|Wednesday, 17 September 2008|
However, Mr Nair’s request to return to the US must now be put on hold, as will be explained later.
Local activists Seelan Palay, Chong Kai Xiong, Muhd Khalis, Rachel Zeng and Ng E-Jay were met by US embassy staff Mr Learned Dees and Mr Aruna Amirthanayagam near the front gate of the embassy at around 2.30pm. They handed the petition to the officials and took a group photo.
The petition had garnered a total of 89 signatures, including signatures from Malaysian, Burmese and American supporters.
The activists emphasized that the petition was meant as a show of solidarity from members of the public, to which Mr Dees replied, “We will accept it as such.”
Today at around 5pm, Judge Kan Ting Chiu passed a 3 month jail sentence on Mr Gopalan Nair for insulting Judge Belinda Ang in a blog posting. Mr Nair is slated to begin his jail sentence on Saturday, 20 Sept. He will be appealing this sentence.
The case of allegedly insulting Justice Lai Siu Chiu in an email sent in 2006 has been stood down.
Since Mr Nair has been sentenced to jail, the earliest possible date he can return to the US is after his jail sentence. We hope at that time, the US embassy can continue working with local authorities to expedite his return.
Mr Nair was previously been fined $3,000 for using abusive words towards police officers and disorderly behaviour at the junction of Bukit Timah Road and Race Course Road on July 4. He considered appealing against the conviction, but has since dropped his appeal.
The full text of the petition to the US embassy is as follows: