Saturday, 27 August 2016

Dr Lee Wei Ling on new contempt of court Bill

Lee Wei Ling apologises for attacking Bill on contempt of court

2 hours after launching an attack on a Bill outlining contempt of court laws, Dr Lee Wei Ling apologised publicly, saying she had been wrong in her assumptions.

In a post on her FaceBook page earlier Sunday afternoon (Aug 14), Dr Lee, who is the sister of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, criticised the Bill, which makes contempt of court a criminal offence.

Under the Bill, disobeying court orders, publishing material that interferes with on-going proceedings, & making allegations of bias against judges constitute contempt of court.

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Lee Wei Ling FB - 13 August at 23:03

In Straits Times on 12/8/2016, it was reported that the contempt of court laws are set to be entered into the statutes.

Minister Shanmugam stated that:
  1. It gives the public a better sense of what action can unduly influence court proceedings, known as sub judice. Ironically, Sub Judice rules were set up for situation where there is laymen jury who may be naïve enough to be misled by rumours or lead by emotion rather than logic as in religious or racial issues. It was this weakness of having a jury swayed by ignorance or emotions that lead our founding PM Lee Kuan Yew, to do away with Juries in Singapore courts. If your judges are so vulnerable, then the cabinet is at fault for its choice of candidates proposed to be promoted to be judges.
  2. It provides a framework for contempt of court punishments. The maximum penalty is a fine up to $20,000 and/or jail term up to 12 months. This is very serious penalties for someone who may just want to speak out against an unfair judge and/or an unfair government. When I wrote in ST against the then penalty for Mr Tang Wee Sung, whilst I wrote out of my pity for Mr. Tang and the sense of how brutally unfair the penalty suggested by our Attorney General’s Chambers was, the letter published in Straits Time was worded with the help of Mr Shanmugam and his partner at Allen and Gledhill, Mr Lucian Wong. I would have written even if neither senior lawyers supported me, but the wording of my letter would have been very amateurish. Now being on the side of the government, Minister Shanmugam seems to see justice only from the point of view of the government and the AGC always being right.
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Lee Wei Ling clarifies that she did not retract entire post regarding new law on Contempt of Court

Dr Lee Wei Ling clarifies on her Facebook post that she did not retract the entirety of her comment regarding the proposed .Administration of Justice (Protection) Bill.

This is in response to Channel News Asia (CNA)'s report that seems to imply that Dr Lee had retracted her entire post posted on Sunday after she posted a subsequent post and apologised for causing any embarrassment that she may have caused to the Minister of Law and Home Affairs, K Shanmugam.

CNA in its report wrote:
  • "Two hours after launching an attack on a Bill outlining contempt of court laws, Dr Lee Wei Ling apologised publicly, saying she had been wrong in her assumptions....
  • ..."Thus I was wrong in my assumptions," wrote Dr Lee. "Everyone is entitled to criticise judgements, policies, as I did in the Tang Wee Sung matter.
  • "I am relieved by the clarification given by Mr Shanmugam, and I apologise for any embarrassment I may have caused to Mr Shanmugam."
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Dr Lee Wei Ling: Just like us and yet not like us

AFTER a long silence, the good doctor speaks. And when she does, everyone sits up and takes notice. Including the Financial Times. This is no online raconteur, she is the daughter of Singapore’s first Prime Minister and the sister of the current one.

It was for this reason that The Straits Times (ST) published her columns in its pages, which were later compiled into a book, A Hakka Woman‘s Singapore Stories. She would offer precious insights into the workings of Singapore’s first family, pandering to the curious and voyeuristic instincts in each one of us. And she would have a following, which will make up for the amount of editing that the ST admitted to having to do.

Dr Lee Wei Ling has always been a “character”. She is plain-speaking and sometimes wears her heart on her sleeve. Older readers will remember the fights she got into with yet another feisty fellow, Mr Philip Yeo, about the directions the biomedical industry was taking and how she levelled into the unethical practices of scientist Simon Shorvon. Readers will feel her pain on the death of her father.

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Dr Lee Wei Ling?
Dr Lee Wei Ling

Lee Kuan Yew’s daughter Dr Lee Wei Ling have been speaking up vocally against her brother Lee Hsien Loong and the current batch of PAP Ministers and the alternative media like yourself have been trumpeting her lines, heralding her as the new voice of the people.

