Think Centre: Singapore, Halt Imminent Execution of Prabagaran Srivijayan

Sticky
Posted by Think Centre under Human Rights Watch, Policy Watch, Human Rights Education, ASEAN Watch, Statement on 13 July 2017

Think Centre condemns the imminent execution of Prabagaran Srivijayan scheduled for 14th July 2017. Prior to his arrest, Prabagaran was a 24-year-old young migrant worker who crossed the border daily from Johor (Malaysia) to work in Singapore in order to support his family... The presumption of guilt in such cases, which violates the right to a fair trial in international human rights law, also means that those who maintain their innocence like Prabagaran will never fit into the criteria. We are concerned that clemency pleas may not be heard by the entire cabinet, and based only on the recommendations of standing/ad hoc committees whose constituents are unknown to the public. ...many executions are carried out in secret, raising questions about the government claims about the efficacy of the death penalty in deterring crimes.

Keep Reading →

Think Centre urges Ministry of Foreign Affairs to assist two Singaporeans in unlawful extended detention in Malaysia

Sticky
Posted by Think Centre under Human Rights Watch, ASEAN Watch on 29 June 2017

Think Centre is concerned about the prolonged detention of two Singaporean females, Ms. Quek Chin Fern and Ms. Cheryl Lim, in Johor’s Kluang Prison. They were arrested earlier this month on 19 June 2017 for shoplifting offences and were both sentenced to serve one day of imprisonment on 22 June 2017. However, despite completing their sentence, they have yet to be released by the prison authorities due to the Immigration Department of Malaysia’s intervening to extend their detention. Ms. Quek has reportedly suffered a dislocated arm since her detention however no adequate medical attention has been provided by the Malaysian authorities. It is also disturbing to learn that the Singapore’s High Commission has reportedly expressed reluctance to provide the necessary consular assistance to Ms. Quek and Ms. Lim on the basis of non-interference with another country’s matters.

Keep Reading →

Think Centre condemns impending execution of Muhammad Ridzuan Bin Md Ali

Sticky
Posted by Think Centre under Policy Watch, Statement on 18 May 2017

Think Centre is greatly disturbed by the imminent execution of Muhammad Ridzuan Bin Md Ali scheduled for this Friday morning, 19 May 2017. We regret that the Cabinet of Singapore has once again failed to advise the sitting President to grant clemency. The last known clemency was granted 19 years ago in 1998 by the first elected President of Singapore, the late honourable Mr. Ong Teng Cheong. The case of Muhd Ridzuan shows that the death penalty regime is still as irrefutably flawed as it was, before the amendment in 2012. The Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) has the sole prerogative over a drug courier’s life or death. The State has failed to put forward any decisive case on whether these executions have successfully disrupted any major syndicate. We call for the State to re-enact a moratorium on the death penalty and consider more humane, compassionate and effective policies against such crimes.

Keep Reading →

Think Centre’s tribute to Fong Swee Suan

Sticky
Posted by Think Centre under Breaking News on 7 February 2017

A pioneering leader in our struggle for independence against British rule, he was a leader of the Barisan Socialis, co-founder of the People’s Action Party, and an ardent trade unionist. Mr Fong Swee Suan left his mark on the early struggles for Singapore’s political freedom, self-determination and fight for the common workers’ dignity.

Keep Reading →

Singapore, Vote for UN Moratorium on the Use of the Death Penalty

Sticky
Posted by Think Centre under Policy Watch, Statement on 16 December 2016

Singapore laws, especially on the death penalty, are rooted in our colonial history, which the colonial masters used to reign in, control and exploit a disunited colony of immigrants. Such archaic colonial practices and attitudes should be reviewed and removed from the penal code. If Singapore wants to play the cautious conservative on the issue of enacting a moratorium, which is a clear commitment in recognising the sanctity of human life, it can abstain and watch as it falls behind in moral authority among its peers. The Think Centre, however, urges the Singapore government to rise up to the moral challenge and vote for the resolution on moratorium on the use of the death penalty.

