Do not let innocent people be persecuted again
I am perplexed and put off by the joint statement from the election department and the police.
On the one hand, the statement said: “we observed what appeared to be deliberate and serious breaches of the rules under the Parliamentary Elections Act (PEA) during the 2016 Bukit Batok By-Election.”
On the other, the statement also said: “The Police are currently conducting their investigations.”
First of all, is there not a conflict of interest that the election department and the police is releasing a joint statement? By releasing a joint statement, is the police already agreeing with the election department that a crime has been committed?
Second, if the police is still “currently conducting their investigations”, then why did the joint statement say that there are “serious breaches of the rules” as if they have concluded their investigations and decided we are criminals?
Or has the police predetermined we are criminals even before the “investigations” are concluded?
When I was interrogated by the police on Tuesday, the police kept telling me that they are only investigating me because a report was made？
The police also said that it does not mean that a crime has been committed.
But by releasing this statement – and a joint one at that – does it mean that the police has already decided I am guilty of a crime even though they are supposed to be still “investigating”?
The statement also said: “Upon the completion of their investigations, the Police will address the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) with their recommendations。
If the police has to go to the AGC to recommend the charges before the AGC decides whether to charge us or not, by releasing such a statement and seemingly determining guilt, isn’t the police jumping the gun? Why not ask the AGC to be part of the joint statement?
Might as well right?
The statement also said: “In the various elections since GE2011 right up to GE2015, there have been some breaches of the Cooling-Off Day rules. The approach that has been taken has been to give warnings in respect of these breaches.”
So, why were warnings not given to Soh Lung and I? I understand that at least one person/entity was given a warning during this Bukit Batok by-election. If warnings were still given and clearly in vogue – which means the election department was looking out for breaches and sending out warnings, and if no warnings were sent to Soh Lung and I, doesn’t that mean the election department did not think that we committed a crime?
Or did they only decide that we committed a crime on hindsight? If so, then it is their fault, not ours, right? Or if their hindsight is because someone told them to report on us for political reasons, then clearly it is not right, isn’t it?
The joint statement also said: “In some of the cases, the breaches were found to be unintentional.”
As I understand, there were not even police reports that were made against Tin Pei Lin and Vivian Balakrishnan – both PAP politicians – when they had breached the rules – more clearly and evidently – in past elections (where Soh Lung and I had clearly not).
So if the election department can unilaterally decide that the breaches were “unintentional”, how did it do so? Did it speak to Ms Tin and Mr Balakrishnan?
But did the election department speak to Soh Lung and I to find out if whatever they falsely accuse of us doing is intentional or not, or give us a warning?
But instead, the election department – and the police presumably since this is a joint statement – decided that “deliberate and serious breaches” were made.
Why would the joint statement help give excuses to the PAP politicians to say that they made “unintentional” breaches but was so determined to impinge on us as having made “serious” breaches when it is clear and sundry to all that the PAP politicians have committed blatant crimes and we have not?
Has the PAP dared to protect itself by using our institutions with such blatant disregard or the disrepute that it will do to our institutions, and to Singapore?
It is so clearly political persecution, just simply because Soh Lung and I support the SDP and do not support the PAP.。
And the rules are clearly not applied fairly. The PAP politicians get off without even a police report. Soh Lung and I had our rights invaded and our belongings seized.
Does only the PAP have rights in this country?
If the PAP wants to attack the opposition and want to use us as proxies, then just say so. Stop hiding behind smokescreens and behave like wimps. Be honorable.
We are clearly individuals who made personal views and have operated on our own individual basis. If the PAP wants to accuse us of any conspiracy – as they had fabricated the charges in 1963 and 1987 – then learn to stand their own two feet and stop making use of others. Only cowards do that. We have nothing to hide and we did nothing wrong.
So why did the joint statement say that there are “deliberate and serious breaches of the rules under the Parliamentary Elections Act (PEA) during the 2016 Bukit Batok By-Election”? – and a joint statement with the police as well.
Again, I ask, isn’t the police supposed to still be “investigating”?
At no point in time did the police question me to ask if I had deliberately breached the PEA.
Soh Lung and I have always maintained that we were making personal views on a non-commercial basis. And this is allowed for, as an exception to the rules for Cooling-Off Day.
Why would we want to deliberate break a law? We are individuals making personal views, and our Facebook and my blog are non-commercial. So how did we break the law?
