MediaCorp journalist fined for importing Malaysian newpaper

12 April 2007

Loh Chee Kiong, a reporter for TODAY (owned my MediaCorp), has been arrested for importing “The Star”, a Malaysian newspaper. The reporter was nabbed when crossing at Woodlands with several suspicious newspapers stuffed into hand luggage, and “The Star” was subsequently found upon conducting a body cavity search. The tipoff came when Loh wrote an article for TODAY on April 2, 2007 entitled “Envoy pushes for hassle-free Causeway card”. The otherwise innocuous article contained the following incriminating words:

“In an interview which was published yesterday in Malaysian newspaper The Star, Mr Parameswaran called for the Malaysian government to study the possibility of developing a travel card…”

The police were drawn to the words in bold which indicated that the reporter had been illegally importing Malaysian newspapers to gather information. This “gathering information” is where the offence lies in Singapore. The punishment for contravening the Undesirable Publications Act (Chapter 338) is as follows:

6. —(1) Any person who imports, publishes, sells, offers for sale, supplies, offers to supply, exhibits, distributes or reproduces any prohibited publication or any extract therefrom shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction for a first offence to a fine not exceeding $10,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years or to both, and for a subsequent offence to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 4 years.

And if Loh attempts to cry “innocent until proven guilty” let clause 3 set the matter straight (shown in bold below)

(2) Any person who without reasonable excuse has in his possession any prohibited publication or any extract therefrom shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction for a first offence to a fine not exceeding $2,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to both, and for a subsequent offence to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years.

(3) In any proceedings against any person for an offence under subsection (2), that person shall be presumed, until the contrary is proved, to have known the contents and the nature of the contents of any publication immediately after such publication came into his possession.

A strong deterrent is expected from the Singapore courts. K. Bhavani, MICA, commented on the case, stating that all publications must contribute towards nation-building, and that Malaysian newspapers offer only “polemics dressed up as analysis”.


Chee Soon Juan to be crucified between two thieves for criticising Pharisees

6 April 2007

Chee Soon Juan, an academically-minded democracy advocate, is scheduled to be crucified in Singapore on Friday. He will be caned just prior to crucifixion. This comes after his searing words against whom he calls “Pharisees” crossed a fine judicial line. Chee had claimed that he would bow down to no king on earth, and claimed to speak for all Singaporeans, but he did NOT have a permit for speaking. (Speaking is prohibited in Singapore without a police permit.) Singapore Donkey interviewed Chee in Changi Prison, where he awaits punishment.

S. Donkey: Good morning, Dr. Chee. You owe a considerable sum of money to MM Lee and his son in damages for several defamation suits. How will it be paid off after your execution?
Chee: Render therefore unto Lee the things which are Lee’s, and to God the things that are God’s.
S. Donkey:
So you aren’t angry that your estate will be given entirely to the Lee family upon your execution?
Chee: It is more blessed to give than to receive.
S. Donkey: A very good attitude! What do you think of MM Lee then?
Chee: For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? A man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.
S. Donkey: Singapore is hardly “the world” though. It is just a city.
Chee: The rich man’s wealth is his strong city: the destruction of the poor is their poverty.
S. Donkey: You mean the poor Singaporeans? But these poor Singaporeans continuously voted the Lee family into government for almost half a century!
Chee: Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
S. Donkey: Yes, Singaporeans are not into “weightier” matters! But we do like shopping. Is there any hope?
Chee: Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.
S. Donkey: Yes, eating is the other great Singaporean pastime. What do you think of Singapore?
Chee: Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.
S. Donkey: And the Lee family?
Chee: For wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together.
S. Donkey: And it seems you will be the carcass! What do you think of the judicial process that led to your sentence of crucifixion?
Chee: Good is set against evil, and life against death: so also is the sinner against a just man.
S. Donkey: How long do you think MM Lee will live?
Chee: All they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.
S. Donkey: Eventually. What do you think the fate will be of MM Lee and his wife in the afterlife?
Chee: But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.
S. Donkey: Why do you think that Mrs. Lee will also go to hell?
Chee: And she bare him a son, and he called his name Gershom: for he said, I have been a stranger in a strange land. And he wrote in the king Ahasuerus’ name, and sealed it with the king’s ring, and sent letters by posts on horseback, and riders on mules, camels, and young dromedaries.
S. Donkey: Indeed. Do you have anything else to add?
Chee:
So the posts that rode upon mules and camels went out, being hastened and pressed on by the king’s commandment. And the decree was given at Shushan the palace.


PM Lee donates S$30 to charity

2 April 2007

PM Lee thrilled an audience of visiting foreign dignitaries last Thursday when he announced that he would be making a generous donation of S$30 to local charities. Mr. George Soros, who had once harped that Singapore is not an “open society”, was notably impressed, and exclaimed that he had “figured PM Lee all wrong”. “I thought they [the Lee’s] were mostly just snakes out to get as much money and power as possible from their society. This donation to charity really shows me that they do want to give back to their country.” Although PM Lee’s salary is the highest for any politician in the world, this donation to the poor demonstrates his philanthropy. “I want the people of Singapore, especially the poor, to know that I do understand their problems and hardships,” PM Lee explained. He added that he was only slightly worried that the decrease in his take-home pay post-charity might cause him to become corrupt, saying that he planned to keep enough to build a “nest egg” and review his own salary peg just to be on the safe side. “I will give this S$30 to charity, and I will continue giving, and hopefully allow others to experience something of the kind of life that I have been so lucky to experience.”


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