Keep Reading →

Local and International groups express solidarity for the families of executed prisoners in Singapore

Sticky
Posted by Think Centre under Human Rights Watch, Policy Watch, Statement on 26 November 2016

We, the undersigned organisations, condemn the shameful execution of a Nigerian national, Chijioke Stephen Obioha, and a Malaysian national, Devendran a/l Supramaniam in Singapore on 18 November 2016, which runs counter to global trends towards abolition of capital punishment. We remain appalled that Singapore continues to execute people in contravention of international law and standards. We would like to express our regret and share in the disappointment of the families of the executed men. We oppose the use of capital punishment in all circumstances, as a violation of human rights which can never be justified under the flawed assumption that it has a unique deterrent effect.

Keep Reading →

Singapore: New Contempt of Court Law Further Curtails Limited Freedom of Expression

Sticky
Posted by Think Centre under Policy Watch, Statement on 22 August 2016

The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) and its Singaporean member, Think Centre, condemn the passage of the Administration of Justice (Protection) Bill by the Singaporean Parliament on Monday 15 August. It further restricts the limited right to freedom of expression and press freedom in the country. The new Law deems contempt of court a criminal offence punishable by disproportionate penalties and provides a vague and broad definition of contempt including prejudicing court matters, disobeying court orders, and scandalising the courts. “The Law can be used to silence citizens, civil society, and human rights organisations from voicing their opinions over any judicial process. Speaking out on judicial errors as part of exercising the right to freedom of expression is essential to exposing injustice,” says Mukunda Kattel, Director of FORUM-ASIA. “Given the tremendously difficult situation in Singapore regarding freedom of expression, the new Law can only be seen as another attempt by the Government to restrict the work of civil society,” adds Samydorai Sinapan, Director of ASEAN Affairs, Think Centre.

Keep Reading →

Oral Statement Delivered On behalf of (FORUM-ASIA) at the 24th June 2016 Universal Periodic Review plenary on Singapore

Sticky
Posted by Think Centre under Statement on 24 July 2016

We are alarmed that Singapore has rejected nearly half of the 236 recommendations it received. This sets a negative precedence regionally and globally for the UPR process and is a disturbing indication of the country’s unwillingness to cooperate with international human rights processes.

Keep Reading →

Oral Statement Delivered by Think Centre President Adrian Heok on Singapore's UPR report at the 32nd Session of Human Rights Council

Sticky
Posted by Think Centre under Statement on 24 July 2016

Without an independent way of verifying the government’s claims about compliance, it is critical that a national human rights institution be established immediately in accordance with the Paris Principles. Prolonged detentions without judicial review under the Internal Security Act and the Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) Act continue with no transparency over the numbers being detained. Executions often take place without adequate warning given to the prisoners or their families. We regret that the government rejected the 25 recommendations that called for the abolition of the death penalty and corporal punishment.

Keep Reading →

Every Voice Makes Us Stronger. Speak Up Against the Death Penalty!

Sticky
Posted by Think Centre under on 28 May 2016

Often those against the death penalty may not speak up. We may not believe one voice can make a difference. But if each one of us speaks up, our collective voice gets louder and stronger against the death penalty - and the death penalty can be abolished.

Keep Reading →

Capital Punishment: Singapore’s blatant disregard for the right to life

Sticky
Posted by Think Centre under Breaking News, Human Rights Watch, Policy Watch on 20 May 2016

The family of Kho Jabing is in anguish as they are forced to confront his death after his conviction for unintentional murder was upheld and appeals quashed. The same Apex court of 5 judges dismissed Kho Jabing appeal against his death penalty today. Think Centre strongly deplores the imminent execution of Kho Jabing today. Although amendments were made to the death penalty regime in 2012, the Government of Singapore continues its defence of the death penalty at both the national and international arena. Singapore's amended death penalty regime is deeply flawed through its failure to apply the minimum threshold required under international law. Many international law experts, academics, and human rights groups have repeatedly expressed concern that Singapore's justification for the deterrent value of the death penalty is without substance. The Government has consistently failed to produce any verifiable or credible empirical evidence in support of its position. Stripped bare of all cleverly worded language, what is left exposed, is a simple emotional appeal for retribution that serves no one's benefit except to demonstrate the overwhelming and unbearable power of the State to determine one's life and death. What is ironic is that the implementation of capital punishment is in itself, through the extensive involvement of august institutions of the Executive, Legislative and the Judiciary, a methodical and calculated act of blatant disregard for human life, par excellence.

