Going for my pre-trial conferences this morning. Had to change my lawyer at the very last minute last night.
I am going for the pre-trial conference for the defamation suit at 9am at the Supreme Court, and then going for the pre-trial conference for the charges in relation to the Hong Lim Park protests at the State Court at 10am.
Had to find another lawyer when the Law Society stopped Ravi from practicing in mid-February. I got another lawyer who was assisting Ravi with the defamation suit but I was told that I should plead guilty for the charges or I should find another lawyer.
So late last night, I had to then find another lawyer who would be willing to take on the cases.
As most of you would know by now, it is very difficult to find lawyers in Singapore who would take up such cases.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had said that in the past that “people support CPF cuts because there are no protest outside parliament”. But this is because Singaporeans have not been allowed to protest outside parliament. So, last year, we went to the Hong Lim Park to protest but we have now been charged for doing so and banned from protesting.
A total of more than 10,000 Singaporeans came for the #ReturnOurCPF protests last year. Clearly, Singaporeans are very unhappy with how the PAP-run government is managing our CPF.
What is the appropriate response from a government when its citizens protest to ask for transparency and accountability from the government? Is it to address the concerns of its citizens or to prosecute its citizens for protesting and then ban them from protesting?
The Singapore prime minister is also not entitled to sue me in his capacity as a prime minister. I had written about the CPF which is a matter of public interest and the government has a responsibility to respond. Instead, it has chosen to use the law to silence Singaporeans who are asking for answers, and more importantly, for transparency and accountability from the government.
It is not right and unbecoming for the head of state to use the law to bully a citizen, instead of to respond appropriately, with answers.
In 2012 and 2013, I had traced how the government was taking Singaporeans’ CPF pension funds to invest in the GIC and Temasek Hldings. I was then asked to take down these two articles and the government then deleted the information from its websites. I also asked why the government denied that our CPF is invested in the GIC in 2001, 2006 and 2007 but then did an about turn and finally admitted to doing so after I was sued last year. In addition, the government, namely the prime minister, deputy prime ministers, ministers and ex-ministers also sit on the GIC’s board of directors but the government claims that it does not interfere with the GIC.
To date, the government has not responded or clarified on all these points.
But shouldn’t the government be open and honest about these questions? Instead, the government has chosen to repeatedly prosecute me over the past 10 months, instead of answer to these.
When will the government respond to these questions? Or will they keep using the law to prosecute concerned Singaporeans who ask genuine questions which affect all Singaporeans?
Today, I am going for my pre-trial conferences. The fight has been very challenging.
I hope that Singaporeans will also fight at some point, soon hopefully. This was the real reason why I fought right from the start. I knew that on my own, I will never win. But I believed that when Singaporeans were to stand hand in hand, we can win this.
Singaporeans need to realise that on our own, the government believes that it can clamp down on one or two, or a few of us. But if hundreds and thousands of us were to stand up and speak up, the PAP will fumble.
The PAP is now very scared. They are scared of losing what they have taken from us. If Singaporeans were to join hands and stand, you do not know how powerful you will become. I look forward to the day Singaporeans grow in confidence and realise our strength and power.
You have to know that what is yours belong to you, and it is up to each and everyone of us to demand for the things that the PAP has taken from us to be given back to us.
All the best and let’s hope that we will do what is right for ourselves. Heading to the courts now!