ST April 15, 2008
Couple charged under Sedition Act
By Elena Chong
A COUPLE were charged on Tuesday with distributing a seditious publication to two others.
Ong Kian Cheong, 49, and Dorothy Chan Hien Leng, 44, are alleged to have distributed The Little Bride, an evangelistic material, to Sembawang resident Irwan Ariffin last Oct 19.
They are also said to have distributed the same publication to one Madam Farharti Ahmad at her home in Woodlands on March 6 last year .
It is not clear why they face the Sedition Act and the Undesirable Publication Act when the publication is the same.
Ong, who works in a telecommunications company, and his wife, a bank employee, were represented by Mr Selva K. Naidu.
The police prosecutor sought an adjournment of the case pending a Health Sciences Authority on handwriting specimen.
The couple were freed on $10,000 bail each. Their passports were impounded.
The case will be mentioned on April 29.
Under the Sedition Act, the maximum penalty is a $5,000 fine and/or a jail term of up to three years.
The maximum penalty under the Undesirable Publication Act is a fine of up to $5,000 and/or up to 12 months.
Now, it may be true that the tract they are using is illegal (Chick tract) so the most they should be charged under the Undesirable Publication Act. Even obnoxious behavior is no legitimate grounds for being charged under the Sedition Act. So what exactly is going on here?
The only thing that may be 'objectionable' is that they are reaching out to Malays. However, this is a lame excuse. It must be remembered by all Singaporeans and the government that the Singaporean Constitution guarantees Freedom of Religion. Lex Rex! The government is NOT above the Constitution.
Anyway, time for action. Please pray for this couple, and the growing hostility towards biblical Christianity in Singapore (and around the world too). Pray that God will use the rising tide of persecution to purify His bride, and that God will use this case to slowly awaken the Church from her slumber.
Disclaimer: I am in no way suggesting that I condone their methods or even the tracts. What I am find very disturbing is that they are charged under the Sedition Act while they are in the process of evangelising others. This is not a good sign.