he is, and of cos the 146th took the opportunity to discredit the one that pap considers as the biggest threat to them.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoy the the ongoing debate here and would dare say that they are certainly more insightful, relevant and meaningful to the issue on hand than the scripted question and answer session we have in paliament. This is exactly what we need, a platform where people with differing opinion and conviction can openly question any decision without fear of reprisal and prove that Singaporeans are not that dumb as we are made out to be. The MIW are now putting the blame on the people for their lack of foresight. For all the present concerns..I need not name them all but I know I am to be blamed for a) Not planning for retirement but believing that contributing 20% of my salary per month was enough.
b) Not making enough babies..
c) Living too long
d) Wanting too much pay and being choosy..why can't you clean toilet/open doors/make beds/push patients/etc for $700
e) For not understanding the sacrifices made by the MIW to build Singapore (for free..hahaha)
f) For being so dumb with my vote

Mr Wang Says So said...

"did u do research to know the other side of the story or not"

---

Of course. I read the court judgment - so I read Chee's arguments against Chiam as well as Chiam's arguments against Chee. Assure you that the full court judgment is much lengthier and much more detailed than your average newspaper article

quitter-in-waiting said...

To the activists trying to push Mr Wang into a corner, please note the following:

1. Please lah, Mr Wang is entitled to his opinions whether you agree with them or not. That is true freedom of speech!

2. Mr Wang is explaining here to the general public on the legal processes of the Singapore court, be it kangaroo or otherwise. Frankly, he doesn't have to do it. By educating the netizens on his blog, he indirectly contribute to a bigger pool of legal-smart citizens who can then better support their causes.

3. Do not let the court issue distract one's focus away from the more important issue of freedom of speech. This is one area where even Mr Wang agrees. Whether one pushes for the freedom by civil disobedence or through political actions, all are working to the same goal.

Mr Wang: in my view, Singapore's statutory laws on issues relating to the freedom of speech are generally much too strict.

It takes all kinds from activists to moderates to band together in order to form a united voice strong enough to counter PAP's monopoly of power. Pushing moderates into a corner does not win you the widespread support needed to bring forth the required referrendum. Learn from the failure of Barisan Sosialis.

http://forums.delphiforums.com/sammyboymod
/messages?msg=122297.31

4. Consider the consequences of your successfully getting Mr Wang to blurt something that would hurt him professionally. Mr Wang is not exactly anonymous to the DPP's office or the MIWs. Would it help or worsen your cause to lose a moderate who has even given you hints on where there maybe a case worth fighting?

Read 19 September 2006: "Just Another Day in Singapore". Extracts: "Hey, police officers, she can sue you for that, you know?"...."I never did like Chee Soon Juan. But the Singapore authorities are certainly doing a great job in making me feel more sympathetic to his cause."

5. On the thing called "the court of public opinion". Putting the alternative info (e.g. on SDP's website) out for people to make their own judgement is good enough.

recruit ong said...

"Mr Wang is not exactly anonymous to the DPP's office or the MIWs. Would it help or worsen your cause to lose a moderate who has even given you hints on where there maybe a case worth fighting?"


No leh, all i see is mr wang attacking CSJ & defending the law... no one is forcing mr wang into a corner leh. If your real identity is exposed and so u have to sing a different tune when it comes to this sensitive CSJ topic, then the corner is u dig for yourself one lor..
btw mr wang your court documents is not the other side of the story lah.. they got mention chiam gave SDP CEC ultimatum to oust CSJ or else chiam himself resign? & den the CEC voted & refuse to oust CSJ so chiam left.. the man dun seem very democratic if u ask me. if u read recently steve chia and this other oppo guy wat they said abt chiam it matches lor.
anyway i not activist lah.. -_-"

Anonymous said...

Who you talking about, Chee? The glucose drip hunger strike guy? Haha. Please lah, got glucose, can live long long, won't die.

Oh, but good for publicity lah.

Anonymous said...

I ask you all to use a bit of common sense.

What do you think is the ideal scenario?

Ok lor ... Say DPP give up and die. Judge says, "Chee Soon Juan, I find you NOT GUILTY of speaking in a public place without a licence on such-&-such a date. You are INNOCENT."

DAMN FUNNY LEH!!! How come I and a few hundred other Singaporeans saw him making a speech that day at that place?

Ananda Rajah said...

Mr Wang

I have to say that I greatly respect your commitment to reasoned debate - and patience to deal with an enormous variety of enquiries, interrogations, and quite meaningless comments, most of which are non sequiturs in relation to the main substance of your views in this set of posts.

I suppose that that is what civil society is all about - even if some of the language contained in the responses to your views might not be entirely civil.

