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SDP concerned “about the continued harassment of activists and independent journalists in Singapore”

"As a citizen, Dr Thum was exercising his rights to comment on the political situation in Singapore,” said the SDP in a statement on Sep 22

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The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) took to social media after the questioning of New Naratif’s founder and managing director Dr Thum Ping Jin.

In a statement published on Tuesday (Sep 22), the SDP wrote: The SDP is concerned about the continued harassment of activists and independent journalists in Singapore, the latest being Dr Thum Ping Jin. As a citizen, Dr Thum was exercising his rights to comment on the political situation in Singapore”.

“The Elections Department (ELD) should not operate in a partisan manner. If it wants to cite breaches of election rules, there are numerous incidents regarding the PAP that the ELD should look into”, the party added.

Press ReleaseThe SDP is concerned about the continued harassment of activists and independent journalists in…

Posted by Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) on Tuesday, September 22, 2020

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Dr PJ Thum was called in because of a report lodged against New Naratif by the Elections Department (ELD).

“On Sept 18, the ELD released a press statement stating that the Assistant Returning Officer had filed a police report against New Naratif and alleged that New Naratif published ‘paid advertisements that amounted to the illegal conduct of election activity under s83(2) of the Parliamentary Elections Act (PEA) during the recent 2020 General Election,’” New Naratif explained in its website on Sept 19.

On Monday (Sept 21), Mr Thum uploaded a video of himself noting he was being questioned at the Clementi Police Station for the lodged police report. In a follow-up video, Mr Thum spoke of his experience and assured his followers that he was “okay and safe.”

“It wasn’t a good experience. It was four and a half hours of interrogation. They seized my phone. Then they escorted me back here to where I live, to take my laptop. It’s never a good feeling when the place that you live is invaded. It is definitely very disquieting. But fortunately, that’s all over now”, he added.

Dr PJ Thum reiterated that “this was an abuse of the law by the PMO and the ELD.” He condemned the “continued abuse of the law to intimidate and harass activists and independent media in Singapore.”

He also urged the incumbent party’s administration “to stop harassing independent media and critics of the government”. /TISG

New Naratif founder PJ Thum shares experience of “disquieting” police interrogation

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