Friday, May 22, 2009

Video: Remembering 22 Singapore victims of ISA

Seelan: Thank you once again to everyone who came down, especially the young Singaporeans who reinforce my faith that this generation and the next can pave the way to true democracy. If anyone who attended wishes to get in touch to help out and stay informed of future events please email me at seelanpalay@gmail.com


Video by Ho Choon Hiong

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ISA Abolition Movement May 21st

Video / Photos : Remembering May 21st 1987


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9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Seelan,

Are you against the principle of detention without trial, or are you against the Singapore Government's application of this principle?

My second question would be this: do you accept that in times of political exceptionalism, the Government may call upon the use of draconian powers, such as the practice of detention without trial?

Thank you.

Seelan Palay said...

Dear Anonymous,

I am against the principle of detention without trial. It just seems absurd to me that we can trust ANY government in the world to detain people without trial or not abuse it by framing and detaining their political opponents.

Sure, for some cases like terror plots perhaps the authorities need some time to produce evidence, but look at how long the alleged JI members have been held in detention for.

And if you can't produce evidence and find them guilty in a court in 6 months, does that justify keeping them there for 6 years? And do we support torture as a method of producing evidence? Who knows what they've done the current batch of detainees so far.

Unless we believe in "an eye for an eye", of course. But we do not know for sure whether ALL the alleged JI detainees are guilty, I will be completely outraged if even ONE of them is innnocent, and has had 6 years of his life stolen from him.

ed said...

Well answered Seelan.

Detention without trial under any circumstances can never be countenanced as it disables the check on the subjective or/and self-serving application of it.

As Seelan said, even if one innocent person falls victim to it, that ought to be enough to review its continued usage, or/and serve as a call for its revision.

The value of 'democracy' lies in the valuation of the individual as if s/he personified the entirety of the collective.

ed said...

Yes. Please keep me informed of any events. And let me know if i may of aid to yourselves, i.e. photography, design, etc. Please check your 'pm' in your vox site.

Anonymous said...

Dear Seelan,

Thanks for responding.

I might be wrong, and to be sure, this is a difficult subject, but it seems to me that you make *some exceptions to the application of detention without trial all these of course subjected to certain legal procedures (e.g. the illegality of torture). Is this a correct interpretation?

Regards.

Anonymous said...

While I am not Seelan (obviously) I would like to address the two questions raised by poster #1.

The first question is really two questions, and that is how I will be replying to them.

1a) "Are you against the principle of detention without trial,...[?]"

Yes, because it violates another important legal principle, that of being presumed innocent before guilt is established.

1b) "[Are] you against the Singapore Government's application of this principle?"

Naturally, not only as a logical extension to my answer in 1a) but also because there are alternatives to the ISA. The ISA has been grossly abused not for reasons of internal security - the ONLY legal and legitimate use for it - but for reasons of decimating political contributions by individuals and parties (not necessarily confined to political parties) outside the PAP and its crony Establishment.

An alternative to the ISA is the Anti-Terrorism Act that is in force in many other countries that are much larger and therefore harder to control, and are far less under state surveillance than Singapore.

If this is not a PERFECT solution, I do ask that you come up with one that is, because the ISA is not it; the ISA is not even a better one than any Anti-Terrorism Act given the spillover effects on all other areas of life and living in Singapore.

2) "[Do] you accept that in times of political exceptionalism, the Government may call upon the use of draconian powers, such as the practice of detention without trial?"

A flat "NO"!

In times of political exceptionalism, any government can call upon the use of EXCEPTIONAL measures but not DRACONIAN ones. Those exceptional measures must be subject to intense scrutiny by the general public and require an application by the government to the courts - assuming an independent judiciary, which would be an erroneous assumption to make in Singapore - as a check against the abuses we have seen occur in Singapore.

ed said...

Not very nice to not respond to the offer or the vox pm. Perhaps an oversight?

Seelan Palay said...

Hi ed, I definitely saw your pm and was meaning to reply in a better way. I did however send you an email earlier at hotmail mentioning that I'll add you to my mailing list.

I'm very keen on working together with you because we seem to share similar viewpoints on issues. Let's meet up sometime, I will email you about that.

ed said...

Great Seelan,

I look forward to working together with you as well. Let's make it soon as i may be going overseas for a spell in the near future. Not decided on that yet.

Thank you for the reply.