Thank you for your reasoned edifications.

Anonymous said...

Mr Wang,

I am surprised by your answer to Mr Lee, an ex-Singaporean, that you can claim, with respect to his question on common or statute, and I quote your response:

"We're like the UK - essentially a common law jurisdiction, but where Parliament has passed a statute, then the statute prevails over the common law."

How did you come to this conclusion? First Did you realise that there are two sets of legal codes operating in the UK?

There is the English (i.e. common law) and Scotland (i.e. statute law).

In the case of common law, you assert the once Pariliament passed a statue, it then prevails over common law (i.e. precedence). That is not entirely true. In England, a judge and the Law Lord can strike down if it deemed, to use a layman term, "natural justice".

Of course, "natural" justice is a wolly concept, is if the UK Parliamant passed a statute to be incorporated into English law, it must passed the test of reasonableness as codified in the Magna Carta and more recently the European Human Right conventions. This is an important safeguard against unjust law. For example, the Parliament can pass a law that allow for all first born baby to be killed. Should that kind of law be allowed to stand?

A pointed case in the Singapore context, the recent case of the four protestor shows clearly, how the Singapore Parliment pass laws that simply ride rough short over the Constitutional provision regarding free speech. A yet the Judiciary went along with it.

In England, for example, the Blair administration for example tried to introduce many anti-terrorist statute and several was struck down by Judges as contravening the European Human Right convention.

Even in the case of Scotland where they practice statute law, the Scottish judiciary do not willy-nilly incorporate any statute. Likewise in America, which is a mixed of common and statute law. In that case, you have the Supreme Court who will arbitrate.

So how can you claim that Singapore follows essentially the UK (English and Scottish) systems?

Raymond, A Singaporean exile in UK

Anonymous said...

'More than meets the eye'? Of course... this is the famed kangaroo courts of Singapore.

I am in contempt of court. Guilty as charged. And proud of it.

Anonymous said...

Mr Wang,

Thank you very much for your respond to my questions. I must come partially clean, in that I am currently sponsored by an economic Think Thank in the UK to study Singapore Legal system, particularly in the context of its treatment of small shareholder.

However, as I and my colleague, started out with a limited scope, we found that it was not possible, as many Singaporean believe that it was not possible to separate how the Singapore Judiciary deal with "commerical" and "non-commercial" cases. That's because the instinct of one carry over to the other.

Whilst I do not claim that my sponsors, some large corporations, represent the views of all corporations, it appears that many are privately concerned about whether they will get fair treatment even in commerical cases especially, when they come up against GLCs. So far, my study suggest that many MNCs don't compete with GLCs in Singapore. So no problem on that front.

However, one potential problem almost arosed when Temaske bought Micropolis, which posed competition problems for other disk drive makers. Given the rather mirky competition laws in Singapore, there was some concerns. Fortunately, the demise of micropolis did not raised any need for legal challenges.

Also, somewhat ironically, my study seemed to suggest that many MNCs seemed satisfied with Singapore Judiciary not because they are likely to deliver justice -- many of my sponsors' commercial lawyer privately don't believe that is the case -- but its inherent biasness towards big businesses. They worry only when the biasness works against them, such as when they fight -- I used the term loosely -- Singapore's Institutions in courts.

Finally, you might be wondering, why I was asking those questions I did. Well, one area of study, which I was conducting was to determine the attitude of the legal faternity -- i.e. Lawyers. In particular, whether lawyers identify more with the Judiciary or their client. I administered to several lawyers and legal student but I have not been too successful because I got only two other respond, from students. So I can't say they were representative. But the other two had similar respond to yours. Which seemed to suggest an instinct to protect the legal establishment than to serve client. By serve, I don't doing things blindly but whether there is an instinct to give the benefit of doubt to the client.

For my sponsors studying intrinsic -- not preceived -- attitude of local lawyers are helpful to know if it comes to the crunched, whether lawyers can be counted.

Apologies for anonymity. I need it to help me in my study.

Mr Lee, an ex-Singaporean

Mr Wang Says So said...

I don't really want to get too jurisprudential about the discussion of the roots of Singapore's legal system and whether it is common law or similar to UK or not. After all, some of my other readers are already saying that I am getting too legalistic.

Those who are really interested can google around and check it out. Wikipedia, as usual, is a good place to start, for the general investigator. Oh look at its very first sentence on the topic:

"The legal system of Singapore is based on the English common law system."

The rest is here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_Singapore

Others who are interested in the distinctions between common law, civil law, customary law and religious law can refer to this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_systems_of_the_world

... but I don't propose to spend any more time discussing this, since I don't really see what it has got to do with the topic of my post.

