Unhappy with public criticisms over the political persecution aimed to bankrupt WP MPs in a S$33 million lawsuit, Singapore’s 153rd-ranking state media published a warning saying that the government might be taking actions against Singaporeans who comment on the trial. In the state media report by TodayOnline yesterday (Oct 11), the government mouthpiece warned Singaporeans that commenting on the Workers’ Party persecution trial may amount to contempt of court, and its advice is not to comment.
The national newspaper quoted a local lawyer warning Singaporeans not to comment on the case or face sub judice charges:
“If there is doubt over whether a comment might be sub judice or not, the clearest advice is to desist from making any comments.”
Singaporeans charged with contempt of court face a 3 years’ jail sentence and a S$100,000 fine.
Quoting several other government-paid academics, the state media called for Singaporeans to “exercise restraint” over the unjust trial:
“Amid keen public interest in the ongoing high profile trial involving three Workers’ Party (WP) Members of Parliament (MPs), which has triggered partisan debate online due to the political dimension of the case, lawyers and legal experts have cautioned the public to exercise restraint when commenting on the trial. This is because there are, at times, grey areas as to whether a statement might be prejudicial in nature.”
Fear-mongering is a common technique employed by the dictatorship and its state media to stamp out criticisms. Each time it is unable to out-reason the public, the ruling party government has always threatened to take legal actions against anyone who disagrees with them. Earlier in September, Minister Lawrence Wong hinted that he will start suing Singaporeans who insist that HDB housing is not home ownership.
Civil discourse and public discussions in Singapore have always been stifled by the existing censorship regime, that has seen countless being sued into bankruptcy or jailed for saying things the dictatorship dislikes. Just earlier this week, two Singaporeans were found guilty for contempt of court, for comparing the judiciary of Malaysia and Singapore.
Commencing legal actions is the Attorney General, Lucien Wong, who was the former private lawyer of dictator Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. Through his manipulation of the puppet president, Lucien Wong was appointed as highly recommended by Lee Hsien Loong. The Attorney General has since taken a path of an executor, eliminating every single political enemy of Lee Hsien Loong – including even the Prime Minister’s nephew Li Shengwu. Li Shengwu, a Harvard professor, is forced to be exiled out of the country after he posted on Facebook pointing out that the Singapore court is pliant to the dictator. The Harvard professor, with his father Lee Hsien Yang and mother Lee Suet Fern, are all on self-exile and unable to return to Singapore, due to an earlier family argument over the last will of former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.