KUALA LUMPUR — A critic of the Singaporean government is being jailed for one week starting Tuesday for “scandalizing the judiciary” with a Facebook post that queried whether the courts operate independently of the government.
“I do not recognise the legitimacy of the judgment and the law, both of which are unjust,” Jolovan Wham, a prominent social activist, said on Facebook on Tuesday, before surrendering to police to serve the sentence rather than pay a fine of 3,510 dollars (5,000 Singapore dollars) fine.
Restrictions against criticising the courts have remained in place in Singapore since British colonial rule, along with significant curbs on freedom of speech.
Wham has previously faced legal troubles over organizing events featuring the leaders of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement and for his activism in areas like migrant workers’ rights and gay rights.
In a separate ruling, Singapore Monday declined to overturn another colonial-era legal inheritance that outlaws gay sex.
Though the wealthy city-state regularly holds parliamentary elections, with the next scheduled for 2021, it is often described as a de facto single-party state as the People’s Action Party (PAP) has easily won every contest held since independence in 1965.Show