May I caution you that Dr Lee Wei Ling is not to be trusted and you should not be too quick to put her on a soapbox. Remember a certain Amos Yee whom you supported so fervently and once he was out of jail, he turned his back on so many of our activists who fought for his release and spat on their goodwill and kindness.

She is after all the daughter of Lee Kuan Yew, the PAP leader who used harsh methods on anyone who went against him. LKY does not shy away from using draconian laws to get those dissenters in line, likewise his daughter must be cut from the same mould. She is confirm PAP at heart.

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Dr Lee Wei Ling slams the Contempt Bill; makes problematic claim about K Shanmugam and then apologises for getting it all wrong
Another popcorn melodrama from Dr Lee Wei Ling. We wonder how would K Shanmugam respond.

After staying out of the limelight after her debacle with Straits Times earlier this year, Dr Lee Wei Ling strikes back again.

This time round, Dr Lee took issue with the Contempt of Court Bill that is set to be legislated as law. In her most recent 616 words-long FB post, Dr Lee felt that the bill “will gag public debate on issues that are important to Singaporeans.”

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Current government is less frank and upfront with government

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Lee Wei Ling slam Lee Hsien Loong: Your PAP is not like the previous PAP

The elder daughter of deceased dictator Lee Kuan Yew, Lee Wei Ling, slam her Prime Minister brother Lee Hsien Loong for being an authoritarian dictator and that his government differs from the previous PAP.

Lee Wei Ling was taking issues with the newly-passed changes to the Contempt of Court charge, that increases the penalties for anyone who speak out against an unfair judgment. Under the new law, it will be an offence to speak out against the Singapore Court and judges.

Lee Wei Ling then complained about the state of apathy among Singaporeans. You may view the original post here.

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Lee Wei Ling: This current government is not like previous PAP governments

In Straits Times on 12/8/2016, it was reported that the contempt of court laws are set to be entered into the statutes. Minister Shanmugam stated that:

1) It gives the public a better sense of what action can unduly influence court proceedings, known as sub judice.

(Ironically, Sub Judice rules were set up for situation where there is laymen jury who may be naïve enough to be misled by rumours or lead by emotion rather than logic as in religious or racial issues. It was this weakness of having a jury swayed by ignorance or emotions that lead our founding PM Lee Kuan Yew, to do away with Juries in Singapore courts. If your judges are so vulnerable, then the cabinet is at fault for its choice of candidates proposed to be promoted to be judges.)

related: Why does Ho Ching have such a crude picture in her...

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DR LEE WEILING APOLOGISES BUT INSISTS NEW CONTEMPT LAW IS TO MUZZLE PUBLIC OPINION

I just read CNA. The report seems to imply that I retract my entire first post of today. I only retract the part related to the comment on Mr. Tang Wee Sung. Mr. Shanmugam has informed me that even after the new law has been passed, it is not illegal to criticize a judgement or the AGC after the judgement has been delivered.

Much of the proposed bill is ambiguous to a person not trained in legal matters. As per my current understanding, I stand by the rest of the statements I posted.

The bill which will be passed in parliament tomorrow gives the government the right to comment whilst denying that to people. This is inconsistent with equality before the law and is an attempt to muzzle public opinion.

related:
CALVIN CHENG: DR LEE IS UNREALISTIC - CONTEMPT LAW IS NECESSARY

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Lee Wei Ling takes aim at new contempt of court bill, apologises to law minister after he spoke to her to clarify, continues to take aim

Dr Lee Wei Ling earlier today (Aug 14) posted on her Facebook page regarding the impending bill on laws of contempt of court. The bill seeks to spell out what constitutes contempt of court and the punishments in relation to it — maximum penalty is a fine up to $20,000 and/or jail term up to 12 months.

One of the three instances of contempt of court is publishing material that interferes with on-going proceedings. This has raised concerns among some Singaporeans — 249 Singaporeans signed a petition, which was submitted to Parliament by NMP Kok Heng Leun, contending that this may restrict legitimate discussion of issues that are of public interest.

