DPM's responses to Timothy Cooper
These are some questions posed by Cooper of US based human rights group Worldrights and Jayakumar's reply. I am split between putting it in the Myth column, Signs of Progress, or Decline, Notable Quotes or in the Gems of Parliament column in Redbeanforum. And I will just quote them from what was reported in the ST. I will leave it to readers to form their own opinions/comments which I believe will range wildly from the unbelieveable to the amusing and to the very pragmatic necessary evil and the rule of law. 'Cooper asked how it was that there were no libel cases where people had successfully defended themselves against government officials. He charged that the legal playing field was not level. Jayakumar said the question must be whether libel suits were brought with "arguments and substance". Singapore leaders sued for a reason: to uphold their integrity and character. Cooper asked why permits are routinely denied to political opponents who want to stage gatherings, but are granted to the PAP. Jayakumar said for densely populated Singapore, the govt has kept strict laws for public gatherings and processions. It requires and grants permits on considerations of law and order, with particular care paid to gatherings base on race, language and religion, and public gatherings by political parties and figures. The rules apply to all parties, including the ruling PAP, which has to also apply for permits, he said.'