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Indranee Talks the Usual PAP Cock in Parliament About Not Needing Checks and Balances

In yesterday’s Parliamentary debate Leader of the House, Indranee Rajah, dismissed the idea that there was a problem with the AG, a political appointee, having the power to decide whom to prosecute or not. To quote state media CNA:

Leader of the House Indranee Rajah said that the attorney-general advises the Government on non-criminal matters while he decides on prosecution in criminal matters without interference.

“There’s no issue with the same person in both roles, because the system ensures that in his PP (public prosecutor) role, the AG acts independently,” Ms Indranee said.

Singaporeans needed no help to know where she is coming from. It is a familiar refrain made famous by Goh Chok Tong’s  infamous comment that it was not necessary to vote in more opposition members into Parliament to check on the People’s Action Party because “we (the PAP) are our own checks.”

How precisely does the system ensure that the AG acts independently? Was the AG acting independently when he pursued JBJ at LKY’s behest, and appealed a district court judgment that would have let him retain his Parliamentary seat, for something that the Privy Council said was not an offence and had him jailed and disbarred? In fact tried to have him disbarred as a lawyer so that he would be deprived of the means to earn a livelihood, something that the PAP, like other totalitarian states, have always sought to inflict on anyone who might come between them and their state-paid feeding troughs.

Or was the AG acting independently when Chan Sek Kheong declined to prosecute LHL, Goh Chok Tong and Tony Tan when they broke the Elections Act by entering the polling stations at Cheng San on the absurd and risible argument that they were not “within 50m of a polling station”?

Or when the AG turned a blind eye to clear evidence of corruption on the part of LKY and his son when they were able to get discounts on a property purchase (the Nassim Jade/ Hotel Properties scandal) that were not available to the general public? In fact all the members of the Lee family decided to help themselves at the expense of the shareholders.

Or when the AG ignored clear examples of racist hate speech by LKY against Malays and Indians, as well as similar hate speech by PAP MPs and grass-roots leaders while prosecuting critics of the Government and shutting down independent social media like The Real Singapore for sedition and “wounding religious feelings.”?

Or when the AG dusted down the archaic and repressive statute of criminal defamation to use against critics of the Government, thus using state funds corruptly to assist the PM and his Ministers and their relatives (including the PM’s wife, Ho Ching, whose remuneration from state coffers remains a closely guarded secret but has been alleged to be in excess of $100 million p.a. and is certainly tens of millions of dollars a year) to remain in office?

These are just a few examples of the many times the AG has abused his power. Before calls were made in Parliament for the AG’s prosecutorial role to be separated from his function as the Government’s legal adviser, I wrote a blog article calling for precisely this (Lucien Wong’s Controversial Past Points to Need for Reform of the AG’s Office).

Indranee went on with the usual PAP schtick about honesty and integrity:

“We believe in meritocracy as a member of the PAP,” “We believe in integrity, we believe in not having a corrupt system, we believe in access of justice. I’m not sure how this would affect his prosecutorial functions.”

What meritocracy when spouses and relatives of top PAP apparatchiks, from the PM’s wife downwards, MPs, former Ministers and senior civil servants get plum obscenely highly paid jobs in a bloated state sector which (and in Ho Ching’s case secret), with middling, even mediocre, qualifications, for no apparent reason other than who they are related to.

Far from having integrity the Government shows complete contempt for Singaporeans when they refuse to tell us Ho Ching’s salary and when the PM keeps his family assets secret. He needs to come clean on how much his mother earned from Lee and Lee’s stranglehold over HDB conveyancing work. When the Government refuses to reveal what the true figure is for the reserves and why it needs to put up taxes on middle income and poor Singaporeans.

How is the system not corrupt when state resources are used to shut down criticism of the PM and his Ministers by the use of archaic laws like criminal defamation, sedition and new repressive instruments like POFMA? All to ensure that the PM, his wife, relatives, Ministers and their spouses and assorted cronies and supporters can continue to enrich themselves out of state funds.

How is there access to justice when three decades later the Government refuses to reverse JBJ’s conviction? When people are still detained without trial for years and denied access to counsel? When the perception is that the police function as a private security force to protect the elites like Liew Mun Leong to fix up a poor domestic worker?

I could go on but by now, reader, you must be getting the picture. It must be difficult for Singaporeans to recognise the system they know and experience every day from Indranee’s glowing description of an earthly paradise where everyone is treated fairly and is equal before the law. Yet as long as Singaporeans continue to return the PAP to office with such an overwhelming majority the situation is not going to change. JBJ’s words that we need complete reform have never been more relevant than they are today.

 

 

 

2 Comments »

  1. Another [Indranee, who else?] cock-talker in our Parliament. One thing is definite: We need to kick out these PAPy cock-talkers; and we will have another chance in the next GE.

  2. KJ, You should be the AGC in parliament instead having all those clowns in parliament. Change is the necessity in Singapore Government, otherwise future Singaporeans will be in deep shit.

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