Lee’s issue with the bill - This too caught Lee’s attention and in her Facebook post she expressed concern that the punishments for contempt are “very serious penalties for someone who may just want to speak out against an unfair judge and/or an unfair government” and that “this bill will gag public debate on issues that are important to Singaporeans.”

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related:Family feud over how to mark LKY's death spills out online
Online squabble about "Hero-Worship" of the late Lee Kuan Yew
Social Media on the Late LKY’s children Online Squabble

Friday, 26 August 2016

Haze blankets Singapore again

THE HAZE SITUATION

A burning smell and slight haze were experienced over many areas in Singapore this morning. The haze is likely to have been blown in by westerly winds over Singapore. As at 11am today, the 24-hr PSI was 52-70, in the Moderate range, and the 1-hr PM2.5 was 47 – 181µg/m3, in Band I - III (Normal - High).

A total of three hotspots were detected in central Sumatra yesterday. The low hotspot count was due to cloudy conditions. Localised smoke plumes were visible from the hotspots. The latest satellite image this morning shows some hotspots are still observed in central Sumatra.

For the rest of today, the prevailing winds are fluctuating and are expected to blow from the west or southwest. Partly cloudy conditions are forecast over Singapore. The 1-hr PM2.5 concentration over the next 6-12 hours is expected to remain in Band III (High) and Band II (Elevated) ranges. Overall, the PSI reading over the next 12 hours is forecast to be in the high end of the Moderate range. An updated forecast will be given in the afternoon. 

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NEA in a press release issued at 11.50am

“A burning smell and slight haze were experienced over many areas in Singapore this morning. The haze is likely to have been blown in by westerly winds over Singapore. As at 11am today, the 24-hr PSI was 52-70, in the Moderate range, and the 1-hr PM2.5 was 47 – 181µg/m3, in Band I – III (Normal – High).

A total of three hotspots were detected in central Sumatra yesterday. The low hotspot count was due to cloudy conditions. Localised smoke plumes were visible from the hotspots. The latest satellite image this morning shows some hotspots are still observed in central Sumatra.

For the rest of today, the prevailing winds are fluctuating and are expected to blow from the west or southwest. Partly cloudy conditions are forecast over Singapore. The 1-hr PM2.5 concentration over the next 6-12 hours is expected to remain in Band III (High) and Band II (Elevated) ranges. Overall, the PSI reading over the next 12 hours is forecast to be in the high end of the Moderate range. An updated forecast will be given in the afternoon.

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Singapore air quality worsens overnight as Indonesia fire arrests jump

Southeast Asia is bracing itself for its annual, uncomfortable tryst with haze as raging fires at Indonesian plantations worsen pollution in the region.

On Friday, Singapore woke up to a deterioration in air quality overnight, as a thin cloak of haze hung over the city-state. The country's environment agency said that its 3-hour Pollution Standards Index hit the unhealthy level at 10am SIN.

Neighboring Malaysia had already been feeling the effects of the drifting smog since mid-August, local media reported.

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Singapore Daily:

Guess Who's Back?
 


More Hazy Days To Come
Haze: "A minister rises from the ashes"
Lessons from the Haze
Haze doesn’t change safety of Singapore’s water: V Balakrishnan
From Haze to Hail
Tackling the transboundary haze pollution
Fighting the Haze
How does haze hurt your body?
Sunny Side of the Singapore Haze
Haze in Singapore "hazardous" - all-time high

Haze in Singapore 'unhealthy' - worst in 16 years

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Changes to the Elected Presidency Scheme

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong delivers the National Day Rally 2016 speech at ITE College Central on Aug 21. ST FOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Spore's Constitution will soon be changed to ensure that ethnic minorities are elected as president from time to time.

Individuals who want to run for president will also have to meet stricter requirements.

Announcing the impending changes, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that the Government accepts in principle the recommendations of the High-Level panel to review the elected presidency.

related:
Need to ensure a minority president from time to time
Weight of President's job increased, so qualifying criteria require update
PM hopes Chinese community will support changes


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Changes to the Elected Presidency Scheme

In his National Day Rally speech, PM Lee said that multiracialism is our founding ideal, the reason for our independence, and the basis on which Singapore was built. In fact, the social harmony that Singapore enjoys today is the result of the Pioneer Generation, especially the strong commitment from the Chinese community which worked together with the government to build the foundations of a multi-racial and harmonious society. Everyone has worked hard together to strengthen multiracialism, while ensuring that each group can preserve its own culture and identity.

