Statement in response to AGC Statement re Alex Au
December 10, 2013, 10:14 pm
Filed under: Singapore

Singapore, 10 December 2013

We refer to the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) statement dated 5 December 2013 which was made in response to our statement issued 29 November 2013.

We assure the AGC that the 170 persons who “purportedly” signed the statement did in fact do so.

It is regrettable that the AGC’s statement appears to predetermine that Mr Alex Au’s blog post did indeed scandalise the judiciary. Respectfully, we would like to point out that the AGC is not immune to errors of judgement. This is evidenced by Justice Belinda Ang’s decision to deny its application to bring action against Mr Au for another blog post dated 12 October 2013.

It is also regrettable that the AGC’s statement repeated an earlier instance where a blog post of Mr Au’s (18 June 2012) was deemed to have scandalised the court. This is not relevant to the current case.

The AGC states that the “Constitutional right to free speech and expression is not an absolute right, but subject to limits which are expressly provided for in the Constitution.” Our statement of 29 November 2013 was intended to query the extent of those limits vis-a-vis the AG’s intention to sue Mr Au.

We note again that the offense of scandalising the judiciary has become obsolete in the country of its origin and was repealed by the United Kingdom Parliament this year.

We reiterate the observation that the AGC’s action is not in keeping with the spirit of Singapore’s position at the 2011 UN Universal Periodic Review of Human Rights.

The AGC assures us that “[t]he hearing to determine whether the article is in contempt of court will be open to the public.” With respect, the assertion misses the point. The AGC’s decision to take action against Mr Au is counterproductive. It suggests that open and healthy debate about the judiciary is not allowed.

We repeat our call for the action against Mr Au to be abandoned. Further, we urge Parliament to reconsider the offense of scandalising the judiciary. It diminishes rather than encourages confidence in our legal system.

Signed:-

Abdul Salim Harun

Alfian Sa’at

Simeon Ang

K Z Arifa

Ariffin Sha

Dr Charan Bal

Jeremy Boo

Boo Junfeng

Sharmeen Nina Chabra

Qizhong Chang

Yan Chang

Rajiv Chaudhry

Chee Mun Leon Kenneth

Jeremy Chen

Vincent Cheng

Cheow Xin Yi

Leslie Chew

Tania Chew

Priscilla Chia

Roderick Chia

Joshua Chiang

Elvin Ching

Damien Chng

Stephanie Chok

Olivia Choong

Brendan Chong

Edward Chong

Jean Chong

Lawrence Chong

Chong Kai Xiong

Chong Wai Fung

Chua Chuen-Seah

Dominic Chua

Lyn Chua

Lucy Davis

Nicholas Deroose

Dr Saroja Dorairajoo

Farhan C Idris

Clara Feng

Fong Hoe Fang

Otto Fong

Foo Hui Shien Catherine

Koey Foo

Jeffrey George

Lukas Godfrey

Andre Goh

Dr James Gomez

Mohan Gopalan

Bob Graf

Johannes Hadi

Han Hui Hui

Kirsten Han

Ramlan Kamarudin

Gerald Heng

Ivan Heng

Ho Choon Hiong

Sam Ho

Vanessa Ho

Hoon Eng Khoo

Isrizal Mohamed Isa

Shawn Kathiravan

Sohni Kaur

Dennis Khew

Godwin Koay

Stuart Koe

Dan Koh

Ronald Koh

Kok Heng Leun

Ken Kwek

Dana Lam

Vincent Law

Basil Lee

David Lee

Lee Gwo Yinn

Howard Lee

Kevin Lee

Lynn Lee

Richard Lee

Lee Xian Jie

Philip Selwyn Lemos

Francis Leo

Leong Sze Hian

Leow Zi Xiang

Lisa Li

Liew Kai Khiun

Assoc Prof Lily Rahim

Chase Lim

Gary Lim

Lim Hoch Yong

Jeanne Lim

Jeramy Lim

Lim Jialiang

Lim Kay Siu

Lim Meng Suang Gary

Suchen Christine Lim

Andrew Loh

Loh Chee Leong

Andee Loo

Biddy Low

Braema Mathi

Marayd McElroy

Haron Mong

Ng Yi-Sheng

Jevon Ng

Roy Ngerng

Brian Nugawela

Azhar Sulaiman

Kay Omar

Ong En Hui

Linda Ong

Patrick Ong

Yanchun Ong

Stephan Ortmann

Osman Sulaiman

Pak Geok Choo

Seelan Palay

Vivian Pan

Engsien Pek

Ravi Philemon

Dr Noor Rahman

Francisco Raquiza

Max Revson

Mansura Sajahan

Martyn See

Frederique Soh

Prashant Somasundaram

Lily K Song

Eric Seow

Siew Kum Hong

Rev Miak Siew

K K Sin

Jeremy Sing

Constance Singam

Timothy Soh

Soo Teck Chong Jason

Dickson Su

Prof Paul Tambyah

Alaric Tan

Tan Elice

Jacqueline Tan

Tan Jing Dear

Joe Tan

John L Tan

Joyce Qiuyan Tan

Kenneth Tan

Luke Tan

Dr Netina Tan

Petrus Tan

Dr Roy Tan

Tan Ser En Daryl

Shawn Tan

Sylvia Tan

Dr Tan Tai Wei

Shawna Tang

Dr Tay Hu-Lin

Derrick Teh

Jennifer Teo

Jocelyn Teo

Kathy Teo

Teo Soh Lung

Prof Tey Tsun Hang

Tham Alex Ishibi

Callan Tham

Shelley Thio

Margaret Thomas

Ivan Thomasz

Dr Thum Pingtjin

Min-Wei Ting

Melissa Tsang

Vicnan KP

Caleb Wah

Vivian Wang

Lawrence Wee

Jolovan Wham

Dr Vincent Wijeysingha

Thaw Win

Brenton Wong

Wong Chee Meng

Dexter Wong

Melissa WS Wong

Raymond Wong

Dr Woon Tien Wei

Wong Tong Kwong

Benjamin Xue

Julius Yang

Rev Dr Yap Kim Hao

Yeo Yeu Yong

Yeo Khirn Hup

Richard Yip

Yuan Shuyi

Zaihan Kariyani

Rachel Zeng

Zeng Ziting

Zulkarnain Hassan

Leslie Low

Tricia Leong

Vina Siew

Sylvyn Lim

Yan Wai Chang

Arjun Naidu


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