Shadrake Jolly No More…For Now
The PAP has activated its police to do its dirty work, a police force which not only handcuff photojournalists, but recently arrested a visiting British author who wanted to test the limits of Singapore’s freedom of speech and liberty by launching his book about the death penalty in Singapore.
This reminds me of that loser Gopolan Nair slightly as Gopolan was officially a US citizen and got arrested for contempt of court. Alan Shadrake is also in a similar situation – a foreigner who came here to push the boundaries thinking he could get away with it but got caught in his own public relations trap in the end. He got the controversy he wanted, we Singaporeans got the controversy we wanted at no expense to ourselves as we let a foreigner get the sharp end of the stick and the PAP looks bad.
With the arrest of Shadrake, the whole issue is less about the death penalty, and more about where we draw the line on supposed foreign intervention. Cracking down on local politicians getting foreign money and logistics is fine with me. But turning the screws on a foreigner in his book launch, although the foreigner is like a taunting Oliver Fricker and asking for it, is a bit too much in my book. Unless there is more than meets the eye here.
Singapore arrests British author
July 19, 2010 – 1:54AM
Singapore police arrested a British author on Sunday, a day after he launched a book alleging double standards in the city-state’s use of the death penalty.
Alan Shadrake, who wrote the book Once a Jolly Hangman: Singapore Justice on the Dock, was detained on charges including criminal defamation and contempt of court, police said in a statement.
“Police confirm that they have arrested British national Alan Shadrake. He is being investigated for alleged offences of criminal defamation and other offences,” it said.
“Alan Shadrake has also been served with an application by the Attorney-General for an order of committal for contempt of court,” the statement added.
It said that the arrest was made “pursuant to a police report that was lodged” by regulator Media Development Authority.
Shadrake’s arrest came a day after the launch of his book, which contained an interview with Darshan Singh, the long-time chief executioner at Singapore’s Changi Prison, who has since retired.
The book also features interviews with local human rights activists, lawyers and former police officers on various cases involving capital punishment in the city-state, which carries out the death penalty by hanging.
In Singapore, the death penalty is mandatory for murder, treason and drug trafficking, among other crimes.
Despite criticism from human rights activists, Singapore officials have maintained that the death penalty has been a key factor in keeping a low crime rate in the island-state, one of Asia’s safest countries.
Shadrake, who wrote articles for London’s Daily Telegraph and other newspapers, told AFP after the book’s Singapore launch on Saturday that he had expected trouble, but felt that the authorities were not going to take action.
“If they do anything, it’ll just draw more attention to it all, and they have no defence,” he said.
Defamation carries a sentence of two years’ imprisonment or a fine or both.