Did Goplan Nair threaten Belinda Ang?

1 Jun

According to Channel News Asia, the Singapore police has recently arrested a former Singaporean for sending ‘insulting statements to a public servant’ to the Attorney General and the Solicitor General. The allegedly offensive statement has also been posted on his blog (Channel News Asia, 2008).

A quick search online in Singapore Statutes throw up one possible offense that the police might prosecute him under – The Penal Code, Chapter 10 – Contempts of the Lawful Authority of Public Servants – Section 189, ‘Threat of injury to a public servant’ which states that:

Whoever holds out any threat of injury to any public servant, or to any person in whom he believes that public servant to be interested, for the purpose of inducing that public servant to do any act, or to forbear or delay to do any act, connected with the exercise of the public functions of such public servant, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 2 years, or with fine, or with both (Singapore Statutes, n.d.).

In his latest post, ‘Singapore. Judge Belinda Ang’s Kangaroo Court’, Nair claims that the court has been misappropriated for political means (Nair 2008). However, any references to the judge, Belinda Ang, cannot be deemed as threatening to the public servant. For the purpose of a closer examination, we have reproduced any references to Belinda Ang which was found in his blog posting:

1. ‘your stooge of a judge, Belinda Ang’;
2. ‘The judge Belinda Ang was throughout prostituting herself during the entire proceedings, by being nothing more than an employee of Mr. Lee Kuan Yew and his son and carrying out their orders’;
3. ‘right out of the pages of Alice in Wonderland with Belinda Ang playing the role of the Queen of Hearts before the trial of the Mouse who stole the Tarts very well indeed’;
4. numerous references to her as the ‘kangaroo judge’;
5. ‘and the judge obediently sustained the objection’;
6. ‘ Of course the judge permitted these insults, since after all Lee Kuan Yew and his son owned the courts and the judge as well’;

While it is true that in his posting, he accuses the court and the judge of political persecution, sometimes using language that might be deemed as offensive, there was no hint or openly declared threat to cause any injury to the public servant. This is a clear distinction that one should keep in mind.

While it is true that he had openly declared his address, name and laid down a challenge for the Senior Minister to serve him with a writ of summons, there are still no plausible grounds for the arrests.

Given that the Singapore law society has recently announced its intentions to lobby for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to be incorporated into the law books, it should seek to represent Mr Nair if the police decides to press ahead with charges. There is no time to be lost given the authorities have said they will put him on trial by Monday.

===

Works Cited

‘Police arrest former Singaporean for insulting public servant’, Channel News Asia, 1 June, accessed 1 June 2008.

Singapore Statutes, Penal Code – Chapter X – Contempts Of The Lawful Authority of Public Servants, accessed 1 June 2008.

Nair G. 2008, ‘Singapore. Judge Belinda Ang’s Kangaroo Court’, Singapore Dissident blog, 29 May, accessed 1 June 2008
.

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7 Responses to “Did Goplan Nair threaten Belinda Ang?”

  1. Aidil Omar June 2, 2008 at 12:02 pm #

    Thank you for your in-depth analysis. It is very enlightening.

  2. Dead Poet June 2, 2008 at 12:21 pm #

    Please enlighten me, was not the challenge for the Lee’s to sue him as Mr Lee himself had declared that he will do so. Why is he being arrested instead of being sued. Can he be sued in Singapore for what he said. The press keeps mentioning threat but I really do not see any in his letters. Please explain if you will.

  3. Charles June 2, 2008 at 12:51 pm #

    As this blog posting has explained, there is no clear nor implied threat of injury to the judge. It does not seek to clarify the stance of the mainstream press nor from the police given that they have already done so. This post tries to explain where they might be coming from and why the above penal code does not hold. All this is rather academic given that the more important issue at hand is to give the accused proper representation. This is also why we suggest that the Law society steps in.

  4. Dead Poet June 2, 2008 at 3:02 pm #

    Thanks, Charles.

    There is a lot to learn about Singapore law and I am always intrigued buy its interpretations. When “inside” is not within 100 metres will always be the yard stick I guess.

  5. Molly June 2, 2008 at 4:01 pm #

    I guess he must have threatened to injure her good name.

  6. zark June 2, 2008 at 5:13 pm #

    He might be charged under Section 228 of the Penal Code as well.

    Intentional insult or interruption to a public servant sitting in any stage of a judicial proceeding.
    228. Whoever intentionally offers any insult or causes any interruption to any public servant, while such public servant is sitting in any stage of a judicial proceeding shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine which may extend to $5,000, or with both.

    Section 228 is an offence against public justice (together with the usual offences such as perjury etc.)

  7. Roger June 5, 2008 at 12:59 pm #

    Molly the Bitch has no good name to injure !She is just a PAP ass licking lap dog .

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