Monday, March 27, 2006

Video PODCAST Dr. CSJ Press Interview at Prison's Gate

7 minutes video clip

Testing video podcast with this 41MB video clip of MPEG1 standard. Pse feedback your download & playback conditions such as speed and time and from where you are trying, and what sort of broadband / Computer you are using. Email to UncleYap. Thanks n regards.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Dr Chee gave press interview after meeting family at gate of prison

Reporters were waiting outside gate of Queenstown Remand Prison as early as 9:15am.

After hugging his children, Dr. Chee gave a brief press interview.

Reporters were asking question about his imprisonment & the coming General Election.

These pictures are taken after those of Dr. Chee hugging his children.

Gate Queenstown Remand Prison

Interview 1

Interview 2

Interview 3

Dr Chee Soon Juan released from Prison

At 1000 hr sharp, Queenstown Remand Prison released Dr. Chee Soon Juan, received by dozon of press and dozon of family & friends & supporters.

Dr. Chee accepted a brief press interview, and went for a breakfast with family and friends before proceeding back to SDP office to catch up with the works.

He read books in prison and communicated with inmates understanding their hardship and problems faced. Those who find themselves in prison are not necessarily bad people. Many are there because of economic hardship such as being unable to pay fines and housing bills.

How would Dr. Chee get to know so much of Singaproeans' sufferings and injustice from SDP's office unless he went to prison himself? The 140th media will never report these.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Your Letters

[18 March 2006]

Dear Siok Chin and Mei,

Thank you so much for the inspiring message from Soon Juan. His fight for fundamental human rights will be recorded in the real and whole history of Singapore.

A Singaporean friend used to say to me, " When a butterfly flaps its wings in China, the waves are felt in Ohio (USA)".

It is our privilege to flap our wings for Singapore.

Warm regards,
Margaret John
Coordinator for Singapore and Malaysia
Amnesty International Canada

[21 March 2006]

Dear Siok Chin,

Please send warm greetings from the liberal group in the Swedish Parliament to your amazing brother and his wonderful family.

The Swedish Liberal Party has taken your brave brothers case to the UN. We will continue to push for his freedom and important political struggle.

Warmest regards,
Birgitta Ohlsson
Member of the Swedish Parliament

[21 March 2006]

Dear Mrs Chee,

I am glad that the petition has helped in any small way.

It might not ensure his release, but I think it will help in increasing awareness generally.

Keep fighting the good fight!

Diana Chua

[22 March 2006]

Dear Siok Chin,

Please note that the Liberal group in the European Parliament has acted on Soon Juan's case and hope for a swift liberation.

Cecilia Malmström
Member of European parliament

[22 March 2006]

Dear friend,

Please convey my warmest regards and respect to Chee Soon Juan and his family over what has happened to him.

The residents of Singapore must be persuaded of the reality that what "the system" has done to our dear friend ultimately reflects terribly on them.

If the government of Singapore intends to win respect in the democracy and rule of law countries of the world, its population must find a way to get Soon Juan back with his family immediately.

Please keep me up to date on the developments.

Warmest regards,
David Kilgour
Member of Parliament

p.s. I was speaking at the Oklahoma City School of Law today and will ensure that those who invited me are made aware of what has happened.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Statement from Canadian Lawyers' Rights Watch

Click for PDF file

In support for the injustice suffered by Dr. Chee Soon Juan under Lee Kuan Yew regime, Canada's Lawyers' Rights Watch released an official statement. See the PDF file at above URL.

LRWC's statement condamns Lee Kuan Yew Regime's repeatitive oppression against Singaporean feedom & democracy fighters.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Internet began Petition for Dr Chee

It is only 3 days left for Dr. Chee to serve sentence in prison. An online petition is found setup by supporters of internet.

I ask supporters to sign it even after Dr. Chee is released, just to pressurize the LKy famiLEE LEegime.

Please click URL above to sign.

Monday, March 20, 2006

M Ravi did Excellent Defense for Dr. Chee

Mr. M Ravi with the helps of Ms. Violet Netto & Mr. Joseph Chan (as atachee) did excellent legal defense for Dr Chee Soon Juan's contempt case in Singapore High Court on 16 & 17 Mar 2006.

Mr. Ravi's 2 PDF file of submission in Dr. Chee's defense are online at following URLs.

Very special thanks to all the 3 lawyers!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Thank You from behind bars

Dear friends,

During his family visit at the Queenstown Remand Prison on 18 Mar 2006, Dr Chee Soon Juan has asked Mrs Chee to convey this message to you:

"I am doing fine. My spirits are up and I have you to thank for this.
There are many individuals and organizations whom I would like to send
my personal thanks but am unable to do so from here and through this
very brief visit.

The Amnesty International, the ICJ, Human Rights First, SEAPPA are
among the many organizations that have lent their invaluable help.

I am grateful to the diplomatic community in Asia, Australia, Europe
and the US for all that they have done. It is precisely due to the
involvement of and attention from the international community that has
deterred the Singapore government from wielding its usual unbridled power.

