Opposition politician continues to criticise Singapore’s judicial system


Reform Party’s chief, Mr Kenneth Jeyaretnam, has claimed in a Facebook post that M Ravi continues to speak the truth about Singapore’s judiciary. Mr Ravi, a non-practicing lawyer, was charged in Court on Saturday (12 Aug) with causing public nuisance and voluntarily causing hurt. He has since been remanded in the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) for two weeks for psychiatric observation.

Mr Ravi in responding to the judge’s decision to remand him at IMH said that the judge should recuse herself from the case because of possible bias. He said: “I would like to make an application to the court to disqualify yourself from this case because you do not have the security of tenure under the law… You are not independent as you can be transferred to the Attorney-General’s Chambers at any time.”

District judges and magistrates of the State Courts are appointed to their positions by the Legal Service Commission (LSC) on a term basis, and do not enjoy security of tenure. These judges can be transferred by the LSC from the courts to other government departments to serve as legal officers, and vice versa. Some have pointed out that this practice created a risk of executive interference.

Mr Jeyaretnam pointed out that a judge who acquitted his father in 1981 of fraud charges, District Judge Michael Khoo, was later transferred to the Attorney General’s Chambers to take up appointment as a deputy public prosecutor.

Despite his tragic illness Ravi continues to speak the truth about Singapore's compliant judiciary which is one reason…

Posted by Kenneth Jeyaretnam on Saturday, 12 August 2017

Mr Jeyaretnam’s father, Mr J.B. Jeyaretnam (JBJ) had then faced three charges of having fraudulently transferred cheques to prevent the distribution of money to the creditors of the Workers’ Party of Singapore, and one charge of making a false declaration.

In January 1981, Khoo acquitted JBJ and his co-defendant of all charges except a single charge of fraud involving a cheque for $400. He sentenced JBJ to a $1,000 fine, which was below the amount of $2,000 that would have caused him to lose his seat in Parliament.

Upon the Public Prosecutor’s appeal to the High Court, Chief Justice Wee Chong Jin ordered retrials on the two charges of cheque fraud that the defendants had been acquitted of. In August 1981, before the retrials, Khoo was transferred to the Attorney General’s Chambers to take up appointment as a deputy public prosecutor

The defendants were convicted of the charges by a different senior district judge and sentenced to three months’ imprisonment each. JBJ and his co-accused then appealed to the High Court, which confirmed their convictions but reduced the sentences to a fine of $5,000 each.

A commission of inquiry convened in 1986 to examine Khoo’s transfer determined that no evidence of executive interference in the State Courts had been presented, and that the transfer had been decided by the Chief Justice in consultation with the Attorney-General.

It did not investigate why the transfer was made. In Parliamentary debates before and after the inquiry it was suggested on the one hand that the transfer had been routine and the timing coincidental, and on the other that it was related to Khoo’s competence in handling the case. The reason for the transfer was never clearly established.

This is the second time in recent days that Mr Jeyaretnam has made such claims about the judiciary.

Soon after the AGC said it was applying for permission to prosecute Lee Kuan Yew’s grandson, Li Shengwu, Jeyaretnam dared Li to return to Singapore and let the AGC prosecute him. AGC took issue with Li’s Facebook post last month in which he alleged that the government was litigious and was stifling freedom of speech over the spat.

Mr Jeyaretnam said that despite making observations of the judicial system, which were similar to Li’s, he had not been prosecuted.

I have repeatedly called Singapore's judiciary pliant and not independent yet have not been prosecuted. Li Shengwu…

Posted by Kenneth Jeyaretnam on Saturday, 5 August 2017


    • No, Prabu. Mr Kenneth Jeyaretnam TeamRp is simply speaking The Truth. The government will SURELY deny it! But, it is still The True TRUTH! The filthy habit of using the courts is a FLAGITIOUS Abuse of Power. And, the more they sue the more they, the PAP, confirm that the court (state organ) is a political tool of the government! And, yes, implicitly or explicitly, the judiciary is beholden to the government.

  1. I respect and greatly appreciate Mr Kenneth Jeyaretnam TeamRp. Particularly, when he spoke for Amos Yee in the US court. For the record Amos was given asylum. He is still in the US immigration detention though. Hopefully, his release will be soon. GE 2020 will come sooner than we think! Just like when I wrote about GE 2015 in 2012. My point: Mr Kenneth Jeyaretnam TeamRp should start his campaigning. And, importantly, Rise above the misunderstanding or even bad blood with the Workers’ Party. The PAP is Public ENEMY No.1! It’ll be longwinded of me but it is essential to be MINDFUL for the Opposition that Disunity Is Political Death! PLEASE. United we stand. Tall and Proud. Divided we beg!

