23 October 2014
MARUAH is deeply concerned about the cancellation of approvals granted for the “Return our CPF” protest scheduled at Speakers’ Corner on 25th October 2014.
When Speakers’ Corner was first established in 2000, it was specifically designated as the one protected area in Singapore where speakers could speak freely (with the usual restrictions on race, religion and national security) without having to apply for a permit under the Public Entertainments Act (and its successor the Public Entertainments and Meetings Act). The reforms of 2008 further promoted free speech and civil society development in Singapore and were welcomed by all.
While the events of 27th September remain under investigation, we feel that it is highly inappropriate to cancel the approvals given for the 25th October “Return our CPF” event. Why should an ongoing police investigation about a past event be a reason for prospectively depriving an applicant of the right to hold future events? This move undermines the presumption of innocence which underpins the rule of law, and will have a chilling effect on free speech and democratic development in Singapore.
Any potential disturbances to other park users can surely be dealt with using appropriate scheduling of events. We therefore call on the Police and NParks to reconsider their decision and allow the event to proceed as scheduled.
10 October 2014
MARUAH held a press conference on 9 Oct to highlight 2 research papers, as part of its ongoing project, Defending the Legitimacy of Singapore Elections. This is the third in a series of media and public engagements that MARUAH has arranged, with the first two focusing on citizens’ confidence in the secrecy of the ballot and what it considers are areas for reform in the GRC system.
The first paper deals with the issue of electoral boundaries, mapping out the frequency of the changes made to electoral boundaries and the impact these changes have on the electorate. The second paper deals with the roles Mayors and the Community Development Councils (CDC) play in elections.
MARUAH EBRC Position Paper
MARUAH EBRC Annex 1 pdf
Maruah EBRC – Annex 2 pdf
MARUAH Electoral Boundary Delimitation Powerpoint Presentation
MARUAH Mayors Position Paper
MARUAH CDC Mayors PowerpointPresentation
22 September 2014
In June 2014, MARUAH submitted a position paper to the Inter-Agency Taskforce on Trafficking-in-Persons. We at MARUAH are pleased that the task of combating trafficking-in-persons in Singapore has gained momentum. A top-down mechanism in the form of an effectively enforced Anti-Trafficking Bill is a crucial step that cannot be foregone. We are also very happy that the Task-Force has held consultation with MP Christopher De Souza who is going to move a Bill in Parliament later this year. We would like to share our views, concerns and suggestions for the drafting of the Bill.
MARUAH’s Position Paper for Consideration to the Inter-agency Taskforce on Trafficking-in-Persons
15 September 2014
15 Sep is International Day of Democracy, as observed by the United Nations.
On this International Day of Democracy, it is prudent to take stock of the state of democracy in Singapore.
Since the last election, which was seen to be a watershed, there has been a proliferation of views from a wide range of people and groups. This is a heartening sign for the health of our democracy.
Many of these views are aired online. Needless to say, the internet is going to play a big part in shaping the issues to be contested in the next election.
Facebook, online news sites and blogs are all exceptional tools that have democratised information and people’s right to share their views.
MARUAH, a human rights organisation, is very encouraged by this level of democratisation, which has raised awareness on important social issues and highlighted the work done by many non-governmental organisations and concerned citizens. Read the rest of this entry »
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 »
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 »
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 »