PM Lee noted that everyone instinctively understands the importance of multiracialism, and the need to be inclusive and to compromise so as to maintain our social harmony. This includes being accommodating in our cultural and religious practices, as well as in accommodating one another’s food preferences.

PM Lee said that there are other ways to realise the ideal of multiracialism. This includes strengthening our political system so that everyone can identify themselves with Singapore, and for all races to feel that the system is fair.

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Constitutional Commission completes review of Elected Presidency

The Constitutional Commission that was tasked to review the system by which Singapore's President is elected announced on Wed (Aug 17) that they have completed their work & have submitted their report to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

"The Commission wishes to thank all contributors for the thought & care put into their submissions and representations. The diversity of views expressed greatly benefited the Commission in its work," the Secretariat of the Constitutional Commission said.

In a separate press release, the Prime Minister's Office said Mr Lee has received the report. He also thanked the Commission's Chairman, Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon, & other members for the deliberation and care with which they have carried out their tasks.

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First hearing today on changes to elected presidency

The hearings on proposed changes to the elected presidency will start today, with at least four academics and a researcher set to speak on the matter.

They are Singapore Management University law dons Eugene Tan and Jack Lee, Institute of Policy Studies senior research fellow Mathew Mathews, academic Loke Hoe Yeong from the European Union Centre in Singapore, and human rights researcher Brian Chang.

The five are among 19 individuals and groups who will give their views at four hearings on the elected presidency, instituted in 1991.

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Full Coverage:
Why changed the constitution everytime it suffers electoral defeats?
Submission to the Constitutional Commission on Elected Presidency
NDR 2016: PM Lee says changes to Elected Presidency needed to
Maruah rejects changes to Elected President rules | TODAYonline
Changes to elected presidency soon

Final public hearing on changes to Elected Presidency yields diverse
The Elected Presidency: 3 aspects under review - Channel NewsAsia
PM calls on Chinese community to support proposed EP changes
Powers of the President of Singapore - Wikipedia
Differences between Government and first directly elected President
Netizens call out move to debar Dr Tan Cheng Bock from Presidential
PM calls on Chinese community to support proposed EP changes
6 things to know about Singapore's Elected Presidency, Politics News
The Elected Presidency: 3 aspects under review - Channel NewsAsia
The roles and reality of Singapore's Elected Presidency - NUS News
New Elected Presidency for Singapore: Is an update or rethink really
'Why I can and should be Singapore's next President' - The Middle
Submission to Constitutional Commission – Elected Presidency
Lee Hsien Loong to change criteria for Presidential Election | States
The race to the 2017 Presidential Election has started, you just haven't
Let's talk about policy failures and the elected presidency
Elected Presidency and proposed changes | The New Paper
Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong for ensuring minority representation
Singapore's Elected Presidency. Is there a need to change the system
Tweaking the Singapore Presidential Election System - IPS Commons
The Straits Times - Need to ensure a minority president from
Ensuring minority representation in EP delicate problem that must
Leadership succession takes on fresh urgency as big challenges loom
NDR 2016: PM Lee hopes Chinese community can support changes
Mixed-race teams for presidential contest most plausible approach
Why Singapore needs a minority president from time to time
Panel submits report on elected presidency
PM hopes Chinese community will support changes
Commentary: The roles and reality of Spore's Elected Presidency
Standing together to face down challenges
NDR 2016: Pressing for a minority president
Race issue on Elected President: A convenient excuse to head off
Majority willing to accept president or PM of another race, but prefer
PM Lee Hsien Loong announces changes: 6 things to know about
PM Lee Hsien Loong moots changes to GRC, NCMP, Elected
SDP: Reform, not adjust, the election system
The Straits Times - Changes to political system to prepare
A closer look at NCMP, Elected Presidency reforms
Updated benchmarks needed for future presidential candidates: PM

Why The President Had To Be A Malay Always
Elected President – What is the truth?
The Divine Curse and Radical Change
Animal Farm: What if the pigs were public-spirited?


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