The Singapore authorities are keenly aware that the world is watching
them and that it is due to this that they cannot continue to use such
oppressive and unjust measures to silence democracy advocates and
dissenting voices.

I also thank friends and supporters from Singapore and beyond. Thank
you for your thoughts, prayers, well-wishes and tireless efforts."

Chee Soon Juan

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Prison: Dr. Chee to be released Friday

Dr. Chee is scheduled to be released on Friday, March 24, at 10:00 am. Supporters and media will be informed to cover his release. Yellow ribbons will be won by supporters.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Submission To Court for Contempt

The following PDF file is the submission made to court on 16.Mar.2006


A Singapore Story -Diary of CSJ's family

[9 March 2006, Thursday]

My daughter An Lyn is a special child. She was born in March 1999 when her father was in jail for making a speech in public without a permit.

In 2002, when An Lyn was 3 years old, her Papa was in jail again for trying to hold a Labour Day rally in front of the Prime Minister’s office, without a permit.

When her Papa is not around this time, An Lyn will continue to go to school, practice her piano, and help Mommy to look after her littler sister and little brother. She will miss her Papa very much, so will E Lyn and Shaw Hur.

[10 March 2006, Friday]

Today, SJ was telling An Lyn and E Lyn that he will be away for a while, and they need to be good girls when he is not around.

An Lyn asked, ‘When are you coming back? Like, Saturday?’ SJ laughed, ‘I am afraid it will be longer than that.’ E. Lyn said, ‘Like, Monday?’

Their Papa said, ‘Oh, darlings, you are making this even more difficult for me…’

[11 March 2006, Saturday]

My mother-in-law is a simple woman. She does not have formal education. But she is also a strong woman, for the mere fact that she single-handedly raised her 4 children.

Today, SJ told his mother that he was ‘going to jail again’, and it would be ‘much longer’ this time.

Her immediate response was, ‘Why do you have to do this?’ Then, she asked, ‘How about your own kids?’

After we assured her repeatedly that whatever happens, we hope, will be the best arrangement for the long term. She said, ‘When I pray, I always tell God that “if this is what you want my son to do, please take good care of him”’.

‘He will be in God’s hands, because there is very little that I can do.’

[12 March 2006, Sunday]

The separation from our 3 young children is the hardest for SJ during his imprisonment, especially because he always makes a point to spend as much time as he can with them.

We both feel bad for our kids that things have to be this way. They don’t get to choose their parents, and they cannot understand this struggle. However, we need to go through all the ups and downs together as a family.

But, in a way, SJ is doing this for them, too.

When they grow up, when they are in their teens or maybe older, we hope, if Singapore has become more open and democratic, then SJ can proudly tell them that he has contributed to the process of democratization in this country.

[13 March 2006, Monday]

Why is CSJ doing this?

The local media like to use the word ‘stunt’ or ‘antics’. Cynics often ask what he has achieved by sitting in jail.

In fact, the temptation of not getting himself in all these ‘self-inflicted’ troubles is so great. It will be easier for him to remain silent over various issues that will not benefit him in the first place. SJ says that he really doesn’t know ‘whether it’s a curse or a blessing’.

When SJ is accused of being a publicity-seeker, he is actually bringing much needed public attention to the causes he is campaigning for. He is not campaigning for himself as an individual.

[14 March 2006, Tuesday]

Friends are concerned for our well-being.

At one point or another, they could not help but suggested, ‘how about paying up the fines, since you will have raised your point? We can certainly help raising the money.’

After reading SJ’s court submission, one senior lawyer friend said, ‘whatever you are doing is very important for Singapore. But, do you want to aggravate your situation and maybe get a more severe sentence?’

‘Your lawyer can argue from the point of procedures. You can just state that you stand by what you said, plead not-guilty, then sit down.’

We certainly understand what angle he is coming from. But again, why does SJ suddenly get cold feet at this juncture after all we had gone through over the years?

What’s more important, is it the fear that prevents SJ from telling the truth now?

[15 March 2006, Wednesday]

“In every era, there are always those who will struggle for freedom. These people play a difficult role, their paths are paved with pain and loneliness. Their own generation will not accept them. In fact, they will be rejected, bullied, humiliated, imprisoned and even killed.

These freedom fighters plod along a narrow path. But in the end, those who follow will widen the path into a broad avenue.

Freedom fighters may suffer physically, financially and even psychologically, but their courage and commitment will enhance human civilization and last forever. Freedom fighters don’t belong to today, but they will live on tomorrow.”

Shih Ming-teh (Former Taiwanese political prisoner), excerpt from CSJ’s book, ‘To Be Free: Storied from Asia’s Struggle against Oppression’ published by Monash Asia Institute in 1998.

SJ has written several books, I still think that ‘To Be Free’ is his finest work by far. It covers political situations beyond Singapore and dates back a few decades. Most importantly, he draws courage and inspirations from the people he wrote about in this book.

