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In our PM Wong era

This week: It’s PM Wong time now. And great relief following the Court of Appeal overturning the conviction of a man previously sentenced to death.

I’m in Taiwan this week and the WiFi where I’m staying is truly horrific, so I’m writing this wrap on my phone using mobile data and only my thumbs.

Not only that… while in the middle of writing this, a demonstration started outside Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan so this kaypoh journalist trotted over to check it out and watch Taiwan Taiwanning. Now I’m writing this newsletter using only my thumbs and it’s 1:30am. 😬😬😬


Hello, PM Wong! Lawrence Wong was sworn-in on the 15th while Lee Hsien Loong graduated to Senior Minister. I sent out a special issue on the day, so I won’t rehash everything again.

Pundits were surprised by Wong’s choice of Gan Kim Yong for deputy prime minister. The sense is that Wong wants to keep things steady for now. Heng Swee Keat, who, even though some (many?) of us might have forgotten, is still around, also remains as DPM.

Another thing that caught my eye: in an interview, Wong claimed that it is “not unimaginable” that the opposition parties will win enough votes to unseat the PAP in the next election. That’s true, but lots of things are “not unimaginable”—the key is, is it likely? I’m often sceptical when the PAP raises this possibility because it sounds like “beware the freak election!” all over again. Singaporeans should just vote according to our own consciences.


The Court of Appeal has overturned the conviction of a man who’d been sentenced to death. I should have put this in last week’s wrap because I’d been in court to hear the delivery of the oral judgement for Mohamed Mubin Abdul Rahman. But the written judgment is now online, so I can quote from it more fully rather than just rely on hurriedly scribbled notes.

In its judgment, the court pointed out that the prosecution had shifted its position during the course of the case, and that the evidence did not show, beyond a reasonable doubt, when the two bundles of heroin in question had been delivered to Mubin.

“It is generally incumbent on the Prosecution to advance a consistent case, so that the accused person knows the case that he has to meet,” the court wrote in the judgment. “This flows from the principle that fairness requires an accused person to have the chance to confront the case theory adopted by the Prosecution and the need to ensure that an accused person is not prejudiced by reason of any inconsistency in the Prosecution’s case.”

The written judgment also says:

The Prosecution had shifted its position in relation to an important aspect of its case, which is when the Two Bundles were delivered. It is the Appellant’s perspective that is especially significant in this context. Based on the way the Prosecution had cross-examined Lokman, the Appellant would have seen the Prosecution’s case as one that was rooted in the hypothesis that the Two Bundles had been delivered by Zaini on 7 September 2015. However, the Prosecution then appeared to resile from this position when cross-examining the Appellant and pursued a broader case instead that the Two Bundles were delivered sometime in the first week of September 2015. The result of this shift was that this aspect of the case against the Appellant became a moving target.


The Singapore Democratic Party has kicked off its election campaign. The plan is to focus on quality of life issues like cost of living, inequality, national identity and more. They’re also going to put forward a party position on immigration and manpower.

I was just trying to have a little day off and then a protest happened so yeah I went to look at it.

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