“In a statement, the AGC said it would respond to any words or actions that insult a particular religion or race, or seek to engender hatred among races or religious groups, or which suggest that the Government is using race or religion for its own purpose.” – Contributed by Oogle.
A-G CHAMBERS TO TAKE ‘A FIRM LINE’
The Attorney-General’s Chambers said yesterday that it would take “a firm line” in dealing with “heinous” words or deeds.
In a statement, the AGC said it would respond to any words or actions that insult a particular religion or race, or seek to engender hatred among races or religious groups, or which suggest that the Government is using race or religion for its own purpose.
It was replying to queries it has received on the general principles as to when investigations would be conducted and action taken against people.
The statement came after the April 19 arrest of cartoonist Leslie Chew, who is being investigated under the Sedition Act for “a series of racially insensitive cartoons which are circulating online”.
The AGC statement noted that “there are hundreds of commentaries…on socio-political matters both in the mainstream media and online”, many of which “do not contravene the law, and no legal action will be taken by the AGC on behalf of the State”.
But due to the importance of racial and religious harmony to society and peaceful living in Singapore, the AGC urged Singaporeans to “remain vigilant against any threats to racial and religious harmony” as “words or deeds touching on race or religion have the potential to create fault lines within our society”.
Any responses from the AGC would “depend on what is uncovered by investigations”.
The AGC said that “where comments are made in the heat of the moment, or by relatively immature persons who did not know better, a more nuanced response may follow”.
It added “any statement or action that seeks to impugn or undermine the independence of the Judiciary” will similarly be met with action from the AGC because “the rule of law is another fundamental tenet of our society”, and “unwarranted allegations of bias or partiality strike at the heart of the judicial process”.
Hoe Pei Shan