张素兰TEO SOH LUNG
Jolovan Wham reported to the High Court this morning for the purpose of being sent to Changi Prison.
Jolovan was convicted of contempt of court for posting just a few words on his facebook. In all probability, 99.9999% of us did not even read what he wrote. And I really do not know how many of our judges have the time to read facebook posts especially that of a poor social worker like Jolovan
And so in accordance with our laws, Jolovan was prosecuted by the attorney general and convicted by several judges. Under the law the very persons whose reputation was undermined by Jolovan and whose esteem before our eyes was damaged, judged him and sent him to prison. Only a fine of $5000 or in default a week’s jail can undo the grave wrong he committed against them.
While the offence of scandalising the court or contempt of court was abolished decades ago in the United Kingdom, our once upon a time imperial master, Singapore’s parliament enacted that very law, now called the Administration of Justice (Protection) Act with even more enthusiasm. Both the scope and punishment have been enhanced.
The Administration of Justice (Protection) Act has been the scourge of civil society and I dare say of peace loving Singaporeans ever since its enactment in 2016. The image of beautiful Singapore internationally has been damaged by this law and many more. The soul of Singaporeans has been destroyed under the barage of harsh laws which protect those in power rather than the common person.
This is the first time Jolovan is going to prison. I have lost count of how many charges he is facing today. In any other developed country, citizens like Jolovan would have been treasured. He has done more good than any of our million dollar ministers.