MARUAH letter on situation in Thailand

15 June 2014

MARUAH recently wrote a letter to the Thai ambassador in Singapore, and also the Thai representative to the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission On Human Rights, regarding the current situation in Thailand.


6th June 2014

HE. Marut Jitpatima
Royal Thai Embassy Singapore

HE. Dr Seree Nonthasoot
Representative of Thailand to the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission On Human Rights (AICHR)

Respect For Human Rights And Democratic Values Is Paramount 

MARUAH, a human rights organisation in Singapore, expresses grave concerns over the manner in which human rights are being gradually but systematically eroded since the military takeover and also over the suspension of the Thai Constitution. The imposition of martial law allows the military sweeping powers to restrict human rights and fundamental freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution.  Read the rest of this entry »

Press Statement – Termination Of Services Of Mr Roy Ngerng

12 June 2014

MARUAH is concerned over the process and the reasons offered for terminating the services of Mr Roy Ngerng, a patient coordinator at the Communicable Diseases Centre at the Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH).

In TTSH’s Press Statement two reasons were cited for the termination. The first being that Mr Ngerng had used the hospital’s time and resources for personal interests and did not take heed of the warning letter given to him in May this year. The second reason was one of “conduct (that was) incompatible with the values and standards expected of employees”. While acknowledging that TTSH staff were free to pursue personal interests outside work, it was expected that “they must conduct themselves properly, honourably and with integrity” and “cannot defame someone else without basis, which essentially means knowingly stating a falsehood to the public.”

The Ministry of Health (MOH) also issued a Press Statement to support TTSH’s decision and to say that Mr Ngerng’s “actions show a lack of integrity and are incompatible with the values and standards of behaviour expected of hospital employees”. Read the rest of this entry »

World Day Against Child Labour

12 June 2014

World Day Against Child Labour was started by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in 2002 to draw attention to the need for political will to combat the scourge of child labour.

According to the ILO there are currently over 168 million child labourers all over the world. That is, globally an average of one in ten children is being exploited. They work in industries as diverse as agriculture, mining, manufacturing, construction, fishing, retail, transportation, food and beverage and even hospitality. The majority of child labourers are involved in hazardous work or work that poses a risk to their health and safety.

In Singapore we are fortunate enough to be in environment where children are not exposed to such exploitation. But as consumers we need to be cognizant that eliminating child labour must become a priority for each and every one of us. The Asia and Pacific region alone has the largest number of child labourers at 78 million or 9.3% of the total child population. Read the rest of this entry »

MARUAH calls for rebuttal of blogger Roy Ngerng’s statements on Singapore PM, not legal action

21 May 2014

For immediate use

21 May 2014

MARUAH is dismayed over the Prime Minister’s first step action of issuing a letter of demand to ‘Heart Truths’ blogger Mr Roy Ngerng, asking for an apology, a retraction of the blog post and compensation for damages and legal costs to the Prime Minister.

We are concerned that these actions on the part of the Prime Minister will further shrink the space for public discourse in Singapore. Robust debates, diverse views, critical inquiries, in addition to a healthy media landscape, are all critical to the development of a functional democracy. A healthy and engaged society calls for diverse, independent voices who will need the space to express their views and face sharp rebuttals if their views are found wanting or even false. These are the first steps to robust critical discourse: being transparent and open. Read the rest of this entry »

International Day Against Homophobia And Transphobia

17 May 2014

Human Rights Are For Everyone = No Matter Who You Are Or Whom You Love
Today marks International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, a worldwide celebration of sexual and gender diversity.

However, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and inter-sex people face discrimination at almost every stage, and in every facet of life, just for being who they are. Bullying in school, discrimination at work, stigmatisation and violence, are all very much realities for those in the LGBTQ community.

The law has been slow to grant protection to individuals on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and not enough amongst us, in society, are standing up to put an end to this discrimination. As a human rights organisation, MARUAH affirms the importance of recognising that human rights are universal and the need for anti-discrimination laws to safeguard the rights of at-risk communities.