Mr Wang Says So said...

Mr Lee

I don't of course know very much about your study, but from what you say, I suspect it has some flaws in the approach. A few quick thoughts which I hope you may find useful.

"...we found that it was not possible, as many Singaporean believe that it was not possible to separate how the Singapore Judiciary deal with "commerical" and "non-commercial" cases. That's because the instinct of one carry over to the other."

Firstly I do not think that many Singaporeans believe such a thing. I do not even believe that many Singaporeans have considered that there is such a distinction. In fact it is not even a distinction which the establishment itself wishes to make. I do not think you will ever catch the Chief Justice saying:

"This year once again we are ranked the world's best legal system for commercial disputes. We did less well for non-commercial disputes."

One reason is that the studies that I know of do not themselves draw such a distinction. So you will only hear the establishment say:

"This year once again we are ranked the world's best legal system." Period.

The distinction is drawn ... ahem ... by me. My main point is that one of the best-known regular studies in this area is done by PERC, and PERC essentially is a business consultancy. In other words, PERC's study is geared for the needs of MNCs, businessmen, corporate business world etc. It is not geared for the needs of human rights organisations, civil rights groups, NGOs. PERC's study is built on methodology that examines factors which MNCs will consider, when deciding whether or not to set up shop / expand in Singapore.

Therefore when PERC says that Singapore's legal system is ranked No. 1, what it is really saying is that Singapore's legal system is ranked No. 1, from the point of view of corporates & commercial businesses.

---

So far, my study suggest that many MNCs don't compete with GLCs in Singapore. So no problem on that front."

I think here you must reexamine what exactly you wish to study. In fact, most commercial litigation matters are not between business competitors. McDonalds does not generally fight with Burger King because in fact they do not do business with each other - since there is minimal interaction, there is little possibility for disputes to occur.

Commercial litigation generally occurs between (1) service provider and client, or (2) business partners. Eg suppose IBM is to provide IT services to a GLC; a dispute may occur if IBM's fails, or if the GLC thinks that IBM has failed, to deliver the services that the GLC had contracted for.

Thus the potential for disputes arises not so much when MNCs compete with GLCs; but when MNCs do business with GLCs.

So you may be approaching your study from the wrong angle.

However, one potential problem almost arosed when Temaske bought Micropolis, which posed competition problems for other disk drive makers. Given the rather mirky competition laws in Singapore, there was some concerns. Fortunately, the demise of micropolis did not raised any need for legal challenges.

At that time, the competition laws in Singapore were not murky. They were simply non-existent.

In fact competition laws only came into existence in Singapore very recently, about one or two years ago.

Finally, you might be wondering, why I was asking those questions I did. Well, one area of study, which I was conducting was to determine the attitude of the legal faternity -- i.e. Lawyers. In particular, whether lawyers identify more with the Judiciary or their client. I administered to several lawyers and legal student but I have not been too successful because I got only two other respond, from students. So I can't say they were representative. But the other two had similar respond to yours. Which seemed to suggest an instinct to protect the legal establishment than to serve client. By serve, I don't doing things blindly but whether there is an instinct to give the benefit of doubt to the client.

Oh dear. I have a funny feeling that you did not get answers because the lawyers did not understand your questions. And that's because you are starting from an extremely distorted point.

Leaving Chee aside (who is literally one in about four million) -

people do not go to court because they want to attack or defend the legal establishment. People go to court because they have a dispute.

Eg I lend you money. You won't pay. I go to court and sue you.

I am concerned about getting my money back. You are concerned about how not to pay it back.

I am not concerned about attacking or defending the judge. You are not concerned about attacking or defending the judge.

Our respective lawyers are also not concerned about attacking or defending the judge.

Why should they be??

Anonymous said...

Maybe is time to bring back the jury system. Do people living in jury countries like the United States need to know all these fine grains of law to decide?

Obviously, Chee shouldn't be charged with speaking without permit. It is our right in the constitution to have freedom of speech.

Chee is not spreading any hate or racial speech, but targeted specifically at the PAP regime.

My guess is that in jury cases, they will find Chee not guilty as charged. Why? Because he is exercising his rights as a singapore citizen, been through national service.

Bring back the jury!

Anonymous said...

Also, you never explained why Chee was denied Queen Counsel repeatedly in many other cases? Why can't Chee have a fair trial?

What about his summary judgement in other cases? Why can't he be given fair trial?

Mr Wang Says So said...

Summary judgment - I already explained it before. Go read my comments under

http://commentarysingapore.blogspot.com/2006/09/just-another-day-in-singapore.html

Summary judgment proceedings are, like, one of the most common court processes in Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, England etc.

