Workers' Party opposes the Administration of Justice (Protection) Bill

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The Workers’ Party (WP) opposed The Administration of Justice (Protection) Bill which was passed in parliament yesterday (15 Aug). WP believes that this bill is not only unnecessary, but that it also gives to the executive and the police powers that they currently do not have that would have a chilling effect on fair criticism and public discussion.

WP MPs argued in Parliament yesterday that if enacted, this law runs a very high risk of causing the unintended consequences of undermining the public’s trust in the Government in the long run.

The following are snippets of the argument the MPs from the opposition party made in not supporting the Bill.

NCMP Daniel Goh

Assoc Prof Goh denounced the Bill’s broad definition of “publish” to cover personal electronic communication and social messaging between friends. He cited an example of a young person who has died in an event following the acts of public officials, and asked whether a concerned member of the public or even the father of the child would be risking sub judice contempt if he questioned the authorities in good faith.
Read the full speech here: http://bit.ly/2b8ZTyz
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NCMP Dennis Tan

Mr Tan rebutted the point that the Bill is required to guard against prejudice or interference with pending court proceedings. He said that the fact that the proceedings are heard by professional judges has been portrayed as irrelevant. He further argued that we should have full confidence in our judges – and that in fact, this same confidence was what the earlier PAP government under Mr Lee Kuan Yew had sought to achieve when they did away with juries.

Read his full speech here:
unnamed (3)unnamed4unnamed6NCMP Leon Perera

Leon Perera brought up 2 changes resulting from this Bill: Firstly, the setting out of intimidating maximum penalties. Secondly, strengthening the executive government at the expense of the Courts in contempt proceedings and enabling the use of the Police to investigate contempt, which is not the case now.

Read his full speech here: http://bit.ly/2bykgbD

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MP for Aljunied GRC Sylvia Lim

Sylvia Lim slammed the Government for giving the Police more unnecessary work even though there has been much talk about the heavy workload and manpower shortages faced by the Police, in recent years. The Bill provides that the Police may now investigate potential offences relating to sub judice contempt.

Read her full speech here: http://bit.ly/2bd1xNA

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MP for Aljunied GRC Pritam Singh

Mr Singh took the Government to task on its record on civil liberties. An example he referred to was how the Protection from Harassment Bill was passed with justifiable reasons such as to protect individuals from abusive behaviour, but was later used by the Government to claim harassment from a member of the public in a dispute over a mere patent.

Read his full speech here: http://bit.ly/2bd2G7R
unnamed11unnamed13MP for Aljunied GRC Low Thia Khiang

工人党反对司法行政(维护)法案

基于现有的普通法已经足以确保司法行政得到有效维护,工人党一致反对司法行政(维护)法案的通过。
工人党认为没有通过法案的必要。该法案让政府的权力凌驾于司法之上,同时会对一般民众在对法庭审理中的案件提出合理、合法的意见时产生阻吓作用。
司法行政(维护)法一旦通过,会造成人民对政府的信任逐渐侵蚀。

我们较早已经公布工人党议员在国会辩论中的发言。以下是阿裕尼议员刘程强先生在国会辩论的演讲。

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