Today is International Human Rights Day. Let us remember that on this day, 30 years ago, JB Jeyaretnam was released from Queenstown Prison after serving a one month jail term for offences which he denied committing. Indeed, the Privy Council in 1988 vindicated him and he was reinstated to the lawyers’ roll. In addition, the Singapore Court of Appeal was heavily criticised by the Privy Council for sending him and Wong Hong Toi to jail.
JB Jeyaretnam was fined $5000 for those wrongful convictions. That amount disqualified him from holding his Anson seat in parliament. His MP office in Anson was immediately demolished.
The wrongs committed on J B Jeyaretnam have not been rectified to this day. He should have been reinstated as a member of parliament and the convictions overturned with the Privy Council’s decision. But that was not to be. This is the sorry state of human rights in Singapore 30 years ago and even today.
10 December 2016