A young civil litigation lawyer starting out in practice will probably do at least 30 summary judgment hearings on his own before he ever does even one trial on his own. In fact, the first court session I ever attended was a summary judgment proceeding. They happen every day in court.

Only Chee would spin it as if it was really something amazing or unusual or unfair.

=========

As a general rule, lawyers qualified in Country X are not allowed to appear in the courts of Country Y. For example, I am qualified in Singapore, and therefore I can practise in Singapore courts, but I have no right to appear for any client in the courts of Malaysia or Australia or India or China.

Historically, countries like Malaysia, Singapore & India have close ties with the UK because of the colonial history. Legal systems of Malaysia, Singapore & India are all based on the English system.

When countries like Malaysia, Singapore & India gained their independence, they naturally had their own lawyers and generally UK lawyers were no longer allowed to appear in the courts of Malaysia/Singapore/India.

The problem is that many years ago, Malaysia, Singapore & India were very backward (compared to the UK). Think, say, 1965 or 1975 or even 1980. General education levels in these developing countries were low, economies were 3rd world, the local legal profession lacked depth and correspondingly there weren't many well-qualified lawyers as well.

Thus every now and then you would have very difficult legal cases and basically there wouldn't be any lawyers in Singapore / Malaysia / India etc who really had the technical expertise. Common example would be maritime cases involving ship collision & oil spills - you wouldn't get very far as a lawyer in such a case if you didn't know a lot of shipping terminology and maritime practices.

Thus as a special exception, even though nations generally do not allow foreign lawyers to appear in their courts, sometimes developing countries like Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong etc would allow, in specific cases, a Queen's Counsel from UK to represent a client in court. Queen's Counsel are the top lawyers and they tend to specialise in particular areas eg shipping, maritime law etc.

As years pass, and the standards of the formerly-poor countries improve, there is less and less need for Queen's Counsel from overseas. For example, there are now many good litigation lawyers in Singapore who specialise in the shipping industry. So if there was a shipping dispute in the Singapore courts and a client for some bizarre reason wanted to instruct Queen's Counsel from the UK, the court would reject the application as well.

That's simply because there are already plenty of good lawyers in Singapore who can handle shipping disputes.

Bear in mind the first principle - foreign lawyers are NOT allowed.

Note the exception - Queen's Counsel,

IF they have the expertise for that kind of case AND that kind of expertise isn't available in Singapore.

Nowadays, no one uses Queen's Counsel in Singapore anymore because basically there's been enough local legal expertise to cover approximately everything that's come up in our courts. Maybe if we had a Rocket Science dispute, the court would allow a client to use a Queen's Counsel.

Now if Chee applies to use Queen's Counsel for his court cases and the application is rejected, the basis is that his cases don't involve any legal area for which legal expertise is not available in Singapore.

For example, Chee's cases mainly involve:

- defamation

- speaking in public without a licence

etc. It's not Rocket Science.

Mr Wang Says So said...

"Maybe is time to bring back the jury system. Do people living in jury countries like the United States need to know all these fine grains of law to decide? ..."

What would happen in a jury trial is that after all the witnesses have testified, the judge would "crystallise the factual issues" and place them to the jury to decide.

If the present case was a jury case, the judge would eventually crystallise them roughly the same way as I have already crystallised them for you.

So let me crystallise again:

1. Did Chee make a public speech or did he not?

2. Did he have a licence to do it or did he not?

You be the jury, loh.

Anonymous said...

So mr wang you want to play judge and jury now? It is one thing for you to be personally biased against another person, in this case Dr Chee, but it is another to attempt to defend the indefensible with legal mumbo jumbo and cobweb. Good thing you left the public service loh!

Anonymous said...

Actually I felt that Mr Wang has been able to explain the law in very clear terms, even to me, a layman. Thank you, Mr Wang.

an observer said...

Cherian George's post (recommended by Mr Wang earlier) was a very good post.

I must say I didn't fully see some of Mr Wang's points earlier, but after reading Cherian's post, I start to understand much better a lot of things that Mr Wang is trying to say.

After reading Cherian's post, note that it is written many months ago, before this trial started. You can really start to see the recurring patterns in Chee's behaviour.

I am not a PAP supporter, and I do agree with some of the things which Chee says ... but frankly, he simply does not need our sympathy over his court "problems". He wants to have those kinds of "problems", it is just part of his overall plan.

Anonymous said...

It is fascinating how Mr wang can turn things around and make the persecutors and oppressors look like the victims here. Mr Wang you will have a bright future working for the 'nation-building' press. LOL

TKS said...

