Meeting with US State department on Civil Society in ASEAN

5 March 2016

On 10-12th February, 10 representatives met US State officials, think tank representations and NGOs to discuss Civil Society in ASEAN. This was part of the efforts of the US State Department and the National Democratic Institute. Us President Barack Obama was meeting ASEAN leaders in the Sunnyland meeting and was also keen to discuss the role of civil society in ASEAN.

MARUAH was represented by Ms Braema Mathi and here she is with member of the State Department and in a special session with Ambassador Susan Rice.

National Security Advisor Susan Rice with ASEAN human rights activist in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Feb. 11, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

National Security Advisor Susan Rice with ASEAN human rights activist in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Feb. 11, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

Event report – Post-Elections forum – What’s at Stake?

21 September 2015


MARUAH organised a public forum on September 19th to share thoughts and perspectives on the General Elections 2015 (GE2015) that took place on September 11th, 2015. The speakers were:-
Mr Alex Au, blogger and activist
Dr Derek Da Cunha, political analyst, author and independent researcher;
Dr Jack Lee, law academic with research interest in Constitutional Law;
Mr Rafiz Hapipi, youth counsellor and researcher, and MARUAH member;
Mr Sudhir Vadaketh, author and blogger;
Mr Terry Xu, editor of The Online Citizen

The speakers were experts who had been watching the General Elections and commenting on the process from one GE to the next. Read the rest of this entry »

TOC report on MARUAH event “Pulp Friction”

6 August 2014

Please see link below for a media report by The Online Citizen (TOC) on MARUAH’s recent event on our right to information and freedom of expression.

Are we muzzled? Are we getting access to information? Can we cope with diversity of views? What is the role of public institutions like the National Library Board? Who are they supposed to serve and how? How do we ensure that our personal values also have a space in secular Singapore?

These were some of the questions that arose from the recent near-pulping of two library book titles that were deemed to contain “non-pro-family” content, which MARUAH, a human rights NGO in Singapore, attempted to answer by organising a forum last Sunday, titled “Pulp Friction: Our Right to Information and Right to Expression”…

Event report – panel discussion on Freedom of Expression and Democracy

17 December 2013


MARUAH organised a thematic discussion about Freedom of Expression & Democracy on 15 Dec 2013 at Robertson Walk. Engagement, discussion, sharing of information and voicing of concerns are all necessary components in a functioning democracy and the event was a platform for a discussion on these areas. This was all the more important in light of recent events such as the charges brought up against blogger Alex Au and the closing down of Breakfast Network. The event featured an accomplished line up of experts who shared past incidents and also critical insights into the topic.

The speakers were:
• Dr Thum Ping Tjin, Research Fellow, Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore & Co-ordinator, Project Southeast Asia, University of Oxford
• Mr Martyn See, Blogger and Documentary Film-maker
• Mr PN Balji, Editor of The Independent Singapore
• Dr Cherian George, Associate Professor, Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, Nanyang Technological University
• Mr G Raman, Veteran Lawyer

Dr Thum started by giving a historical insight into freedom of expression and democracy in pre-independent Singapore. Filmmaker Mr Martyn See then continued from 1965 onwards, highlighting narratives of restrictions on freedom of expression by the government on various persons and groups. He shared some of the challenges faced by those who spoke out against government policies.

Mr PN Balji discussed on the regulation of alternative media outlets and inconsistencies in the governance of online media. Dr Cherian George highlighted the ideological obstacles to freedom of expression in Singapore. The final speaker for the evening, Mr G Raman shared insight into laws that protect and curtail freedom of expression in Singapore.

The Question & Answer segment prompted various questions on how the landscape would look like in 10 years time, whether the youth are concerned about issues relating to freedom of expression, and whether the education system was responsible for apathy in issues like politics and human rights.

MARUAH thanks all the speakers and participants who attended the panel discussion.

Celebrating International Nelson Mandela Day With MARUAH

10 August 2013

On 18th of July, MARUAH celebrated International Nelson Mandela Day with an evening of music, poetry and tributes to Nelson Mandela. The day was designated by United Nations as International Nelson Mandela Day in 2009, in commemoration of Nelson Mandela’s fight for democracy and human rights.

Nelson Mandela International Day, July 18, For Freedom, Justice and Democracy

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Commemorating the UN International Day of Peace

26 September 2012

On 22 September 2012, MARUAH observed the UN International Day of Peace and participated in celebrations organised by the Jane Goodall Institute at Fort Canning Park, Singapore.

The International Day of Peace is observed every year to commemorate global peace and a cessation of hostility and violence. It was first declared by the United Nations in 1982 and constantly seeks to remind us that ‘our permanent commitment, above all interests or differences of any kind, is to peace’. Read the rest of this entry »

ASEAN Matters in Singapore – Event Report

24 December 2011

The train disruption on Saturday did not stop the proceedings of MARUAH’s “ASEAN Matters in Singapore” Workshop series. The event provided an overview of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the various human rights related developments within the region. Braema Mathi, MARUAH President, brought participants through the various declarations and action plans on human rights issues in ASEAN. Read the rest of this entry »

Human Rights Day 2011

11 December 2011

Our Human Rights Day microsite has been updated with the winning entries of our Creative Writing & Poetry competition. Also see photos from the event.

MARUAH extends its thanks to all who submitted entries to the competition, and to everyone who attended the event.

(UPDATE: 3pm, 11 December)

Click link to view a newspaper report on our event by the Straits Times.

Event report: “Occupy Wall Street” a “Fed-up movement”

26 November 2011

MARUAH organised a forum to discuss the perspectives behind why the need to “Occupy” anything, in this case Wall Street. It was a good turnout despite being “occupied by the rain”, said an enthused audience member. Held at the Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations (SCWO), our three esteemed speakers; Mr Leong Sze Hian, Mr Tan Jee Say and Ms Braema Mathi, moderated by Mr Dhamendra Yadav, walked us through the crisis in the US and globally.

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Event report: Human Rights education seminar on the Internal Security Act (ISA)

24 October 2011

MARUAH organised a seminar on the Internal Security Act (ISA) on 22nd October 2011, as part of its human rights education initiative, to facilitate members of the public to learn more about the ISA.

Assistant Professor Jack Lee from the School of Law, Singapore Management University, brought the seminar attendees through the history of the ISA.

The Emergency Regulations Ordinance, introduced in 1948, had to be reviewed at regular intervals, and reissued if deemed necessary. This was then replaced by the Preservation of Public Security Ordinance, after the 1955 Hock Lee Bus riots. The ISA was enacted in Malaya in 1960. When Singapore joined Malaysia in 1963, the ISA was incorporated into Singapore law. After separation in 1965, the ISA was retained.

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