Chia Ti Lik’s Blog

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Revelations from Bukit Merah West NPC

The morning of 9th September 2008, i visited Bukit Merah West Neighbourhood Police Centre.

I had accompanied Jaslyn to have her statement taken for investigation into having allegedly participated in an illegal assembly in Toa Payoh on national day, 9th August 2008.

The police officer tasked to interview Jaslyn and take down her statement was inspector Tan Sin Choon from Tanglin Police Division. A gutsy lady, Jaslyn turned up in her Tak Boleh Tahan T-shirt. None of the police officers present who were visibly surprised by the move even raised any form of protest – pun intended.

The Investigating Officer recognised me and so requested to take my statement as well. I agreed to have my statement taken after hers. incidentally they had been trying to serve on me a letter but they had not been able to do so.

Always up to some mischief, Jaslyn came out of the interview amused. As she always is. When it came to be my turn, i found out from the questions posed by the IO that the Police are now conducting investigations into SDP-related activities on some rather dubious grounds.

i tried to find out whether it was the AG-C or the SPF which was doing this dirty work on behalf of the ruling party but the only answer i got was that the Head of Investigation had instructed Inspector Tan to do so.

Why were the grounds dubious? because towards the end of the interview i was asked a question as to whether i knew that the Miscellaneous Offences Act prohibited the participation in an assembly or procession without a permit to promote a cause or a campaign.

When i heard the above, I literally protested to Inspector Tan. Short of whipping out another banner or placard to protest against the arbitrary expansion of a parliamentary statute, i did all i had with my wits in the position of a suspect in an offence being placed under police investigation in a police interview room. I answered Inspector Tan that there was nothing in the Miscellaneous Offences Act which states so. My statement did proudly record my answer as so which i later found out. ūüôā

When i came out of the room, i found out from Jaslyn that she was directed to some website that supposedly says that trying to promote a cause or campaign is one of the prohibited activities. I have since been trying to locate that webpage but to no avail.

Now if what i heard was true, which probably is. I now know that the Parliamentary statute of the Miscellaneous Offences Act have been arbitrarily expanded by the Singapore Police Force or the AG-C.

I entered law school in 1994 and graduated in 1998. I qualified as a lawyer in 1999. Now after 9 years of practice, i discovered something new and something earthshaking – its not everyday in practice that that we discover something like this.

This relevation was something out of the ordinary, it was something which i had never expected. Perhaps it was correct that whilst in law school, i had never been an exceptionally bright student. Many a time legal concepts did escape me for awhile before i finally grasped them.

But throughout my training, i thought i had gotten it right all along. That it was Parliament which made statute law and that no one else had the right, mandate or power to do so.

This morning i was confronted with a prospect that the Singapore Police Force and Attorney-General’s Chambers had the power to expand on a parliamentary statute.

There was no way the Honourable Attorney-General Walter Woon (if he actually knew what was going on and what is being done) could be wrong. For he was my lecturer when i was just a lowly student.

Maybe the authorities are right. I could have missed out something despite all those years of practising law and poring over authorities in law school. I might be dumb. God help me. ūüôā

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September 15, 2008 - Posted by | Politics

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