Call on Singapore authorities to give Malaysians who have violated the Singapore laws a second chance like former Johor Mentri Besar Ghani Othman

I call on the Singapore authorities to give Malaysians who have violated the Singapore laws for activities in the island republic in connection with the Malaysian 13GE a second chance like they have given to former Johor Mentri Besar, Datuk Ghani Othman.

It has been reported that the Singapore authorities have initiated the revocation of the work pass of one of the 21 Malaysians involved in the May 8 and 11 illegal gatherings at Merlion Park in Singapore and that the authorities had also cancelle3d the visit passes of another two of them.

As for the remaining 18 persons, a Singapore Police Force (SPF) statement said their work passes would be reviewed upon completion of further investigations.

The Singapore authorities have also said that Datuk Seri Ghani Othman had not campaigned and had therefore committed no offence when visiting Singapore in the final days of the 13GE campaign period.

I commend the Singapore authorities for bending backwards to accommodate Ghani, saying that the former Johor Mentri Besar was not campaigning in Singapore although it was obvious to all that the very objective of Ghani’s visit to Singapore was to canvass for votes from Malaysians either working or staying in Singapore – believed to number some 400,000.

Ghani’s last-minute expedition to Singapore to canvass for votes of Johor folk residing and working in the island state is one of the scattered-brain ideas thought out by starry-eyed “war room” strategists of UMNO leaders and which invariably failed disastrously, like inviting the South Korea global K-Pop Star Psy to the Penang Barisan Nasional Chinese New Year Open House or the even more disastrous “Money Money Money” attack on DAP in Penang, plying Penangites with free food, free drinks, free entertainment, free cash as well as expensive lucky draws for a whole week!

I neither begrudge Ghani’s once-in-18-years bus trip to Singapore nor Singapore authorities bending backwards to excuse Ghani from campaigning among Malaysian workers in Singapore.

However, I would appeal to the Singapore authorities to give a second chance to Malaysian workers who have run afoul of Singapore laws as a result of their Malaysian 13GE enthusiasms, not exactly getting another Ghani Othman treatment but at least in the spirit of maximum forgiveness so that everyone can move on after learning the hard facts of life.

  1. #1 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Saturday, 18 May 2013 - 2:04 pm

    Singapore should not only be fair but also seen to be fair.. even magnanimous. I think this needs no explanation.


  2. #2 by yhsiew on Saturday, 18 May 2013 - 2:31 pm

    As a respectable country, Singapore should not practice double standards. It should give both VIP and non-VIPs the same treatment.

  3. #3 by pulau_sibu on Saturday, 18 May 2013 - 2:42 pm

    My concern is why Sarawakian nd Sabahan politicians do not wish to do something good for their own people? 20% oil royalty for developing Sabah and Sarawak. They should cross over to PR now. Also, if they stay on in BN, they will be out soon, because the popularity votes showed the fact.

    Also, the politicians are given only minister positions as decoration in the new cabinet.

    Wake up, Sarawakian and Sabahan politicians. Ubah with the people now.

  4. #4 by Loh on Saturday, 18 May 2013 - 2:49 pm

    Singapore government supports BN so that she gets ready supply of Malaysian workers. But there is no need to kowtow to Najib.

  5. #5 by worldpress on Saturday, 18 May 2013 - 3:58 pm

    Simple saying they bow to injustice

  6. #6 by seetee64 on Saturday, 18 May 2013 - 4:15 pm

    And, those Malaysian workers in Singapore vote for DAP, especially in Pasir Gudang. That’s the issue, actually.

  7. #7 by boh-liao on Saturday, 18 May 2013 - 6:15 pm

    A simple Q: Would countries around M’sia prefer M’sia 2 b ruled by a corrupt, incompetent, n racist gomen OR a clean, competent, n fair gomen?

  8. #8 by Jafri Basron on Saturday, 18 May 2013 - 6:50 pm

    Importing Malaysia politics into Singapore by the said Malaysian is nothing but an insult to the Non interfering policy of Singapore Government.
    Not only those involved should disbarred from working in Singapore, they should be disallowed from entering Singapore again.

