30 July 2015
The Ministry of Social and Family Development, and People’s Association, replied to MARUAH’s letter to Straits Times forum.
Their reply below.
Disbursement of ComCare funds: MSF, PA reply
We thank Ms Braema Mathi, president of Maruah, for her letter (“Examination of PA’s structure needed to ensure accountability“; last Friday).
Read the rest of this entry »
24 July 2015
MARUAH wrote a letter to the Straits Times forum, regarding lapses found by the Auditor-General’s Office, specifically the errors and omissions in the disbursement of ComCare funds by some Citizens Consultative Committees (CCCs).
The letter can be found at the link below.
Examination of PA’s structure needed to ensure accountability
Maruah is disturbed by some of the findings in the Auditor-General’s Office (AGO) report, specifically on the People’s Association (“Auditor-General flags conflicts of interest”; July 16). Read the rest of this entry »
14 July 2015
For immediate use
13 July 2015
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in Parliament today (13 July 2015) that he has asked the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee to have smaller Group Representation Constituencies, and to have at least 12 Single Member Constituencies. This committee was formed two months ago. The Committee, Mr Lee said, is in the midst of deliberations and will make recommendations to the Prime Minister when it is ready.
MARUAH would like to raise its objections to this approach as advocated by the Prime Minister.
Read the rest of this entry »
6 July 2015
Date: 5th July 2015
Thank you for coming to this event. Thank you to Community Action Network (CAN) for organising this event.
My discussion will be in four parts: – I will share a story; I will then share views on us, as a society; then it will be on Amos Yee; before ending off on what the government may do. This is not an easy piece to speak on and there is an ongoing trial. I will try my best.
I would like to begin by first telling a story. It is a story of Mr Alan Turing. A very bright Londoner who spent most of his time at University of Manchester. He was a pioneering computer scientist, mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, philosopher, mathematical biologist, and marathon and ultra distance runner. I, shamefully, never heard of Turing till last year when I was on a Commonwealth Leader’s Programme and we visited the University. Turing was a genius. During World War II he decoded Nazi messages, helping the British to be one-step ahead in the War against the Nazis. His genius inspired many at the University. But he had one ‘flaw’ (as it was seen then) – he was a homosexual. When he was found out in 1952 the government ordered that he be injected with female estrogen, a move towards chemical castration. He turned into a bloated man, lost his athletic frame, and also descended into “grief and madness”. Before his 42nd birthday he killed himself by eating an apple he had dipped in cyanide.
Today the University has a sculpture in his honour and former Prime Minister Gordon Brown has apologised for the trauma and the torture that the government had inflicted on Mr Turing. I was very impressed that the government had realised the errors of its ways and apologised. A rare occurrence here, you might say. But I was also struck deeply by how this Mr Turing, a genius, a contributor to society, had to suffer, much, just because he was a homosexual; just because society saw homosexuality as demonic and made it, non-normal. I was struck by the story, the sculpture and the regret. Read the rest of this entry »
1 July 2015
MARUAH, a Human Rights Non-Governmental Organisation, objects to government leaders using the Defamation Law to institute defamation lawsuits against its critics, regardless of whether the offending statement is defamatory or not.
We make these remarks as the court assesses the damages that Mr Roy Ngerng has to pay for the remarks made against Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. In May 2014 Mr Ngerng, a blogger, was sued by Mr Lee Hsien Loong, whom we assume is acting in his private capacity and not as the Prime Minister. Mr Lee’s lawyers demanded that Mr Ngerng remove the article in question, issue an apology on his blog, and offer compensation to Mr Lee. Mr Ngerng acceded to all the demands, including removing four other articles, and made an offer of S$5,000 as compensation to Mr Lee. Mr Lee’s lawyers, however, dismissed the amount as ‘derisory’, and commenced legal action on 30 May 2014. In January 2015, Mr Ngerng was ordered by the court to pay $29,000 to Mr Lee. Today (1 July 2015) the courts will decide on the damages that Mr Ngerng has to pay to Mr Lee Hsien Loong. Read the rest of this entry »
23 June 2015
MARUAH has submitted 2 reports to the United Nations, as part of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process.
The 1st report, a joint submission involving several NGOs, highlights concerns and recommendations covering all areas, including political-security, economic, and socio-cultural domains.
The 2nd report, a MARUAH submission, focuses on electoral systems, death penalty, and preventive detention without trial.
The reports can be accessed below.
Singapore will undergo it’s 2nd UPR session in Jan/Feb 2016. More details on the UPR process can be found at the link below.
5 June 2015
During the recent Shangri La Dialogue, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong mentioned the Rohingya crisis and how it “…requires a response at the source, and not just at sea. It also requires countries to act decisively against the traffickers and put a stop to this organised racket.”
MARUAH agrees with Prime Minister Lee and urges our ASEAN nations to find a long-term solution to the displacement of the Rohingyas. This is especially urgent, in light of the recent discovery of mass graves in Malaysia and Thailand. This is in addition to the suffering we see on the boats at sea.
As mentioned earlier, the Rohingyas, according to many historical accounts, have been part of the Burmese landscape from as far back as the 15th Century. They are a part of ASEAN and cannot be evicted from the collective consciousness and community of ASEAN.
Myanmar/Burma cannot continue to deny their existence by making them stateless or by not wanting to discuss on matters related to the Rohingyas if the ‘R’ word is used. It is time for Myanmar/Burma to show compassion and respect for a people who have been in their midst for a long time. It is also time for ASEAN to act collectively and ask for measures from Myanmar/Burma and support the efforts of the country as it tries to resolve the Rohingya issue.
MARUAH believes one of the significant steps ASEAN states can take to protect the rights of the Rohingyas and other refugees is to sign the 1951 Refugee Convention, which says the rights of refugee have to be upheld “without discrimination as to race, religion or country of origin.”
At this junction in ASEAN’s growth as a community, it is imperative that we begin implementing long-term solutions to transnational problems.
We cannot allow the degradation of any ASEAN individual or group’s dignity.