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作者:克莉丝玎.韩莉颖Kirsten Han

转载自:https://www.byline.com/column/23/article/1083

如何诠释冷静日条例?

夏后算账篇

kirsten

秉公处理

关于调查新加坡公民在选举冷静日期间被指在冷静日破坏选举条例——即在投票日的前一天和投票日当天严禁进行任何有关选举选出的活动。——好了。现在引伸出更加多的问题了!——谁可以或者谁不可以在投票日之前发表任何有关选举日的宣传文章

 谁可以在冷静日说话

 这是我在获悉选举局已经向警方投诉报案有关不同的新闻网站《新加坡独立网站》(The Independent Singapore)和个别人士张素兰和鄞玉林所提出的问题(question

选举局在向警方报案投诉,指控张素兰和鄞玉林在武吉巴督补选期间已经破坏了选举法令向项下有关投票日前不允许进行选举活动的条例

选举局的这项指控已经产生了一些混淆问题了:

假设这些条例目的是在于禁止政党、候选人及与其相关的组织在投票日的前一天和投票日当天进行宣传活动。那么,这两名被指控者并没有参加选举或者是如何政党的选举活动——为什么会被指控破坏有关徐选举条例

依据国会选举法令第78款B的约定,任何人不允许在投票日前一天和投票日当天“在任何选举站或者选民当进行蓄意发表,或故意引起或允许出版任何的选举宣传活动。”

但是,第78款B项下的(2)部分列明一部分豁免的情况,其中包括了:“个人使用电话、电子传播设备,不属于商业性质基础的情况下,与他人单独之间进行讨论自己的政治观点”

新加坡管理大学的法律系副教授杰克.李博士在2012年诠释有关第78款B项下的(2)部分的说明,可以被理解为

很不幸的,草拟这条例的建议,你只要允许与其他的个别人士交换个人的政治观点,或许是使用电子邮件或者手机短信息。假设你是使用传播媒体,诸如脸书网址或者 推特网站,这些第三者可以阅读到的(包括潜在的读者,如后港的支持者),这样一来,可以被理解成为不是“个人之间的传播”

假设您浏览选举局的网站,它显示的有关个人不受(禁止在投票日前和投票日当天进行选举活动的宣传的)豁免条款是与第78款B项下的(2)(E)部分的说明书有所不同的

第78款项下(2)部分

选举局的网站出现的豁免的字眼显然会引起不同的诠释。在提到:

一个人向另一个人时,看来似乎诠释为,一个人使用互联网、电话和电子设备可以向另一个人传播他或她的政治观点是超过一个人的含义。肯定的,作为脸书(Facebook)的帖子——传播个人的观点给一群使用互联网的个人——是否在这个豁免的诠释范围里面。

那么到底这条(国会选举法)法律真正的到底要说明什么

国会选举法了的修正法令补充了冷静日条款第一次是在2010年。这是律政部长三木根在有关本法令二读修正法令说了以下的说

“……替代了只允许个别人在互联网上传播自己的政治观点(在非商业性质的基础上)我们已经扩大了豁免个人向给别人士范围使用各种形式的传播工具,包括各种的电话、电子传播设备作为个人传达政治观点的工具。这是因为考虑到新型的个人传播工具的出现……”

大家看看三木根在国会的解释有关适用于过去投票日的选举选出活动——当时法律只允许“个人的政治观点在互联网上的传播(在非商业性质的基础的)”——已经能够适用于冷静日,同时扩大允许使用的电话或者袋子设备作为个人传播政治观点的工具。这是考虑到新型的通讯工具的出现,诸如短信息服务如WhatsApp

但是,假设(第78款B项下的(2)部分)特别部分的意义是在于扩大豁免范围,那么,为什么个人在互联网上传播自己的政治观点已经不再包括在法律的字眼里了

我不是一名律师,因此我尝试找出这个问题的答案,以便希望能够在这个问题方面获得更多的澄清。这不仅仅是在调查鄞玉林和张素兰案件的结果,与此同时,对新加坡人民也是极其的重要的。因为新加坡人民将会清楚理解在冷静日的条例下个人在网上与其他人分享自己的政治观点

缺乏正确诠释这项条例必然会造成反效果——将会造成大众对这项条例混乱的理解,将在未来引导到更多无意识下触犯这项条例。假设法律条文本身诠释不清晰的结果,是不是最终是指责人民触犯了条例