That last remark cannot help but remind me of Chee himself. Same approach, a lot of dramatics, insulting people and try to make the "opponent" look bad. Errr, unfortunately not much substance.

I think Mr Wang has been very polite, fair and reasonable so far. Not to mention very knowledgeable. If in fact Mr Wang is wrong about anything, I would like to see people rebut him in a polite, fair and reasonable way.

That way, we can all see and think for ourselves, and form our own opinions.

Anonymous said...

Mr Wang,

Again, from your responds it is clear that you have been avoiding the big picture about the Judicial system. Like I say, the purpose of the study is to guage the instinct of the legal fretanity in Singapore.

In your respond you keep alluding to why people or institution choose to take legal reccourse. The point of my study is not why company choose to take legal actions. But the point of the study is, for whatever, reason someone or some institution ends in court will there be able to get a fair treatment. In my case, my sponsors are concerned, for whatever, reason, they end up in court and against say any Government institution. In that case, will they get fair treatment. So far there are no evidence to suggest one way or another, as there have not been any seemingly contentious cases to draw from. Best guage are found cases such as FEER, Asiaweek, etc. And these don't suggest that to be shining example of judicial practices.

On the point about choosing CSJ case as a hypothetical scenario, that is the point. As you say, it is a 1 in 4 million scenario. So what if say my sponsor ends up in this 1 in 4 million, can they expect the Singapore legal fretanity to do their very best to protect them. By very best, they would expect lawyer to attack, if necessary, the Judiciary particularly if "natural justice" is transgressed. In the UK system, it is a adverserial system and, if as you claim that Singapore is based on English legal system they would expect no less.

On the point about the question on whether Singapore practice common law or not, it was designed to ascertain whether local lawyers really appreciate what is meant by English common law. One of the concern of my sponsor is that many Singapore lawyers like to claim that practices are similar to England but in reality, they don't seemed to appreciate the essence to what the English legal system is about. When they study it in depth, they realised that it has deviated so much that the only thing similar is their origin or some wiki site claim to be so. If so, why don't the legal fretanity just come clean that Singapore is different. No shame at that right? Oh no, they can't because they need it for marketing purposes.

One thing about Singapore lawyers is that they are, sad to say, very textbook oriented - they can recite as you say "jurisprudential". But many cannot or unable to distinguish forms from substance. So may be that's why they stick to technicality. Ok this is a generalisation but that is how my sponsors feel.

Mr Lee

Anonymous said...

Mr Wang, here is my take on some of your responds to the queries postes

1) In this exchange:

Question: If Dr Chee did the same thing, he would probably face new and trumped up charge(s).

Mr Wang's Answer: No, I don't think it would be legally possible.

My response: Come off it Mr Wang. In case you have forgotten, JBJ's "I hold in my hand..." was construed as throwing a molotov cocktail and deemed defamatory by the S'pore court and justice. Or take the article on NKF that earned Dr Chee another libel charge. So it is legally possible, precisely because the S'pore court is a kangaroo court in action when it comes to cases involving opposition politicans.

Mr Wang's answer: Ok, if it is possible, then tell me the offence. I can't think of any.


Yes, the police can easily charge CJS and gang for breach of peace, incitment, and lots more. If as Mr Wang claim Singapore practice English common law, there is a legal precedence. In the OM by the four protestor, a judgement was passed and I quote the judge's ruling (source Yawningbread):

"A persistent course of conduct for a sustained period of time can constitute harassment," he said, and the fact that the 4 protestors "did not assemble at the scene for a mere split second" made their actions harassment (para 124)!

Hey in that case, the prosecution/mata did not even have to plead or prove the case. The judge did it on their behalf. How cool is that!

2) In this respond, Mr Wang said:

In the first place, defamation isn't a criminal offence. The prosecution can't charge anyone with "defamation". Go trace through the earlier comments - about your original inquiry - and maybe now you'll understand what I said.

Hmm, Mr Wang, have you forgotten what legal instrument the previous CJ used to get his "broker" incarcerated? Let me see...could it be Criminal Defamation?

3) In this case, Mr Wang claim:

"I am just a very objective person, that is all."

Mr Wang than claim:

Now Chee is in court, and he is spinning hard as usual, and he is confusing people like you....

I've disliked Chee ever since he backstabbed Chiam See Tong in the mid-1990s and tried to usurp Chiam's position in the party that Chiam founded.


Mr Wang seemed to have forgotten that CSJ is a defendant in this case. In which case, can he not used any means possible to defend himself?

Also, the fact, as Mr Wang has admitted, is the DPP's faux pas that has allowed for CSJ to exploit. This Mr Wang is the reality of an adversarial system. Any good defence lawyer would have also done what CSJ has done.