The police even went as far as to ask me whether I spoke at the rallies at the Bukit Batok by-election. I laughed when I heard that question. Surely everyone has the eyes to see that I did not speak and that I was not even part of the SDP?
It feels that the police was so desperate to find some way to incriminate me for a crime I never did.
Is this yet another case of an intentionally-badly worded law to be used to incriminate us in wide-ranging ways?
Surely a fair and just country which believes in the rule of law cannot certainly define a law so loosely as to blatantly abuse it?
You do not have to agree with me. But surely, you can see how unfair the law is and how a crime was not committed, and that Soh Lung and I have been framed by an unjust system?
I say on record here that there was no deliberate breach on my part, and I did not break the law. I was expressing personal views on a non-commercial basis, which is clearly allowed for under the law, unless the report against Soh Lung and I are political – which clearly is the case.
Again, why were we not warned beforehand? The joint statement said that the “approach (in the past) has been taken has been to give warnings”.
Then why were Soh Lung and I not warned (I am not aware that she was). If the concern is that
there were too many people to warn, then why were police reports made only against the two of us?
If it was only the two of us who supposedly “breach” the rules, which I (and I believe Soh Lung too) strenuously dispute because we did not break the law, then why did the election department not warn us?
Did the election department not think that we broke the law on Cooling-Off Day and therefore did not see the need to warn us?
Is making a police report against us only an afterthought, and therefore the report was made only 3 weeks after the by-election?
Or did the election department choose to keep quiet about what they ownself believe is a “breach” and were keeping quiet and waiting to make a police report against us instead?
Why did the election department and police release a joint statement to say that warnings were given in the past but not this time round? Did the election department and police both decide not to give warnings and go straight to determining a person is a criminal instead?
Did the police decide we have “breached” the rule even though they are still “investigating”? If they are still investigating and cannot ascertain yet if we have breached the law, is it right to release a joint statement?
This is akin to saying that Mary made a police report against John. And the police decided to release a statement with Mary to say that John did indeed commit a crime, when the police is still investigating if John did and do not actually know yet.
Then where does the police exactly stand on this?
What happened to the impartiality that the police told me when I told them the PAP (the ruling party in Singapore) makes use of them sometimes.
Or is there no intention to hide all this hypocrisy at all?
I am flabbergasted by how our institutions are so blatantly operating on the beck and call of the PAP.
The charge against Soh Lung and I is political. Let’s not pretend it is not.
There were thousands of people making political views on Cooling-Off Day.
But the election department – which is under the prime minister’s office – only decided to target the both of us. Why, I don’t know. Maybe we are easy targets. Maybe we are prominent.
Whatever it is, Soh Lung and I know we are innocent.
If they decide to charge me, there is nothing I can do because even as we know it is wrong for them to do that, they are so emboldened to think that no one else will stand up for us.
Maybe you will prove us wrong. Jolovan Wham is collecting signatures to sign a statement in support of Soh Lung and I. Maybe people will protest.
This time round, it is clear that Soh Lung and I are innocent and we are being unfairly persecuted. The unfairness in the law and persecutions have never been so blatant before in recent memory.
You do not have to agree with what we write. But we live in a country which supposedly believes in democratic society, based on justice and equality.
You might not agree with us, but you have to agree that such injustice cannot be allowed to pass. If we stand by and watch on the side and do nothing about it, the next time the law decides to be unfair, it will be our turn.
So this is serious. If we do not protect our liberties and allow it to be so flagrantly abused, then what law is there for us to talk about?
If the powers may be is not happy next time, they can just find a law to anyhow imprison us.
On worse still, they can one day decide they do not even need a law to do that. But it isn’t new, is it? Remember how they used the Internal Security Act to arrest hundreds of Singaporeans from the 1960s to 1980s and detained them without trial?
Soh Lung was part of that. She was detained on fabricated charges in 1987. In fact, she was detained for the longest time among those detained – for 2 1/2 years.
With the regression that is causing the rot in Singapore, I have been told by people that Singapore is becoming more oppressive.
Does Singapore want to go back to using the Internal Security Act to detain innocent Singaporeans for political reasons again? Or worse still, have they decided to widen the scope of existing laws to persecute innocent Singaporeans on fabricated charges to imprison them for political reasons?
The actions against Soh Lung and I are reprehensible and wrong. We are innocent.
If you want to protect the sanctity of the law and the sanity of our country, then do something about it. Do not let innocent people be persecuted again.
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