Singapore remains at odds in its relationship with the LGBTQ community. Section 377A of the Penal Code which criminalises consensual gay sex continues to be in the books, yet every year the turnout at Pink Dot – the annual celebration of inclusivity, equality and freedom to love – gets bigger and bigger.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon raised a very important question in his statement in support of International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. He asked:-
“Do we want to live in a world where love is targeted or where it is celebrated; where people live in fear or in dignity?”

At MARUAH we say “Dignity for All” because dignity ensures the fulfillment of human rights for each and every one of us, regardless of race, language, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity.

As we spend today reflecting on the need for dignity and equality for all, let us also consider how our actions as individuals can improve the situation.

Join us in speaking out against homophobia and transphobia, take the next minute or so to watch and share this video on how we as individuals can empower our communities and effect change.

Video Link:

World Press Freedom Day – 3 May

3 May 2014

The 2014 theme for World Press Freedom Day is “Media Freedom for a Better Future”.

The focus this year is on three inter-related themes
– the media’s importance in development
– the safety of journalists and the rule of law
– sustainability and integrity of journalism Read the rest of this entry »

International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims

24 March 2014

“The right to truth is both individual and collective. Each victim has the right to know the truth and how violations affect them. Informing broader society about fundamental freedoms and how they have been violated is a vital safeguard against abuses recurring.”
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Today is the International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims, an important occasion where we honour the memory of victims of gross human rights violations, promote the importance of the right to truth and justice and remember those who have devoted their lives to promoting and protecting human rights for all.
Read the rest of this entry »

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

21 March 2014

A touchstone of any nation’s progress is surely the equal treatment of its different racial and ethnic groups. Today, 21st March; International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, is a day to remind ourselves of Singapore’s commitment to this goal.

The emphasis this year is on “The Role of Leaders in Combating Racism and Racial Discrimination” and it is a call to reflection and action by leaders in the government and civil society.

Our leaders have been proactive in managing race relations in Singapore and a lot of good has been done to develop mechanisms to prevent discrimination and to foster better inter-racial ties. The 2010 report of the UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance discussed the threats posed by racism and Singapore’s efforts at combating discrimination through laws, policies and institutions. We have for instance the Presidential Council for Minority Rights, a body whose main function is to ensure that the bills passed by Parliament do not discriminate against any racial or religious group. Read the rest of this entry »

International Women’s Day – Equality For Women Is Progress For All

8 March 2014

“Countries with more gender equality have better economic growth. Companies with more women leaders perform better. Peace agreements that include women are more durable. Parliaments with more women enact more legislation on key social issues such as health, education, anti-discrimination and child support. The evidence is clear: equality for women means progress for all” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate women, to take stock of the progress that has been made in equality, and to take the time to ask ourselves what more we can do.

The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day celebrations is “Equality For Women Is Progress For All” and it highlights the need for equality and the meaningful representation and participation of women in all aspects of society. It emphasizes how gender equality and the empowerment of women are essential to socio-economic development.

With the 2015 deadline for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) right around the corner, today is also a good opportunity to review the challenges and obstacles that we still face in implementing the MDGs for women and girls.

As we celebrate, MARUAH also asks that we as a society work towards closing the gender gap between men and women in the workplace and at home. We also hope that in 2014, choice becomes a key operative word in decisions on sexuality, decisions on sexual orientation, decisions on pregnancies and in making police reports on rapes. In all these situations, women and girls in particular, must be given the help, counselling and support that they need to make the choices that are right for them and their choices must be respected.

Let 2014 be a year of honouring and respecting women’s choices and of taking proactive steps to achieve equality for women and progress for all.

MARUAH’s Position On The Public Order (Additional Temporary Measures) Bill

14 February 2014

As a human rights group, MARUAH, makes this stand that this Public Order Bill ought not to be passed in Parliament. This Bill is not a useful instrument to secure public order in Little India or in Singapore. It is a Bill that goes against the grain of observing human rights and the dignity of the person, because of the wide-ranging powers that will be bestowed on the officers who will manage the surveillance on the ground. Read the rest of this entry »


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