Ordinarily, I would rule out contributing to a party like the Singapore Democratic Party. I still cannot forget how the then Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong was treated by one of its leaders. My view is, whether or not we agree with the views of the party in power, the Prime Minister as head of the Executive deserves some level of respect and decorum. I also find unacceptable the past attempts of some SDP members to undermine the independence of the Singapore judiciary.
However, the circumstances set out in the letter below provoked me to do otherwise. As guardians of justice, members of the legal profession have a duty to protect and exemplify rules of fair play. I hope this helps to make a difference in building an inclusive secular Singapore.
I also take comfort in the fact that my PAP Member of Parliament has responded swiftly to my feedback yesterday to express appreciation and offer empathy. No response has been received so far from the recipient of the letter below.
LETTER SENT TO LAWYER AND MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT CHRISTOPHER DE SOUZA ON 26 APRIL 2011
I write to you as a fellow Singaporean and particularly as a fellow member of our legal brethren in Singapore. I refer to your recent statement, which in effect is a character attack on a person standing against you in the coming general elections.
I have no standing to address the rest of your team but I must add I am greatly disappointed that you agreed to sign such an unfortunate statement. It is reflective of a colonialist dark age which sought to divide and rule. It will hurt our society in the long run.
For someone who comes from a profession that is greatly inclusive and tolerant of diversity, I wished you had not done so.
I cannot hold you accountable for your views. That is the prerogative of your voters.
However, I think I have a duty to show that your views do not represent my views, as a member of the august fraternity we belong to and as a Singaporean.
The Singapore Government has announced a package, which will, among other things, provide cash hand-outs to Singaporeans. We have been encouraged to donate this money.
As I disagree with your unfortunate statement, I will donate $179 from the cash hand-out I am due to receive to the team that is running against you; $1 for each word that appears in your unfortunate statement.
I will encourage other members of our profession, who do not agree with your statement, to do the same.
Finally, I appeal to you to campaign respectfully and positively in this general elections. Let’s not divide our society more than it is already.
Please consider the environment - do you really need to print this?