Also, if he is so objective how can he claim that Chee backstabbed Chiam. The fact is that problem with SDP under Chiam occurred long before CSJ entered the scene. It was Chiam dictatorial attitude the cause the rift and the CEC to turn to CSJ. If you think, Mr Wang thinks I am bias he can colloborate the fact with Cherian George. So much for his vaunted objectivity.

4) Here Mr Wang says:

Chee isn't here to win. Chee isn't here to lose.

You have to try to see that this is more than just an ordinary court case.

Chee is here to get publicity. If he gets it, he doesn't care if he wins or loses.

He WANTS to get charged. He WANTS to be in court. It will be YET another episode he can highlight to the world.

If he was really concerned about being convicted or fined or sentenced, he simply WOULDN'T have spoken in public without a licence.


Hey Mr Wang, have you forgotten it is the mata that brought the case to court. CSJ could not have made it to court if the matas don't bring him to court.

AND SINCE WHEN does it require a licence to SPEAK in public? If that is the case, then I better apply for license tomorrow when I walk with my friend to work because I like to speak.

Also what is wrong with getting publicity? If in the process of getting publicity, it highlights the failing to the Judiciary, in this case DPP faux pas. Isn't it a good thing. At least next time the DPP will avoid making the same mistake and she should thank the CSJ for that.

5) A questioner asked:

1. The prosecution has video evidence of the offence of public speaking since the police video everything that so much as twitches
2. They can presumably show that no licence was granted
3. Case proven, guilty as charged, no?

Why the long drawn-out charade?


Mr Wang's response:

I told ya. It's spin. I don't know if you remember this traffic accident case a couple of years ago - the accused knocked down a family crossing the road. Should have been quite simple, right.

In the CSJ case, who is doing the spining? Is it the DPP, the court? If so, the court can spin but CSJ can't.

6) To this question:

Imagine, you became a court appointed lawyer for Dr Chee et al. How would you defend them, on this case, fearlessly? Let me borrow a catchphrase "can you handle the truth"?

Mr Wang response:

In a purely professional sense, and if he had breached the relevant provision of the relevant act, I would advise him to plead guilty. This is the professionally correct approach, as I have explained in another context (not involving Chee). An important reason is that people who plead guilty normally get a lighter sentence than people who claim trial and then get convicted - this is a sentencing principle.

Is it the job of the defence lawyer to determine breach of relevant act or the DPP?

When the question was put to you in the context of a defence lawyer, why is it the first thing that come to your mind is whether the defendant has breach provision. I would have thought as a defence lawyer, you would have firstly determine whether the DPP can prove the case or not.

Of course, unless you are implicitly admitting that the legal system is one where your are guilty proven innocence.

7) As a follow up to the point on (6) Mr Wang invited respondent to examine CSJ Criminal motion.

Mr Wang, the criminal motion was raised on the perception of, from CSJ -- I remind you is the Defendant with no legal background -- of potential miscarriage of justice. All he did was to apply for another party to come to a judgement and if necessary asked the president to act. Is it not the defendant's right to do so?

8) To this question:

Question 1: In the Singapore legal system, is the presumption of innocence its foundation? If so, should it not be the burden of the prosecution to prove the case, in this instance, to demonstrate that CSJ et al made a speech, not the other way round?

Mr Wang respond was a categorical:

Yes.

Yet in an earlier passage Mr Wang stated:

Chee's case is different because Chee is not really there, as I said, to prove his innocence. As I had said before, his basic motive is publicity. And as I said before, ultimately the issues are very clear:

- did he give a public speech or did he not?

- did he have a licence or did he not?


Mr Wang, what are you saying? In CSJ case he has to prove his innocence? Didn't you earlier as that in Singapore legal system one is innocence until proven guilty? Of course, maybe there is something in the legal statute that somehow when it comes to CSJ, the exception applies.

On the point about public speach. Mr Wang, tell me when does a spoken word become a speech?

My understanding is that the CSJ infraction occurred while he was selling his book. During which, I supposed he may have spoken out to solicit interest in his stall. Assuming that that was the case, does it constitute speech?

So if I set up a stall selling my book, say hypotechnically about Mr Wang's blog' and I make noise like "Come buy my book. I have very interesting to say about Mr Wang's blog" does that constitute speech?

If yes, than how come mata don't catch the Lady selling crystal in Bugis? I distinctly note that she was standing in a public place, sound was coming out of her mouth and some people also listened. Hey she was also using loudspeakers!

Or is there some statute that say whenever sounds comes out CSJ mouth, it is speech?

