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by Francis T. Seow

Download Beyond Suspicion? The Singapore Judiciary (Southeast Asia Studies Monograph Series) fb2, epub

ISBN: 0938692879
Author: Francis T. Seow
Language: English
Publisher: Yale Univ Southeast Asia Studies (December 29, 2006)
Pages: 428
Category: Social Sciences
Subcategory: Other
Rating: 4.6
Votes: 114
Size Fb2: 1291 kb
Size ePub: 1970 kb
Size Djvu: 1995 kb
Other formats: azw txt mobi mbr

The purpose of books like Beyond Suspicion is not to ridicule or be derisive

The Singapore Judiciary (Southeast Asia Studies Monograph Series) .

The Singapore Judiciary book. Start by marking Beyond Suspicion? The Singapore Judiciary as Want to Read: Want to Read savin. ant to Read.

Beyond Suspicion? : The Singapore Judiciary.

Francis Seow, born Seow Tiang Siew (Chinese: 萧. .He is also the author of Beyond Suspicion?

The Key Issues in Asian Studies book series is designed for use in undergraduate . Asia Past & Present is the AAS scholarly monograph series.

First published in 2000. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company. Constructing a Security Community in Southeast Asia book.

Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, International Institute for Asian Studies.

Justice in Singapore is Janus-faced. Singapore judges have a reputation for the integrity of their judgments. This book is about cases in which the political context of the case influences the judges to render decisions in favor of the Singapore government and its leaders.


It's really an eye-opening book exposing the shortcomings and severe limitations of the Singapore judiciary in dealing with politically-driven cases
As the former solicitor-general of Singapore, Francis T. Seow was one of LKY’s right-hand men — the top man after the attorney general (the attorney general being the principal legal officer who represents a country in legal proceedings and gives legal advice to the government).

The publication’s core strength lies in Francis Seow’s references to a complete set of court documents to present his points. That this book is written in a vibrant, intellectually lively style makes it both an educational and entertaining read. For example, Francis Seow doesn’t simply use the word “corrupted” to describe Singapore politics — he describes it as “a dirty gladiatorial game [that's] also dangerous.”

Even when armed with this knowledge, the reader will still come across an array of mind-boggling dialogue and logic-defying actions (thanks to the PAP leaders of the time), through Francis Seow’s intense presentation of the case involving Tang Liang Hong.

Tang’s “crime” was questioning the Lees’ controversial purchases with the Nassim Jade properties, and asking why the matter wasn’t handed over to a professional body like Commercial Affairs Department or Corrupt Practice Investigation Bureau.

The real crime is that Tang Liang Hong was in opposition politics, an individual whom the PAP elite recognized “as an immediate threat to their electoral prospects in the Cheng San GRC” during the 1997 General Election. Back in 1981, LKY once dismissed the value of a political opposition as being “irrelevant.” How can someone or something be a threat and irrelevant at the same time?

The rest of the chapters give a detailed account of the political gangsterism and character assassination Tang Liang Hong experienced. One would think that the text was describing the bullying that occurs in a children’s playground, and not the behaviour of highly-ranked politicians in a court of law.

The purpose of books like Beyond Suspicion is not to ridicule or be derisive. It is to expose flaws in a political party or system, and provide a record of history. Note that on Page 241, it is mentioned that one of the legal documents to do with Tang Liang Hong was ordered by Justice Chao Hick Tin to be destroyed — at the request of LKY, via his counsel, Davinder Singh. Who knows what else has been requested to be destroyed?

Another purpose is for future generations to remember what this party has done to opposition members whom they viewed as a threat. Were the opposition members viewed as a threat to Singapore; good governance; or to the PAP’s own stronghold of political power?

If leaders are wise and less arrogant, they would seek to learn from mistakes of the past — and make genuine amends — so that they can prove to current voters/citizens why they should still be in office, as well as justify their high salaries drawn from taxpayers’ dollars.

In the context of Singapore’s political scene, it is only by the party’s own words and actions that they make the choice to be regarded as the “People’s Action Party,” or a “Perpetually Arrogant Party.”
Beyond Suspicion? The Singapore Judiciary by Francis T Seow

Francis Seow's meticulous and skilful narration of events introduces the reader to the unique political climate in Singapore. Who would have thought that discussions and questions concerning the sale of several luxurious apartments to politicians and well-known individuals, including Supreme Court judges would result in 13 lawsuits being served on a single Singapore citizen, Tang Liang Hong.

Seow's detailed and eloquent description of how hard senior lawyers worked for their clients, the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Senior Minister and several cabinet ministers against Tang Liang Hong, his lawyer, J B Jeyaretnam and his wife, Teo Siew Har is disturbing. It was spine chilling to read how at midnight, lawyers and inland revenue officials served summonses on Teo Siew Har at her residence after her forced return by the immigration authority at the Johor-Singapore causeway.

The participation and non participation of lawyers in the lawsuits against Tang Liang Hong, J B Jeyaretnam and Teo Siew Har culminating in the bankruptcy of all three (J B Jeyaretnam was bankrupted by a litigant in an unconnected lawsuit) should prick the conscience of lawyers and judges. The manner in which court officials and Supreme Court judges handled the plethora of lawsuits against the three give much food for thought.

Never before has a book that gives such deep insights into the workings of the Singapore courts been published. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand Singapore and Singaporeans.

Francis Seow joined the Singapore Legal Service in 1956 and was Solicitor-General from 1966 to 1972.

Teo Soh Lung
1 November 2007


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