Update at 4.30am on 4 November 2014: I’ve been told I’m wrong because Parly listened to Ravi. My point is that the Speaker and Minister involved know more about sub judice than M Ravi credits them for. And publicly telling the Speaker how to suck eggs, is unseemly and distasteful from someone who has admitted (see below) that his behaviour has caused problems, in another case, in the administration for justice. As I wrote below, Bit like the lunatics of Arkham Asylum trying to tell Batman how to rid Gotham City of criminals, it seems to me.
Update at 5.20 pm: Minister and Speaker behave properly, a lesson M Ravi will hopefully will follow in his practice of the law, though I doubt it very much.
In Parliament today, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan commented that he will not be commenting on the Hong Lim Park incident, as police investigations and legal proceedings are ongoing.
“It is not appropriate to comment on the incident or to give a view on what could or could not have prevented such an incident,” Mr Khaw said, responding to MPs Denise Phua and Zainal Sapari’s questions on the incident. NParks is a statutory board under the purview of the Ministry of National Development.
Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob also warned the MPs that as the case was before the courts, comments which fell foul of sub judice laws would not be allowed in the House.)
MP Zainal Sapari (Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC) and MP Denise Phua (Moulmein-Kallang GRC) will later today raise questions in Parliament about the incident at Hong Lim Park on 27 September 2014 when some of #ReturnOurCPF protestors KPKBed at a YMCA event, disrupting it. Charges have been made against six
alleged hooligans participants of the #ReturnOurCPF event. The details of the MPs questions are given at the end of this post.
In response to the move by the two PAP MPs to ask questions about the incident, M Ravi, who is representing the six persons charged, has written to the Speaker of Parliament, Halimah Yacob, to highlight his concerns about the questions and issues raised by the MPs.
In particular, Mr Ravi is concerned that since the case against his 6 clients is sub judice, any discussions by the MPs on the matter may impede or prejudice the course of justice in the relevant proceedings of the case.
Mr Ravi wrote that he has been instructed to make a constitutional challenge on the Parks and Trees Act, and a formal letter to the Minister for National Development has also expressly reserved the right to make the constitutional challenge. His grandfather wrote the constitution, with one JBJ assisting is it?
“It will no doubt be your view, very properly, that Members will not need to be reminded that they should not utter anything on the floor of the House which would affect the evaluation of the merits of proceedings which are imminent or before the courts, or influence the result of proceedings, in particular the likelihood of an acquittal,” Mr Ravi wrote to the Speaker of Parliament asking for Mdm Halimah to be discrete.
He thinks he knows better than the Speaker? His grandfather owns parly, is it? What I find extremely funny and distasteful is that here is someone who effectively pleaded guilty to a complaint by the AG in respect of his conduct in another case, trying to tell the Speaker of her duties, when he couldn’t conduct himself properly in the other case? Bit rich ain’t it?
Bit like the lunatics of Arkham Asylum trying to tell Batman how to rid Gotham City of criminals, it seems to me. For those who don’t know Gotham City, Arkham Asylum is home to some of the criminals he brought to justice. They were found to be looney.
M Ravi goes on, “It would be a dereliction of our duty as Advocates not to do everything lawfully and appropriately to uphold the rule of law and thereby protect our clients’ legal rights by deferentially drawing attention to details of the pending charges for your proper consideration.”
The letter has been copied to the Attorney-General’s Chambers, Minister for National Development and the Commissioner of Police: so that they too can have a laugh?
MP Zainal Sapari has filed the following question for National Development Minister to answer:
To ask the Minister for National Development:
- (a) if he can give a full account of the incident that happened at Hong Lim Park on 27 September 2014;
- (b) whether there has been any non-compliance by the organisers of both events in ensuring public peace; and
- (c) whether there is any follow-up action to ensure that such incidents will not happen again.
MP Denise Phua is asking about the use of Speakers’ Corner and the Telok Ayer Hong Lim Green Community Centre:
To ask the Minister for National Development:
- (a) whether Hong Lim Park is for the sole use of Speakers’ Corner participants;
- (b) what designated spots in Hong Lim Park are meant for Speakers’ Corner activities;
- (c) what is the list of activities permitted for Hong Lim Park;
- (d) when and for what activities can the adjacent Telok Ayer Hong Lim Green Community Centre facilities such as the stage be allowed for use by Hong Lim Park users;
- (e) what standard operating procedures pertain to the use of Hong Lim Park and the adjacent Telok Ayer Hong Lim Green Community Centre’s facilities; and
- (f) how the recent incident pertaining to the use of the same ground by YMCA and advocates of the Return-My-CPF group can be avoided.