[16 March 2006, Thursday]

SJ told me that he broke down towards the end of his submission in the High Court today. And he is not sure how it would be portrayed in the local news. I asked him how that happened.

He said that at that moment, he just felt that he couldn’t continue anymore, so he asked the Judge that whether he could sit down for a few minutes. It was partly because he was physically tired, after staying up the whole night writing his submission.

After his defeat in the 1997 General Elections, SJ was captured in one less than complimentary photo spread on the front page of a local newspaper. He was obviously depressed and sad. It was the result of all the hard work he had done in the previous years, including walking around the MacPherson estate and visiting residents door to door every Thursday evening.

I think it is human nature to show emotions, especially about things you care very much. Those ardent football fans in the stadium or in front of the TV are good examples.

So that’s ok with me.

[17 March 2006, Friday]

The sentence was reserved yesterday. SJ had given his submission in court and we had a restful evening with the kids at home last night.

This morning, SJ kissed each of them before he left for the High Court. Having children is an extra emotional burden when you are in this political struggle, but we are also very grateful and feeling much blessed with them.

We are going to be all right.

‘If history is any guide, however, the keys to freedom and democracy will turn ever so slowly—sometimes indecently so. Without the few who are willing to lead their peoples, justice and freedom will always remain out of reach.’

— excerpt from CSJ’s book, ‘To Be Free: Stories from Asia’s Struggle against Oppression’

Message Recorded 1hr before attending court / jail


After the court heard for 1 full day yesterday, Dr. Chee recorded this podcast this morning just within the hour he had to leave for the court, and go behind bars.

This is his message to fellow fighter, party members, supporters and voters, at the time of recording, he had no idea of his sentence.

Listen to his message.

Transcript of Podcast:

Dear fellow Singaporeans,

By the time you hear this message I am already in prison. I am serving a sentence for criticizing the Singapore courts for its lack of independence.

You must be wondering why I made the statement knowing that such remarks will surely land one in trouble.

Let me start by quoting Winston Churchill who said: "The independence of the judiciary from the executive is the prime defence against tyranny."

Without an independent judiciary, the rights of the opposition cannot be protected and when the rights of the opposition are not protected, citizens are at the mercy of the ruling party. Without rights how can we have free and fair elections and without free and fair elections how can we address the bread and butter issues that affect our everyday lives?

Without rights how can we prevent the Government from withholding our CPF savings? How can we stop the ministers from lavishing themselves with million-dollar salaries while the people continue to see their incomes shrink? How can we demand that the Government reduce the price of HDB flats or make health care more affordable?

An independent judiciary is one of the pillars upon which a modern and civilized society develops. In Singapore, the judicial system has been subverted to such an extent that international organizations such as the International Commission of Jurists, Amnesty International, Lawyer's Rights Watch Canada, New York City Bar Association, the Privy Council of London, former judges, eminent lawyers and QCs, and legal scholars have all voiced their concerns about the judicial system in Singapore.

As you can see, these assessments are made by reputable organizations recognized by the international community for their integrity and independence. I have merely reiterated a viewpoint that the world has formed about the judicial system of our country.

Our situation reminds me of the story about the Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf. Building a society without an independent judiciary is like the little pigs building a house with straw and sticks. Things can look good and even work efficiently for a time, But when the wolf of despotism starts to huff and puff, a house built on haste and expediency will be blown away and disappear. But the house built with the careful laying of a strong foundation will remain steadfast and safe. An independent judiciary is the foundation that will anchor our society when ill-winds blow, as they have already started to. Let us be that little pig that took time and wisdom and sacrifice, even in the face of taunts and torment, to build a house on firm foundation, not feeble facades.

This is why I chose to talk about the dismal state of our judicial system. The first step towards curing a disorder is to first recognize that it exists. I want Singapore to not only be rich but also be honest and courageous. This is a country in which we bring up our children and I don't want mine to grow up living a national lie where they are made to recite the pledge "to build a democratic society based on justice and equality" when the exact opposite takes place.

Speaking the truth to power is never safe but keeping quiet in the face of tyranny is exponentially more dangerous.

If it takes my imprisonment to encourage the people to stand up for their rights and reclaim back our country, then my time behind bars will be worth every minute.

To my colleagues, friends, and supporters, take courage and let us continue our struggle to make Singapore free and strong. It is a struggle worth fighting for and a struggle in which we will ultimately prevail.

As I sit in prison, I ask for your prayers. But more importantly, I ask for your courage – courage to stand up for ourselves, our loved ones, and our nation. R emember courage grounded in truth is courage undefeatable.
Thank you and God bless.

Court Sentence: 1 + 7 Days imprisonment

AFP News Quote:

Click For AFP News

Click here for SDP's site article 1
Click here for SDP's site article 2
Click here for SDP's site article 3

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Blog Setup with family pictures

This is at least what I can help the family of Dr. Chee before the LKy famiLEE LEegime put him in prison, my technical support to setup a family diary blog. k.h.