Veteran Actress Neo Swee Lin, a guest speaker for the third SDP rally in the lead up to the Bukit Batok By Election, made a startling announcement during her emotionally-charged speech.
As an artist, I was so ashamed when I saw that my own Minister of Culture attacked Dr Chee Soon Juan personally. Then my own Prime Minister did the same. I want to share with you an open letter that we have written and sent to all the newspapers.
We want an election campaign that addresses the pertinent issues facing Singaporeans, rather than one that is marred primarily by the vilification of anyone's person.' The letter is signed about 30 people, friends from the Arts Scene, Academia, Civil Society Organizations, people who from all walks of life who simply want a fair election campaign. If you too would like the same, you can add your name to the online petition, that will be published shortly, too. In the spirit of World Press Freedom day a level playing field, I hope the papers will publish the letter for all to read and decide for themselves.
She revealed to the audience and the members of press present that she, along with a group of 30 people which included prominent Lawyers, Academics, Artists and members of Civil Society, have penned an open letter to decry 'gutter politics.' Former NMPs Siew Kum Hong and Braema Mathi, historian Dr PJ Thum, Director Glen Goei, actor Lim Kay Siu and former Law Society President, Peter Low, were some of the names among the signatories. The letter, in its entirety, was read out by Neo Swee Lin. She also announced that an online version of the petition would be made available for those who would like to express their support too.
TOC understands that a Malay version of the Letter was sent to Berita Harian's forum by poet, playwright and writer, Alfian Sa'at. Cultural Medallion Winner, and luminary in the Chinese Literary Scene, Yeng Pway Ngon, fronted the Chinese translation of the letter to Wanbao. Long-time Human Rights Advocate M Ravi also sent the Tamil translation of the letter to the Tamil Murasu.
The Open Letter can be read below.
"We are a group of Singaporeans who have been following the progress of the current Bukit Batok by-elections.
We would like to categorically state that we do not condone the personal attacks and character assassination made by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob, and Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu, against Dr Chee Soon Juan of the SDP.
We are deeply saddened at the manner in which the campaign is run, having deteriorated to a level that undermines our Singaporean values. It is indeed a sad state of affairs when people who have been entrusted with positions of power and leadership perpetuate such unbecoming behaviour.
We want an election campaign that addresses the pertinent issues facing Singaporeans, rather than one that is marred primarily by the vilification of anyone's person."
As of Tuesday evening, the following names were signatories to the letter
Fong Hoe Fang