Keep Reading →

Think Centre's 2016 Labour Day Message

Sticky
Posted by TC under Labour Watch, Statement on 1 May 2016

Ever wondered how much the uncles and aunties who clean after we eat at food courts and hawker centres earn? The construction workers who build our homes, bridges and roads? Do we think that amount they get accurately reflects the true value of their contribution to our society and economy? 50 years of single-minded focus on economic development has made it almost impossible for a large segment of workers to find decent work and provide for their families. Most Singaporeans work amongst the longest hours in the world. Wages remain depressed and stagnant for many while companies continue to increase their profits. The only way for real productivity to increase is to strengthen and build the resilience of workers through real strategic investments in their skills and capability and not just as an afterthought. For the longest time, the benefit of a company’s increased profits has gone to shareholders and directors, who even with rising operational cost would rather pass the burden to the consumers and workers than deduct their own salaries, bonuses of directors and top management. We have enabled firms to make careless use of this cheap labour. To protect the workers adequately, we urge the government to harmonise the Labour Laws with International Labour Standards as reflected in the 1998 ILO Declaration which spells out the fundamental principles and rights at work. This is a similar call to many of the countries that made recommendations to our government at the recent Universal Periodic Review conducted by the United Nations in Geneva. Think Centre urges the Government to amend or remove outdated policies to protect the rights of all workers and their families.

Keep Reading →

MEDIA STATEMENT BY ALMOS ON THE UNIVERSAL PERIODIC REVIEW

Sticky
Posted by Think Centre under Human Rights Watch, Policy Watch, Human Rights Education, Statement on 11 December 2015

As Singapore prepares to engage other United Nations member states on its human rights record at the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in January 2016, it is clear that much more needs to be done by the government to properly address human rights issues, including to engage Singaporeans on the meaning of human rights in an inclusive society. The Alliance of Like-Minded CSOs in Singapore (ALMOS) is particularly concerned by the government�s overly-broad citation of �national security� in response to questions on the human rights impact of its practices. Citizens are not given a clear indication of the parameters of these security concerns; nor are they provided with convincing evidence that what the state practices is in proportion to the supposed security risks. It has also failed to explain how national security necessitates the turning away of refugees who have been persecuted in their home countries.

Keep Reading →

Dissenting Voices Seldom Heard

Posted by Chris Foley under News on 1 August 2001

Singapore'S miracle-makers, the founding fathers who propelled a resource-starved island from Third World to First in one generation, are still not ready to tolerate criticism, say political analysts.

Keep Reading →

Recession Mishandled

Posted by Melvin Tan under Opinions on 31 July 2001

The sparked exchanges in Parliament between Minister for Trade and Industry BG George Yeo and several PAP backbenchers on 25 July 2001 has revealed disenchantment, possibly even a rift among PAP's ranks. The cabinet's approach towards managing Singapore's recent economic problems has left much to be desired.

Keep Reading →

G-8 violence - why was Think Centre so quiet?

Posted by Mark under Letters on 31 July 2001

If I'm not wrong, TC always touch on human-rights related issues. Isn't the brutality and torture of G-8 protesters, a form of human rights violation.

Keep Reading →

Think Centre Will Stay

Posted by under Breaking News on 29 July 2001

On 29 July 2001, the Board of Directors met to discuss Senior Director James Gomez's motion to dissolve independent political non-governmental organisation Think Centre. They agreed unanimously that Think Centre would remain and not to dissolve. This decision was further endorsed by the Centre's Management Committee.

Keep Reading →

Young Democrats Deplore Proposed Changes to Election Laws

Posted by under News on 28 July 2001

In a media release dated 27/07/2001 the Young Democrats (YD), Youth Wing of the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP), deplores the latest move by the Government to impose new rules for campaigning on the Internet. Kevin Liew, President of YD, explains in the following release.

Keep Reading →

Human Rights to Remain on Powell's Agenda in China

Posted by Jane Perlez under Human Rights Watch on 27 July 2001

Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, said today that in the wake of the release of three Chinese scholars with American links charged with spying, human rights issues would still remain high on his agenda with senior officials when he visits Beijing this weekend.

Keep Reading →

Of Blames and Claims

Posted by Zulfikar Mohamad Shariff under Opinions on 27 July 2001

The Singapore government has made numerous claims concerning their role in Singapore's economic progress.

Keep Reading →