    • Daniel ,dont you think its rather a crude suggestion; KJ is precisely hopeless and his last words to the residence of AMK was” dont come to us again for help ,do you think he has the odesity to withdraw his words of what he said and also dont you think the party shld have stood up for his own candidate M Ravi when he was posecuted in court recently instead the party abondoned the man and left him on his own to settle his personal bills and also his integrity not knowing that he is still a party candidate for AMK GRC.

    • David Caleb : I like it that you asked the pertinent questions. Mr M.RAVI’s relationship with the Reform Party after GE 2015 is unknown to me. It looks like Mr M. Ravi went his own way after that and Mr K. Jeyaretnam had been rather quiet as well. So, the short answer is that I don’t know. As regards paying for Mr M.Ravi’s personal and legal bills there is only limited help that can be given as I don’t think that the Reform Party is cashed up. Another thing: Ken Jeyaretnam was fed-up with the GE 2015 result and he let it all out in a moment of deep frustration. I wouldn’t judge him harshly for that. However, I’m sure he’s mature enough to understand that he will have to be better than that win or lose should he contest GE 2020. Yes, I think that he will be an asset if he becomes an elected MP. And, again, NOT just for him but ALL Opposition parties should collaborate in a JOINT effort against the Party Against People (PAP). As the ruling party since 1959 they will be HARD to beat!

    • Koh Ronald : He’s a good person. So far I’m only a little concerned about his overly generous social welfare benefits which he spoke about previously. But, he will NOT be a minister if elected but a backbencher MP therefore no worry. My view is NO welfare for able bodied and working age persons, namely those below 65 years old. The government has the RESPONSIBILITY to put in the RIGHT Policies to promote job creation. Jobs should be available to anyone who wants to work! After 65, an Aged Pension is available. CONDITIONS apply. The rationale for this is that We Must NOT send our Treasury BROKE! A STRONG Economy and CASH Reserves are absolute essentials! And, NOT forgetting that there must be guarantees in regard to water and food availability. Amongst other imperatives as well.

  2. Those Singaporeans who blindly suppose the RP together with KJ are doomed to be a big failure ,I told KJ if he is unable to run a political party than why dont you show some support to the people in running a charitable organisation instead ,you dont stand in Politics which are you precisely hopeless but atleast KJ and the small support behind him would serve all these needy folks in Ang Mo Kio where the PAP has failed badly to fill up the gaps.

    • No, Gopi. It is when things are tough that the Opposition shouldn’t give up! In fact, the PAP today is a SELF-SERVING political party. Many people would have been hurt by their BAD policies. So, they may vote Opposition citing that there is NOTHING to lose! Don’t know. The voters will decide in GE 2020. I understand that you are at your wits’ end.

  3. Don’t ever think LKY is good. We, citizens of Singapore, the old Ministers all played a part.
    Now these Poo And Pees are ruining everything. Any “tom, jack or harry” can be granted PR. Just because the want to votes to stay in power.
    Nothing is forever. Nobody can escape from God.
    God give them sickness is enough for them to suffer.
    After that it is Hell.

    • Yes, John. It’s a little late. But, NOT too late! GE 2020 will NOT save us. Agree. However, if we can get one third of Opposition MPs then we can salvage some of the terrible damage done by the PAP. Besides, keeping them more honest because of the larger number of Opposition MPs. ‘One man party rule is unshakeable’ is NOT correct. Suharto and Marcos were dictators. Both were toppled in the unstoppable tsunami of the PEOPLE’S POWER! Singaporeans, are we inferior to the Indonesians and Filipinos??? Or are we dumb and so stupid that we will still kowtow to the Party Against People (PAP) who continues to lord over us and then humiliate us???

    • Sorry Daniel Indonesian n Filipinos will do anything for the country but we Singaporeans can only be keyboard warriors. The damage has already been done. The the part is the opposition can’t unite as one party. 2015 was the year I hoped miracle will happen but it was another disaster for us.

  4. Like his father it appears that Kenneth Jeyaretnam is a very brave man. The system does appear to be broken and I have questioned the role of the Watchmen and the conflict of interest of the Attorney General in the concerns which I raised with CPIB and CAD. People are not stupid and even those overseas look on in amazement at what is transpiring. The smoking mirrors no longer appear to be working.

  5. Kenneth
    I was from Anson n we know how true your father was. But many Chinese Sinkies refuse to support him because he was an Indian. They were in dreams n thought their dearest leader will give them prosperity infinitely. Of course we had genuine Chinese supporters like those in Kim Tian. In 1995 he raised about very high salaries n many laughed at him. Now they tongue is criticising. JBJ is a legend. I told him personally – dont destroy your life for this sinking minds. Now I am telling you, you care for yourself n leave this island. This bridge of bull shit wont be lasting long.

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