Sep 19, 2007

Canadian Legal Expert Banned in Singapore

Well, I can't honestly say that the news article below surprises me. If gay people can't even go jogging in Singapore without being harassed by the police, you really wouldn't expect the authorities to extend a warm welcome to Professor Douglas Sanders.

After all, Professor Sanders is a leading international expert on gay issues. He has even been invited to address the United Nations on such matters. If Sanders had been allowed to speak in Singapore, there would be a serious risk that he would actually contribute to public education about gay rights here.

ST Sep 19, 2007
Lecture permit revoked after cops get info on gay agenda
By Zakir Hussain

A PERMIT for a lecture by a Canadian law academic last month was cancelled after the police learnt it was part of gay activists' efforts to promote their political agenda, Parliament was told yesterday.

Senior Minister of State (Home Affairs and Law) Ho Peng Kee said police also discovered from information online that Professor Douglas Sanders was an advocate for decriminalising homosexual sex.

Explaining the backdrop to the cancellation, he said police found out only after granting the permit that his talk was part of a two-week series of events 'which promoted the gay cause'.

'It became subsequently clear to police that the event was part of the efforts of gay activists to promote their political agenda which involved a foreigner,' Associate Professor Ho said.

'Our laws are an expression and reflection of the values of our society and any public discourse
in Singapore on such matters should be reserved for Singaporeans.

'Foreigners will not be allowed to interfere in our domestic political scene, whether in support of the gay cause or against it.'

He was replying to questions from Mr Baey Yam Keng (Tanjong Pagar GRC) and Nominated MP Siew Kum Hong on why the permit had been cancelled.

In July, the authorities approved a public entertainment licence for an event in which Prof Sanders of the University of British Columbia was to speak on 'Sexual orientation in international law: the case of Asia'.

But the permit was cancelled four days before the Aug 7 talk because, based on additional
information received, police saw the event as 'contrary to the public interest'.

Police had learnt of Prof Sanders' background and that he was 'likely to talk about our Section 377A, which is the criminalising of homosexual sex'.

'He was an advocate for decriminalising of homosexual sex, having spoken, for example, at the United Nations,' Prof Ho said.
Interestingly, we can now observe our dear PAP man Ho Peng Kee attempting to characterize the public event as part of a "political agenda". As if, you know, Professor Sanders was coming to Singapore to talk about the General Elections; the redrawing of electoral boundaries; or defamation suits against opposition politicians.

Actually, Professor Sanders has no political affiliations whatsoever. He was here just to talk about Section 377A of the Penal Code. And probably Section 377. Basic stuff that every NUS law student will come across in 1st year, in Criminal Law 101.

"377. Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animals, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 10 years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Explanation. Penetration is sufficient to constitute the carnal intercourse necessary to the offence described in this section"

"377A. Any male person who, in public or private, commits, or abets the commission of, or procures or attempts to procure the commission by any male person of, any act of gross indecency with another male person, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 2 years."
But of course it is convenient to characterize the above provisions as a "political agenda". Because once you claim that Section 377A is a political matter, then you can say, "Oh, foreigners should not be allowed to meddle in our politics! We must not allow our sovereignty as an independent nation to be raped!".

And stupid people would even believe you.

And now, we see once again why Warwick University, originally slated to open a campus in Singapore, was wise to suddenly change its mind and pull out. Remember? They pulled out suddenly because their academics and lecturers protested. They were concerned that in Singapore, they would be denied the freedom of expression required for them to pursue their academic interests.

But of course! If a foreign professor of law like Professor Sanders is not allowed to speak on Section 377A of the Penal Code, would a Warwick economics professor be allowed to express a critical view on, say, the widening income gap in Singapore? Would a Warwick professor of mass communications be allowed to speak about, say, press censorship in Singapore? Would a Warwick finance professor be allowed to talk about, say, whether Temasek Holdings or GIC should be more transparent about their investments? And so on.

None of the above, you see, can be taken for granted. Peng Kee's behaviour demonstrates that. These Warwick people - they're smart.


Anonymous said...

It's all very ironical.

Without a single doubt, I seriously think this particular Minister's intellectual capability & mentality is highly suspect, just like the lady lecturer in NUS who spouted nonsense in her arguments relating to the gay issues.

With that kind of explanation given in Parliament, does the Gahmen think that they can sian us into believing them. If I remember correctly, a lot of our domestic political and social policies were shaped and crafted with help from foreign advisers from US, UK, Israel, etc.

So what they are saying now is merely discrediting themselves. Again very hypocritical, no better than any of those political liars in the third world countries.

MG said...

Law students at NUS won't come across 377 or 377A in 'Criminal Law 101' - not unless they go look it up themselves. The tutors, certainly, will not breathe a word about these sections.

George said...

7:25 PM 9/19/2007

The ruling party had peaked, it is now on the inevitable down slope. The wisdom of 5,000 years cannot be wrong. Dynasty come, dynasty go. In ancient and not too ancient times, dynasties had ruled for centuries because the ground, the common folks are weak, disunited and ignorant and could be easily repressed and held down by fair means or foul.

Modern mass communication and the age of the Internet have changed all that. Together, they spell the doom of the 'modern dictator'. The Internet and IT is neutral. Contending adversaries have equal access and equal opportunity of use - witness the effective use of the Internet by Osama and his group.

The IT age is the age of the universal levelling of mankind. Until the West and its confederates agree to compromise, to accommodate and to acknowledge this new inescapable fundamental fact, worldwide terrorism will plague our version of civilised societies for years and years to come.

The global village is a myth, an invention of the West, because no single 'village headman' is acceptable or possible to the rest. The ONLY way for the West to re-dominate the century (world) is to bomb the rest back to the Stone Age. This is not impossible. All you need is one mad man or mad woman to assure our M.A.D (mutually assured destruction).

hugewhaleshark said...

I think the tactic is "say it like you believe it, and hopefully they will really believe".

Probably works with most people.

Anonymous said...

prof ho must cursing inside "knn, arrow me to speak nonsense and make me look like a clown". well, someone may not be able to sing, but surely know how to siem.

Anonymous said...

Only approved Foreign Talent allowed hor....

Anonymous said...

What is more surprising is it takes the white folks more than 1 month to come up with such a lousy non-explanation.

Horny Harry Mao Tse Tung said...

Anyway, those UNSW people are half-smart.

They at least expose the 'hush hush' working attitude of the EDB, with some considerable overhead cost :-)

Just like our Malaysian MP, Mr Dead-at-Home Khaw, Mr Penetration Ho is going the path of the laughing stock.

Whoever says Singapore's politics is dry & boring?

Chloe Ask said...

On the other hand, ASP Khoo Kay Chong, current head of the Technology Crime Research Branch of the Singapore Police Force, can give a talk to the School of Infocomm Technology at Ngee Ann Polytechnic
and say things like "Singabloodypore and Hung at Dawn have “agendas”, should be “read with a pinch of salt” and intend to “influence” readers."

Anonymous said...

yes, and today's Straits Times reported that 2 top scientists have flown out. They must be embarrassed by the regime here.

Lilian is ... said...

'only approved talent allowed hor'....hahahaha!

I like that!

khirsah said...

Does that mean we can kiss all Foreign talents goodbye and no foreigners can work in the civil service?
wa paingz...another case of kiasu and kiasi...

YeahRight said...

"Foreigners will not be allowed to interfere in our domestic political scene, whether in support of the gay cause OR AGAINST IT."

Hmm... doesn't that mean those megachurches and Focus on the Family-type organisations shouldn't be allowed to bring in any foreign pastors who make remarks against gays?