  9. #9 by joshuayak on Saturday, 18 May 2013 - 7:40 pm

    Hi Mr Lim. You are a respected politician and I think highly of what DAP has been able to achieve in Malaysia. My mum is from Malaysia and I have been victim of corruption and crime in Malaysia and I understand my relatives pain and suffering. But I regret that this issue has been politicise by you. We do not ask the police to be lenient to our traffic offences and others. And warning had been given and yet for the proximity of Johor to Singapore, the offenders chose to commit the offence disregarding our laws. How can one allow that? Can we ask Malaysia then to disregard our offences along thw highway then? Do value the relations of the two countries and understand we have our own laws to protect. This article is beneath the character of DAP and should not be the direction for relations between our countries to take. Like how we respect laws of other nations, do respect ours as well…

    • #10 by Noble House on Sunday, 19 May 2013 - 4:24 am

      joshuayak ~ I have much admiration for the way Singapore is being administered but when it comes to Singaporean themselves I am afraid this is not the case that much I hate to say so. Please do not get me wrong though for this is in no way implied that all Singaporeans are the same just as it was with those Malaysians who ran afoul of your law. Granted, Singapore is under no obligations to accord them with the open space to voice out what was their moral responsibilities as citizens of country even though other nations may have viewed them differently.

      There is common belief that Singaporeans are law-abiding and well-behaved when in their own country. But once outside, we get to see the ugly side of them. Are you personally aware of the many outstanding traffic compounds from the Singaporeans to date? Some of my Singaporean friends told me they got so used to and even known to some of the traffic policemen manning the speed traps along the highways that all they did was to pay their usual way through. Don’t forget to check with the hotels here on the condition of the room each time a Singaporean checked out when you have the opportunity as well.

      Yes, you may say that corruption is prevalent in Malaysia but then it takes two hands to clap. And this is the ill affecting our country which Malaysian wants to do away with. Respect of the rules of law should be mutual here. We can certainly make do without having to take a lesson in law-breakings from you as such.

  10. #11 by quigonbond on Saturday, 18 May 2013 - 8:56 pm

    I wrote sometime back in an online news article about the potential cancelling of work permits of Malaysians who participated in illegal assembly in Singapore. I said that the issue is not so much of importing Malaysian politics into Singapore, or how much Singapore may be seen to interfere with Malaysian politics, because no one begrudges or call US, UK or Australia interfering just because they permitted space for protest about any issues. I said the issue was more about Singapore’s democratic space.

    Here, I’d like to add two more – Singapore knowing that the elections in Malaysia is hardly fair and free, it should be proud that it is nowhere near that abyss and that Malaysians flock to Singapore as a safe harbour. Singapore should also appreciate that those Malaysians protested against unfair and unclean elections – they are the same people who crave for equality – and that’s why they flock to Singapore. One cannot be expected to detach their uprighteousness once they leave Malaysia. Shouldn’t such civic mindedness be emulated by Singaporeans? After all, it is said that the price of liberty is eternal vigilance. In the end, if Singapore lets Abdul Ghani get off with a clever interpretation of events, surely it can try its best not to deport many Malaysians. If Singapore think that by deporting some of these Malaysians they are doing Singaporeans a big favour, the opposite sentiment may turn out to be true instead, as in, will Singaporeans see their government as being oppressive, and condoning electoral shenanigans?

    The other point to consider is this – Singapore clearly wants to steer clear of Malaysian politics. Whether that’s driven by economic considerations for sure, we will never know. But I believe Singapore can see that it is only a matter of time before BN implodes and Pakatan takes over in the mid term. If being harsh to workers is seen as tacitly taking BN side, does it really want to offend Pakatan?

  11. #12 by pulau_sibu on Sunday, 19 May 2013 - 2:37 am

    Singapore has less press and speech freedom compared to Malaysia. No demonstration or protest in Singapore. The ruling party must also be concerned about the ubah that will propagate into Singapore. So it is good for them to punish the Malaysians as a warning to the local people.

  12. #13 by TheWrathOfGrapes on Sunday, 19 May 2013 - 4:51 pm

    It is not a matter of press or speech freedom. It is about foreigners demonstrating and gathering on issues affecting their home countries. Imagine if all the foreign workers were to do that. The Sri Lankans will be siding with the Tamil Tigers or whatever. The Palestinians will be demonstrating against the Israelis. Indians will demonstrate against anything.

    The point is, the Malaysians can easily take a bus to Johor and demonstrate. If they insist to do Malaysian politics in Singapore, then they have to face Singapore laws.

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