Press statement – Public protest against alleged abuse of power by our Prime Minister on 15th July 4 to 7pm Hong Lim Park
A public protest was mooted by a group of Singaporeans who are concerned with a string of public social media postings by the two younger siblings with regard to the domestic spat on the demolition of Lee Kuan Yew’s house at 38 Oxley Road.
There is the serious allegation on the abuse of power by our Prime Minister who has alarmingly used the full sway of Parliament to clear himself of any wrongdoing. Many also felt that the domestic spat should be settled outside of Parliament privately or in the court of law as our Parliament is a place for the discussion of national matters of importance and the demolition of a house seems to fall out of that domain even though it belongs to our former Prime Minister.
The PM’s insistence on not suing his siblings to clear his own name irked many Singaporeans who felt that there is a double standard here especially for the many who were sued earlier by the government for lesser charges.
Singaporeans are also particularly concerned on the lack of a proper constitutional check and balance system which will deter our politicians from abusing their power while in governance.
There is currently no upper house, senate, congress or any ombudsman within our political system and the people-voted President is also very silent on the whole matter even though he has the morale right to intervene on behalf of the people. As seen evidently by the 2-day ministerial setting, the government is trying to clear itself of any apparent wrongdoing and at the end of the hearing even declared itself innocent of any guilt.
The whole episode clearly reinforced what the two younger siblings have accused the brother PM – abuse of power and nepotism.
We will be pressing for a non-partisan special enquiry on our Prime Minister so Singaporeans can clear their doubts on the alleged abuse of power which carries serious consequences for the country if left unchecked – as that is how dictatorship will rise up unknowingly.
Moreover, how the government tried to prevent Presidential-candidate favourite Dr Tan Cheng Bock from standing for the next Presidential Election is also blatant and now all our history books have to change from having Ong Teng Cheong as the first elected President to Wee Kim Wee because our government is ruled by the court to have the power to change that part of our history.
In the media report (12 Jul), Law minister Shanmugam also troubled a lot of Singaporeans by saying that government can now change the constitution without the use of any referendum when he mentions about the injection of funds to assist the elderly poor. It’s the first direct encounter Singaporeans have of the blatant disregard for any constitutional check by our government and if we are not careful it’s a slow slippery road towards dictatorship.
The separation of power has to be very clear when it comes to constitutional issue and our government seems to have the upper hand nowadays on such matters disregarding the need to follow any rules and regulations so that they can have their own way.
Moving forward, we also felt that filing of defamation suit by politicians may not be the best way forward for the country as a whole as not only does it curtail the free expression of ideas and views plus it also cement the fear of being sued - deterring many from speaking out against policies and politicians who set the rules.
Transparency and the ability to defend oneself stoutly with facts and figures without the need to use the court of law must be our governance hallmark for the future.
More importantly, the current regime must think of a way to put in place a proper check and balance system so Singapore can rest assured that truly no one is above the law – not even the Prime Minister himself.
The list of speakers are:-
- Danny Ng – researcher – “What is fear?”
- Sivakumaran Chellappa – Private educator – “The future of our country should not be determined by Oxley”
- Jan Chan – recent graduate – “Need for government to respect and abide by the separation of powers in Singapore”
- Osman Sulaiman – business owner/activist – “A nation of sheep begets a government of wolves”
- Tan Kin Lian – Former Presidential candidate – “Abuse of power by our government”
- Dr Ang Yong Guan – Psychiatrist – “What else could PM have say in Parliament?”
- Leong Sze Hian – Blogger/President of MARUAH – “Secret committee and what it shows – so many secrets in Singapore”
- Lim Tean – Former Sec Gen of National Solidarity Party – “Wherever law ends – tyranny begins”
(Mr Kwan Yue Keng will be the MC for the event)
There will also be a press conference on site immediately after the event at about 7pm.