Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Police Sergeant says there's no difference between the PAP and Government

Police shocker: No difference between PAP and Government
SDP
6 Nov 2006

Sergeant Kenny Quek raised eyebrows in court today when he told the Judge that there was no difference between the PAP and the Government.

This comment was made under questioning from Mr Gandhi Ambalam who, together with Dr Chee Soon Juan and Mr Yap Keng Ho, are charged with speaking in public without a licence on 22 Apr 06 during the 2006 general elections in May.

Sgt Quek said that he saw the Defendants "conveying a message to listeners for a period of time" on the said morning and decided to warn the Defendants for committing an offence.

He added that he also heard Mr Ambalam say that he was not going to "apologise to the Government" over the NKF article published in The New Democrat, the SDP's newspaper.

(This was obviously not true as the Government had not demanded any apology from the SDP over the said article. It was PAP leaders, Mr Lee Kuan Yew and Mr Lee Hsien Loong, who had sued the SDP, not the Singapore Government).

Mr Ambalam then asked the police witness whether he knew the difference between the PAP and the Government, to which the officer replied that there was none. This drew an audible chuckle from those present in the courtroom.

"That's the kind of education system we have here," Mr Ambalam lamented.

Dr Chee then picked up the point during his cross-examination and told Sgt Quek that since the witness was a police officer, he was also a Government servant. By extension, Sgt Quek would see himself as a PAP servant since he saw no difference between the Government and PAP.

The witness then quickly retracted his statement and corrected himself, insisting that the PAP and the Government "were two different matters."

Even the Judge had to ask the witness to clarify his statement as he had recorded earlier that the witness had said that the two entities were one and the same.

Based on this Dr Chee then proceeded to question the witness on whether the police would have taken action if it had been someone else instead of SDP members who carried out the activity on 22 Apr.

The Judge repeatedly ruled the question irrelevant and refused to allow Dr Chee to adduce evidence that the police had acted in a discriminatory fashion.

"This is especially significant given the fact that Sgt Quek felt that the PAP and the Government are the same political entity," Dr Chee argued.

It would not be an exaggeration to say that the police, under the instructions of the PAP, decided to take action against the SDP in order to cripple its election effort, Dr Chee pointed.

Under the Constitution, he continued, citizens should all be treated equally under the law and the police had an obligation to be even-handed.

The event had taken place with the elections as a backdrop and that the SDP had wanted to campaign on the sensitive NKF scandal.

The Judge, however, remained adamant in refusing to allow Dr Chee to pursue this line of questioning.

"If that's the case, then I have no further questions," Dr Chee concluded.

An update on Nov 8@1420hrs: A little fish finding her way in the world has two posts about the differences between government and a political party: What is in a government? and Speechless.

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