SFD queries ISD over Vincent Cheng affair

Internal Security Department
Email: isd@mha.gov.sg
Tel: 62566657

31 May 2010

Re: Mr. Vincent Cheng - ex-Internal Security Act detainee

I am writing to you, on behalf of Singaporeans for Democracy (SFD), about ex-ISA detainee Mr Vincent Cheng’s public speaking engagement at the NUS History Seminar 2010 on 4 June 2010, 2.30p.m at the National Library Board (NLB).

It has come to public attention that the National Library Board has asked the NUS History Society to take Mr. Vincent Cheng off the speakers’ list. Hence on 4 June 2010, Mr. Vincent Cheng will no longer be on the NUS History Seminar’s panel of speakers.

As a registered political association looking into matters of civil and political rights, SFD would like to seek from you answers to the following questions:

  1. Did the Internal Security Department or Ministry of Home Affairs officials and/or their agents communicate or meet with the National Library Board representatives over Mr. Vincent Cheng’s speaking engagement there?
  2. What is ISD's policy in allowing former detainees, in this case the 1987 group, to speak in public? In answering this question, could you also refer directly to Mr. Cheng’s public speaking rights as an ex-detainee?

Singaporeans for Democracy notes that at present there has been no active ban on recent ex-detainee publications, although SFD’s member Mr. Martyn See’s documentary Zahari's 17 Years remained banned.

As this is a matter of public interest, I would be grateful to receive a timely response.

Many thanks for your assistance.

Yours sincerely

Dr. James Gomez

Executive Director
Singaporeans for Democracy

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Why no reply?

Is the ISD exempted by some homeland security regulation from replying a letter from a properly registered association? Or is its failure to answer to ordinary tax payers, an example of shoddy manners? I hope the average Singaporean is not expected to lobby MPs for answers to the questions in this letter.

The Ghost of ISD

It seems once you kana the ISD it is going to be a life sentence. It will follows you into the grave and your whole life is gone! It will definitely instill fears in others not to follow his example. Perhaps ISA originally meant for the communists is now misused and politicised for ordinary individuals like Vincent Cheng just to serve as "rooster" amongst the "monkeys".