张素兰本身就是一名经过专业培训的前律师——她就是相信在冷静日条例之适用于政党、政党候选人和选举活动者,这项条例并适用于向这样的个别人士。所以她在警察署录取口供时,就是行使宪法赋予她在政治上自由表达自由的基本权利。

张素兰在这些帖子在网上时,她根本就没有思考过有关哪天或者哪个时候是否适合与否 的问题。因为,首先他就认为有关冷静日当天的条例并不适用于她。请大家阅读选举局网站刊载的有关豁免的说明!大家就可以理解为什么张素兰会得出这样的结 论。所以,张素兰触犯有关条例在哪儿呢

2016年5月29日,我第一次在雅虎网站提出这个问题!这是有关当局尚未展开调查之前。没有人(无论如何,我没有看到任何人)站出来回答我的问题。我恳切希望有人能够为我提供答案!在2016年6月1日星期三下午5.25分,我把上述问题电邮到选举局

——“以下关于个别人士豁免的条文:在不是商业性质的基础上,个别人士之间使用电话、电子设备进行交换政治看法”

但是,假设任何人在浏览选举局网站时,这个豁免的字眼是不同的:“个别人士之间在交换政治观点,在非商业基础上,使用互联网、电话后电子设备等”

文本的不同措辞将产生不同的诠释,我的问题是为什么会有不同的文字?这会不会给公众人士对法律产生误解

——那位向警方报案的选举局助理官员的名字是谁?为什么这个助理官员不愿意公开表露自己呢

——为什么他不在冷静日(当天或隔天)向警方报案,而是延迟到现在才报案呢

——在考虑到有关个别人士在有关的调理下获得豁免权的情况下,为什么选举局相信鄞玉林和张素兰已经造成涉嫌破坏冷静日条例呢

对于上述问题,至今我尚未收到任何的回应

 

How should one interpret the Cooling-Off Day rules?

Kirsten Han

https://www.byline.com/column/23/article/1083

The investigations into Singapore citizens for the alleged breach of Cooling-Off Day rules – where election advertising is banned on the eve of Polling Day as well as Polling Day itself – has prompted more questions over who can or can’t post the day before an election.

Who gets to speak on Cooling-Off Day?

That was a question I asked days after the news broke that the Elections Department had lodged police reports against alternative news website The Independent Singapore and individuals Teo Soh Lung and Roy Ngerng.

In filing the police report, the Elections Department was alleging that Teo and Ngerng had broken the law governing election advertising on the eve of the Bukit Batok by-election.

This accusation triggered some confusion: if the rules were targeted at election advertising from political parties, candidates and related organs, why were two individuals – not running the elections or campaigning for any party – being accused of breaking the law?

Section 78B of the Parliamentary Elections Act says that no person shall, on the eve of Polling Day and on Polling Day itself, “knowingly publish, or knowingly cause or permit to be published, any election advertising in or among any electors in the electoral division”.

However, subsection (2) of that section lists certain exemptions, including: “the telephonic or electronic transmission by an individual to another individual of the first-mentioned individual’s own political views, on a non-commercial basis”.

In 2012 Dr Jack Lee, an Assistant Professor of Law at the Singapore Management University, explained how subsection (2) could be interpreted:

“Unfortunately, the way the provision is drafted suggests that you are only permitted to communicate your personal political views to another individual, perhaps by e-mail or by SMS. If you use some medium such as Facebook or Twitter that allows your message to be read by third parties (including, potentially, Hougang voters), then it might be said that this is not a “transmission by an individual to another individual”.” 

Yet if one looks at the Election Department’s website, the wording of the exemption with regard to individuals is different from what is stated in subsection (2):

The wording of the exemption as listed on the Elections Department website appears to invite a different interpretation. By saying “individuals to other individuals”, it seems to say that one person could transmit his or her personal political views to more than one other person, using the Internet, telephone or electronic means. Surely a Facebook post – a transmission of personal views to a number of people using the Internet – would fall under this exemption then?

So what is the law actually trying to do?

The amendment to the Parliamentary Elections Act that introduced the Cooling-Off Day regulations were first tabled in 2010. This was what the Law Minister K Shanmugam said during the second reading of the amendment bill:

…instead of allowing only individual transmission of personal political views on the Internet (on a non-commercial basis), we have widened the exception to cover any form of telephonic or electronic transmission of personal political views by individuals to other individuals (on a non-commercial basis). This is to take into account new forms of individual personal communication.

