I’ve been away and while I was in London tended to neglect Ethical Martini. Now I’m home, I hope to regain my standing in the Tumeke! league table. I’ve slipped out of the top 100 and I’m not happy!
There’s work to do.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) correspondent, Peter Lloyd, is now facing three additional and, as yet, unspecified charges following a brief court appearance in Singapore today [Friday 25 July]
Peter was arrested last week and charged with trafficking about a gram of methamphetamine (ice). According to media reports he looks worried, gaunt and like a “broken man”.
And who wouldn’t. Facing 20 years in a Singapore jail and up to 15 lashes with a heavy rattan cane, would make even the staunchest crack addict blanche.
What troubles me more though, is the way this case is being used to attack the ABC and dog whistle Australian racism.
The troublesome [to the Singapore government] Mr Gopalan Nair is in all sorts of trouble. He is not allowed to leave Singapore.
Neither is Australian journalist, Peter Lloyd
Mr Nair is a citizen of the United States, but he has been denied the return of his passport. His lawyer has withdrawn from the case and Mr Nair’s future is in limbo.
Bad news. Another day in court
Meanwhile, Peter Lloyd is facing drug importation charges, and he’s not going anywhere soon. In Singapore drug offences carry heavy penalties.
Unfortunately for Mr Nair and Mr Lloyd, “justice” in Singapore grinds along slowly.
Gopalan’s US passport is being kept from him and Peter Lloyd is in Changi prison with an eye infection. This is not good for either of them.
I wish both men the best of luck. If you’re not across these stories, backtrack:
Singapore blogger, lawyer and general pain in the ass of the Singapore government, Gopalan Nair was back in court Monday. He is now facing new charges and his bail conditions mean that he has to report to the police station every morning at 9am and can be held there all day.
His life is on hold, but there is virtual silence from the blogosphere. What’s happened to all of the hype about freedom of expression.
Turn your back until it’s your turn to be persecuted, then wonder why you’re alone.
Do not forget the case of Gopalan Nair. Singapore today, where next?
Good news, Chee Soon Juan and Chee Siok Chin were released from prison. Siok Chin came out on Saturday and Soon Juan yesterday (Sunday). The news was reported on the Singapore Democrats site. Which also features a longer piece by human rights lawyer, Chia Ti Lik.
Mr Chia’s post is a strong rebuttal of denigrating attacks on Chee Soon Juan in the government-controlled Singapore press.
The blogging critic of Singapore’s government, Gopalan Nair, was back in court yesterday (Thursday 12 June) facing a charge of insulting a public servant.
As a result of yesterday’s hearing, Mr Nair is now facing a second charge. The charges relate to emails sent by Nair to two Singapore judges, one of them in 2006.
Mr Nair held a press conference after his court appearance yesterday and said he would fight the charges. He’s back in court on Monday 16 June.
I’m keen to keep up with the Gopalan Nair case, so today I visited Chia Ti Lik’s blog. Ti Lik is Nair’s lawyer and so fairly close to the case.
The most recent post is one I’ve already linked to, dated 5th June. But I started to re-read it and realised that Nair is likely to face a sedition charge when he appears in court again on Thursday 12 June.
Singapore’s sedition law is a product of old colonial rule – as is so much of “law” in former colonies – and it had fallen into disuse until recently. It was used in 2005 against a small group of bloggers who were allegedly inciting racism against Malays. This was apparently the first time since the mid-60s.
The sedition law was originally used to prosecute alleged communists in the early post-war years. The Cold War was very useful then and it still is today.