Okay, I know everyone has been caught up with Parti Liyani’s contraversial case lately, but today I’ll like to bring the focus to another victim of the system – Jolovan Wham
1) Who is Jolovan Wham?
Jolovan Wham is an activist, and a social work who has been fighting for the rights of marginalised migrant workers in Singapore. This person has so far maintained a low profile until events in the recent years put him in the spotlight. Singaporeans both love and hate him, with many supporting his beliefs in reaching out to the underpriviliged, while others view him as a troublemaker.
Jolovan Wham has been convicted of multiple offenses in the courts, which includes:
-He claimed Malaysia’s judges are better. (Wah, that is one serious crime there, folks.)
-He held a candlelight vigil for an executed prisoner convicted of drug trafficking.
-He stood outside the Supreme Court with a smiley face drawn on a cardboard.
-He refused to sign a police statement.
And……? That’s it? Wah! Pai kia siah! Gangster!
Seriously, with the way mainstream media described him, I thought he was some kind of criminal mastermind. But we’ll take a look at the character assassination another time.
Today’s topic is about one of the crimes Jolovan wham is convicted of.
Refusing to sign a police document.
2) Is refusing to sign a police statement a crime?
When I first heard the news, I was absolutely shocked! Dun sign statement is a crime meh? So I did my own research, and yes, it is a crime.
So, sorry. It’s written down in black and white. No arguing your way out of that one.
Then I started to wonder. If I exercise my human rights to refuse to sign any document, will I be jailed too?
3) Refusing to sign a document is a BASIC HUMAN RIGHT.
If salesman gives you a contract and tells you to sign it, do you have the right to refuse?
If a prospective employer drafts up a contract and asks you to sign it, do you have the right to refuse? (You just don’t get the job, duh.)
If your spouse comes up to you and demands you sign the divorce papers, do you have the right to refuse? (You go to court, but you get the point.)
So why should a legal document be any different? Just because it’s a legal document that can be used in a court of law, I don’t have the right to refuse to sign it?
I AM A HUMAN BEING. I HAVE MY OWN FREE WILL. I HAVE THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE NOT TO SIGN A DOCUMENT!
It doesn’t matter who presents that document! That person can be a policeman, a minister, the Pope, the Queen of England for all I care! I must maintain my right to refuse to sign.
4) What is the purpose behind this law?
We now know there is such a law. Now we must ask WHY? Why is there even such a law? How does this law protect the interest of the public? Who are those who will benefit from this law, and who are those who will be crippled by it? What are the possible ramifications of this law?
In my honest opinion, this creates what I call a double dead end scenario. Heads he wins, tails you lose.
Picture this scenario. A) The suspect signs a statement, the statement is presented before the courts, and the suspect is convicted and jailed. B) The suspect refuse to sign the statement. The police charge him for refusing to sign the police statement, and the suspect is jailed, regardless.
DID THIS POSSIBILITY NEVER ONCE OCCURRED TO ANYONE?!? AT ALL?!
5) To my knowledge, only ONE COUNTRY in the world can criminalise you for refusing to sign a police statement.
Take a guess which country.
Well, admittedly, I did not go through the entire law system of all 195 countries in the world and verified that none of them had such a law. And I wouldn’t be surprised if North Korea has something like that. But go ahead, if you have knowledge on this matter, feel free to prove me wrong. Please correct me if I am wrong.
6) Do you believe that it is a human right to refuse to sign a document?
Signing a document, requires what we call, free will. Or else you can just get a robot to do it. It also needs to recognize you as a human, or else your cat or dog could do it.
Repeat after me: It is a basic human right to refuse to sign a document.
Maybe if you repeat it enough times, you will start to believe it too.
For those who say I am wrong, we do not have the right to refuse to sign a document…… Well, I have a few documents from the bank here. You go and sign them for me, okay?