Aussie clergyman denied entry for interfering in S’pore politics – ST 12/11/2012
Aussie clergyman barred from entering Singapore – TODAY 12/11/2012
We refer to the above reports in The Straits Times (ST) and TODAY of 12 Nov 2012. Both reports quoted MHA as saying that Rev James Minchin spoke at a forum (ST used the words “political forum”) where he was alleged to have said that “the rule of law was bypassed and corrupted in Singapore, and questioned the independence and integrity of the judiciary”. TODAY unequivocally stated that “the forum was organised by civil society group Function 8” while ST stated that “MHA did not name the event but in August last year, Mr Minchin spoke at a forum organised by civil society group Function 8, which wants to abolish the Internal Security Act.”
We are exceedingly disappointed that both the ST and TODAY have deemed it proper journalistic practice to name Function 8 as the organiser of the forum or political forum where those words were allegedly spoken by Rev Minchin when MHA itself did not name the organiser. Neither ST nor TODAY had spoken to any member of Function 8 to confirm that we were the organiser of a forum where Rev Minchin said those words. For the record, we have never invited any reporter to any of our forums.
With regard to insinuations of TODAY and ST that Function 8 had breached any employment regulations or laws, we are very clear that we had not done so.
Function 8 is a social enterprise and its members believe there is a need to facilitate the sharing of social, political and economic experiences of those who had or are eager to contribute to society through reflection and civic discussions. Our aims are wider than just seeking the abolition of the Internal Security Act as suggested by ST. Function 8 has on a regular basis, organised talks and discussions. Speakers included a wide range of personalities because we believe in diversity of views. We are an open and transparent organisation and wish to engage various segments of society in discussions and activities that will elevate us to a higher plane of civic and moral responsibility.
Function 8 Limited
19 November 2012