Looking at his speech, Shanmugam had said this to explain that the exceptions to election advertising that previously applied to Polling Day – which allowed for the “individual transmission of personal political views on the Internet, on a non-commercial basis” – had been also applied to Cooling-Off Day, and extended to allow for telephonic or electronic transmission of personal political views, to take into consideration new methods of communication, perhaps like instant messaging services such as WhatsApp.

But if that particular subsection was meant to be a widening of the exception, then why is the transmission of personal political views on the Internet no longer included in the wording of the law?

I’m no lawyer, so I’ve been trying to find an answer to this question in the hopes of gaining more clarity on the issue. It would not only shed light on the investigations into Roy Ngerng and Teo Soh Lung, but would also be vital to Singaporeans’ understanding of the Cooling-Off Day regulations in relation to the sharing of their personal political views online.

The lack of answers would also have the opposite effect – more confusion among the populace over the rules, potentially leading to unintentional breaches in the future. If the law is unclear, could we really blame people for getting it wrong?

Teo Soh Lung – herself a trained and formerly practising lawyer – believed that the Cooling-Off Day rules only applied to political parties, candidates and their campaigns, and not to individuals like herself. She therefore told the investigating officers that she had simply been exercising her constitutional right to express her opinion on politics. She hadn’t thought about the day or the time when she posted on her Facebook page, as she didn’t think the laws applied to her in the first place. Looking at the exemption as written on the Elections Department website, one can see how she could have arrived at that conclusion. Was she wrong?

I had first raised this question in my Yahoo! Singapore blog post on 29 May 2016, even before the investigations began. No one (that I saw, anyway) came up with an answer. Hoping for some explanation, I sent the following questions to the Elections Department at 5:35pm on 1 June, Wednesday:

– The wording of the exemption of individuals in the statutes is this: “the telephonic or electronic transmission by an individual to another individual of the first-mentioned individual’s own political views, on a noncommercial basis”.

However, if one looks at the ELD’s website, the wording of the exemption is different: “the transmission of personal political views by individuals to other individuals, on a non-commercial basis, using the Internet, telephone or electronic means”.

The different wording of the text could suggest different interpretations. My question is: why is the wording different? Would it not give the public a mistaken understanding of the law?

– What is the name of the Assistant Returning Officer who had lodged the police report? Why was this person not identified?

– Why was the report lodged so late, rather than closer to the time of the by-election?

– Why does the ELD believe that individuals like Roy Ngerng and Teo Soh Lung have breached the law, considering the exemption in relation to individuals?

I have not yet received a response.

相关链接网址:

1.张素兰:《咱们的警察部队是干啥的? What is happening to our Police Force?》

https://renminglishiziliaoaku.wordpress.com/2016/05/31/

2.TOC:《鄞玉林和张素兰现在面对警方广泛的调查 Roy Ngerng Yiling and Teo Soh Lung are now being extensively investigated

https://renminglishiziliaoaku.wordpress.com/2016/06/01/

3. Function 8严厉谴责政府滥用权力对付个别公民及公民社会组织 Function 8 condemns use of gov’t powers against individual citizens and civil society groups

https://renminglishiziliaoaku.wordpress.com/2016/06/01/

  1. 朱正熙律师:我对警方的许多感到失望

https://renminglishiziliaoaku.wordpress.com/2016/06/01/

 

5.工人党就“冷静日调查事件”发表声明

 https://renminglishiziliaoaku.wordpress.com/2016/06/01/

 

  1. 民主党发表声明:要求平等对待冷静日

https://renminglishiziliaoaku.wordpress.com/2016/06/01/

7.鄞玉林:《民主就是集体强奸》

https://renminglishiziliaoaku.wordpress.com/2016/06/02/

8. 武吉巴督补选冷静日违例事件 警方充公涉案电子器材进行调查

http://www.channel8news.sg/news8/singapore/20160601-sg-cooling-off/2837302.html

9.新加坡社区行动网络发起联署声明;停止所有对张素兰和鄞玉林的调查行动

https://renminglishiziliaoaku.wordpress.com/2016/06/02/

  1. 视频录像网址:警方人员在搜查张素兰家https://www.facebook.com/jeannette.aruldoss/videos/10201742041470598/

11.陈华彪:心字头上一把刃

https://renminglishiziliaoaku.wordpress.com/2016/06/02/

12.张素兰:我是否能够期盼获得一个公平和独立的调查?

https://renminglishiziliaoaku.wordpress.com/2016/06/03/

13.张缓蓉:在“破坏”选举条例下,警方骚扰新加坡的社会活动积极分子

https://renminglishiziliaoaku.wordpress.com/2016/06/04/

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