Monday, February 23, 2009

Attorney General Walter Woon confuses me

Below are two statements made by Attorney General Walter Woon, one in 1991 and the other in 2008 - Tell me what you think.

'Stand up and be quoted'
Straits Times, 6 July 1991

Walter Woon on:

* The Supremacy of the Singapore Constitution:

'We effectively don't have a Constitution. We have a law that can easily changed by Parliament, and by the party in power because the party is Parliament. The changes themselves might not be controversial, but it is unsettling how flexible the Constitution is, unlike, say, in the United States.'

*On the(1987)Marxist plot:

'As far as I am concerned, the Government's case is still not proven. I would not say those fellows were Red, not from the stuff they presented...I think a lot of people have this scepticism.'

*On the powers of the Judiciary:

'It is absolutely futile for people to talk about challenging Executive decisions in court. If it is not legal, the Government will make it legal, and it will make it legal retrospectively. The judges have no choice in this. Whatever their own personal inclination, they are bound by their oaths to uphold the law.'

*On Emigration

'There was this sense of frustration about being treated like idiot children, and people who had the opportunity went somewhere else.'

'But if you want creative people, people who can see beyond the horizon, who can move the place faster than others can move theirs ... the change is necessary. This is the 1990s. If a person is good, he will be headhunted by any number of countries.'

That was 1991, now here's what he said more recently:

Human Rights activists - a bunch of ‘fanatics’?
The Online Citizen
, 12 June 2008

The following are extracts of Attorney General Walter Woon’s speech at a Law Society gathering last Thursday where he touched on the topic of human rights. The event was to mark the launch of the Law Society’s Public and International Law Committee.

The extracts are culled from reports by the Straits Times and TODAY.

"Human rights has become a ‘religion’ that breeds devotees who border on the fanatic."

"It would be ‘hypocrisy’ for such people to decide what is acceptable for the rest of society."

"We have to be careful when we talk about public law, and not to confuse law with politics. There are many people who think if a decision is made and they don’t like it, then this is something the law can correct. There is a line between a political decision and a legal decision."

"You have, like in some religions, the fanatics. And it’s all hypocrisy and fanaticism (for these people) to set the views, as the leading spokesmen, of what is acceptable and what’s not."

"What we are against is the assumption of some people that when they define what’s human rights, that decision is the decision of the rest of humanity."


Geeyes! said...

Talking about confusion, he blatantly changes his position to meet hidden agenda...In the Parliamentary Debates for Legal Profession Amendment Act 1993, then NMP Walter Woon said "we must break the misconception that a law degree is a ticket to millions" and then lo and behold in Today (13 April 2010)interview he is quoted as saying(" While calling him a "reluctant" AG was too strong a description, he said in his one-on-one exit interviews yesterday with the media, he admitted to being "not a confrontational person by nature" - had he been, he would have made his "millions" in private practice.)

Seelan Palay said...

I wonder what his real agenda is, Geeyes!