9) Mr Wang stated that:

People acting for themselves in court is an increasingly common phenomenon in the US actually.

Are you sure that is the case? Or are you Spinning?

10) Mr Wang stated that

For other poor folks, they get legal aid depending on some kind of means test administered by the Legal Aid Bureau (now headed by an ex-DPP).

Is being bankrupt the same thing as being poor? If yes, why wasn't CSJ offered legal aid? So if he got legal aid, local lawyer will offer to hel right?

11) I rest my case.

Mr Wang Says So said...

Well, I think you're deliberately trying to misunderstand me, so I shall not comment further.

Your very first point was very disappointing to me and shows your lack of sincerity.

Go and trace the comments and see how it originated - and NO, Chee cannot be charged for "for breach of peace, incitment, and lots more" if a defence witness had been in the courtroom before he had to testify.

speaker without permit said...

Yes Mr Wang, I am disappointed too, with you. Your personal dislike of Chee is hindering your logic and reasoning.

Mr Wang Says So said...

Told ya already. Mr Wang is just a very objective person.

If the law should be on Chee's or SDP's side in any given case, I would say so, for example, over here.

And I have even offered Chee's party some legal, lawful and useful suggestions, like over here.

If I thought that Chee or his associates actually had legal grounds to sue the police for anything, I would also say so, like over here - see 2nd last paragraph.

If however I thought that they had no legal grounds, then I would also say so - like over here.

In the past, the authorities have made a lot of fuss about Martyn See's film "Singapore Rebel" about Chee Soon Juan. I felt that this was wrong and I had criticised the authorities about it - over here - and I had also criticised the anti-Martyn See comments made by the Straits Times - over here.

If however Chee is just spinning and spinning and getting all dramatic about it, I would also point it out, like over here.

Someone suggested that I have some kind of blind, special allegiance to the courts. Haha. Examples of times when I have criticised judges - here. Then here is an example of where I criticised Yong Pung How's approach in one case, and then praised him when he decided to change his approach, months later, in a similar case.

I mainly operate by my own sense of what's right or wrong, and my own logical thinking. I'm not the kind of dumbass who would ever blindly support anything or anyone on everything - unlike some Chee supporters and some PAP supporters.

Anonymous said...

http://img299.imageshack.us/img299/5535/arguingew0.jpg

lee hsien tau said...

"Mr Wang Says So said...
Sigh.

In the first place, defamation isn't a criminal offence. The prosecution can't charge anyone with "defamation". Go trace through the earlier comments - about your original inquiry - and maybe now you'll understand what I said."


Let's just suppose defamation to be a criminal offense. And Mr Wang to be the DPP in charge of proving SPH guilty of alleging that a gold tap to have been installed and then removed from the toilet of Durai's office at NKF.

And somehow let's just suppose Davinder Singh to be the counsel defending Durai.

Would Mr Wang stick to his strait-jacket stance ie. was a gold tap installed and then removed or not, or would he allow himself to stray into asking things like peanuts, butter, or even spin, and would Davinder Singh raise objections?

What would have been disallowed by the judge as irrelevant?


Like I said back in September,

"It is LKY's legacy to strait-jacket everything, not just how the DPP and the kangaroo court thinks. Otherwise, civil cases should be subject to the same strait-jacketing.

Mr Wang, it's all in the mind. That's why I don't like you. You have been subject to the same brainwashing."


And about Chiam See Tong, Mr Wang should try to find out the real reason why he quit law practice. The guy couldn't be doing too badly in his sole-practice if he could afford two law clerks, and an office to himself. By comparison, M Ravi had to share with two other lawyers.

Mr Chiam is, by nature, very, very cautious. Did he do something which, in his opinion, could endanger some other things which he is also doing?

I now have talked face-to-face (don't ask me why, it's nothing about politics) with both Chee and Chiam, and despite the episode of the glucose drip hunger strike, I find Chee more forthwith than Chiam, which probably explains why the SDP CEC refused to sack Chee. If there was any alleged backstabbing, it's probably because Chiam found he couldn't control Chee. No point sifting through Court records because everybody knows there's a kangaroo in Lee's Court, and what the kangaroo is trained to think is what the Kangaroo records.

And there are no nay-sayer kangaroos in Lee's Court, to which Mr Wang would have felt quite at home, if not for that niggly feeling that, come one day, he could be asked to hang somebody.

Anonymous said...

"And about Chiam See Tong, Mr Wang should try to find out the real reason why he quit law practice."

Actually Mr Chiam retired at a much older age than most other lawyers do. When he quit practice, he was already in his late 60s.

Anonymous said...

Too easy to say: 'Actually Mr Chiam retired at a much older age than most other lawyers do. When he quit practice, he was already in his late 60s.'

If Mr Chiam were to suddenly kick the bucket: 'he was already in his late 60s.'

If Mr Chiam's eyes blinked more and he stutters more than usual: 'he was already in his late 60s.'

If Mr Chiam's dick went limp half-way: 'he was already in his late 60s.'

Hey, but Rod Steward can still do it no questions asked.

If given the chance, I've no doubt JBJ will resume his practise.

lee hsien tau said...

"So did you pay your conservancy charges or not?"


Anon, you must be insane to even ask that question.


My father used to own HDB at Nile Road (fuck place is now waiting for PAP to make more money).

Then he got harassed by HDB employees about shop space he shared with other partners.

So he used his share of shop space at Dunlop Street sold off to buy a walk-up in nearby Goldhill Mansions (opposite what used to be Benjamin Sheares private home, now a condo block; Goldhill Mansions itself torn down and becoming a condo block itself).

When it was still Goldhill Mansions, the place had private parking, grass area that is considered private property, 999 years that the garhmen cannot touch. The estate was managed by residents. The number of units could be slightly more than one HDB block. One cleaner does all the removal from rubbish chutes, clear leaves from the carpark, wash one time every month, clamp illegally parked cars. Management collects $1000 per year. Place painted every 5 years.

Town councils were set up by LKY to secure his tenure. Same with upgrading, lifts stopping on every floor etc. What the fuck am I required to pay about $360 - $400 a year to maintain? What people throw at my doorstep that I cannot control? So the whole block is paying how much for somebody to clear the 6 rubbish chutes and wash the block a month? So what is the $8 per month for the rubbish chutes for? There is no parking space for the cleaner to maintain? I've haven't been able to vote for the last 20 years, never mind having a say in how the estate is managed.

So this is a fucking 99 year lease, 3 room HDB flat. Because I'm not married, I got to pay $200,000 for the right to park my ass inside this shithole. And on top of this, I got to pay $360 a year to maintain my right to walk from the door to the lift and then downstairs?

And the garhmen's plan is for me to work my ass off paying off the mortgage, die inside, knock off the block, and rebuild and resell? No wonder LKY says he should be paid more than $100,000 a month. That's where his pay is coming from. The fucker is the Sherriff of Nottingham.

And then you just have to dig up from the library when the Town Council Act came into being. Was it the GRC system or the GST or the tax changes or HDB upgrading that accompanied the creation of this conservancy charge thing.

Now people realise it's a $36 a month to throw their rubbish outside the lift landing compared to $8 a month chucking it down the chute. Go figure why littering is on the rise. Litter also must pay. Don't litter also must pay. Might as well make the cleaner work for his pay. You think the cleaner gets a pay rise then? Fuck, the town council manager gets the pay rise. And the MP gets his $10,000 a month to mouth rubbish in parliament. Where the hell else do you think the garhmen get their money?

Now it's not that because you are paying $36 a month to maintain the area outside your pigeon hole, you are at liberty to draw whatever graffiti you want. You will be caned for it because the damned area technically still belong to the garhmen. You only leased the pigeon hole.

So now to answer your question. Rightly or wrongly, I've been about a year behind bars. With that kind of experience, who would choose to pay conservancy charges, that is, even if I have the money, which I don't.

My phone line was monitored by Singtel for whoever could make Singtel monitor me. For what purpose? I've never been to the Middle East. Don't visit mosque, church or temple. Don't belong to any political party. So the only reason to monitor me is for economic purposes. Not surprisingly I can't get a job.

So garhmen wants me dead. Visit my blog for the reason. Tekan me whatever way they can. Cannot pay conservancy charge? Use the Court to tekan me. Cannot pay fine? Go to jail for 3 days. The debt to the Town Council is cleared. Only I still cannot survive because they won't let me have a job.

If the lot of HDB owners were to know that 3 day jail means no need to pay monthly conservancy charges, Queenstown Remand would be jammed packed for the next 10 years. That's why even though I was told to show up at Court 14 at 2.00 pm, I was the last to leave. After hearing people being tekan by the judge for conservancy charge arrears for one hour, I decided to wait outside. It was a good decision because I was scheduled for last so the other poor idiots don't get bright ideas from me.

If I was a lawyer, with the kind of respect I showed the judge, I would have been struck off the rolls immediately. Ever tried telling the judge to shut her trap? I've done it.

Does that answer your question. This doesn't mean that I'm guilty as charged. Otherwise I won't be appealing. There's more than meets the eye. I've had it for 10 years. It all started with the walk up at Goldhill Mansions being sold, and then my old man's quick death followed.