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Wikileaks and Singapore’s reputation

12 Dec

A series of Wikileaks cables obtained by the Sydney Morning Herald has shown that senior Singaporean officials have been sending confidential information to their U.S. counterparts on their dismissive impressions of neighbouring states.

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Expect protests for G20 Seoul summit

6 Nov

Expect protests and counter-repression tactics during the upcoming G20 Seoul summit happening between 11 and 12 November. According to the NGO coalition, Put People First! Korean People’s G20 Response Action, which consists of an alliance of student, trade unions and other civil society participants, 200 foreign activists have already been banned from entering Seoul during the intergovernmental meeting.

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A slice of history: SGX – ASX… Singtel – Optus

2 Nov

The recent kerfuffle over Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX) bid to take over the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) is not unsurprising. Continue reading

Relevance of Universal Periodic Review in Singapore’s case

31 Oct

In its report to the UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR), Singaporeans for Democracy (SFD), an NGO promoting local and regional democracy and human rights, focused on the city state’s electoral system, which it claims, is the root cause of all human rights abuses. While this is a commendable effort in drawing attention to the shortcomings of the electoral system and appears to coincide with upcoming general elections, its appraisals and recommendations may be of little relevance to the review due to the tenuous and indirect links between free and fair elections and human rights violations. It remains at best, speculative, that open and independent elections would naturally create conducive factors leading to human rights promotion. Moreover, the UPR is tasked to deal with specific human rights violations. As such, NGOs should have chosen to focus on these issues such as the death penalty. While Article 21 of the Universal Declaration of the Human Rights (UDHR) affirms the right of all peoples to representative government, this is not explicitly suggested by the SFD report. This article, divided into two parts, briefly describe the history, procedures, strengths and shortcomings of the UPR, before situating within the Singapore context.
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Time to question ISA detention (again)

9 Jul

The Singapore government has announced the detention of a 20 year old national service man, Muhammad Fadil bin Abdul Hamid, under the Internal Security Act (ISA) since April this year for expressing an intent to ‘fighting for militant jihad in the Palestinian territories, Iraq and Afghanistan’. Continue reading

International law in Yong Vui Kong’s case

19 Jun

According to the latest updates from Malaysiakini (reproduced in The Death Penalty in Singapore blog), the Malaysian High Commissioner is expected to visit Malaysian, Yong Vui Kong, who is currently on death row in Singapore. The latter’s Singaporean lawyer, M Ravi, had called for a press conference in Malaysia claiming that Vui Kong was denied clemency as a result of ‘flawed and illegal’ process. In particular, he was referring to two specific incidences. In the first place, the Singapore Law Minister had commented on Vui Kong’s execution prior to the Court of Appeal judgement. The Attorney- General also went on to state that clemency decisions lie with the Cabinet while the President ‘exercises the prerogative of mercy’

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21st anniversary of the Tiananmen Massacre

8 Jun

It has been more than 21 years since the Chinese Communist Party initiated the  June 4th crackdown leading to worldwide condemnation. Today, the Chinese government continues to impose a blanket silence on this incident.

In China, a newspaper has censored a cartoon image of the ‘tank man’ while a miniature ‘Goddess of Democracy’ was confiscated in a Hong Kong commemorative rally. According to a Guardian article, the Chinese government has also censored the online site, FourSquare which is a virtual mobile social networking game allowing individuals to ‘visit’ or leave messages on actual physical locations. Continue reading