Singaporean activist Jolovan Wham is facing charges for contempt of court over a Facebook post alleging that Malaysia’s judges are “more independent than Singapore’s for cases with political implications”. A member of the Singapore Democratic Party, John Tan, has since received the same charge for saying that this ”confirmed the truth of Mr Wham’s assertion about the independence of the Singapore judiciary”. Wham is an award-winning social worker known for his advocacy for migrant worker rights, civil liberties and the abolishment of the death penalty, and had already been facing charges over his involvement in a silent MRT protest and a candlelight vigil for a death-row inmate.
The charges over contempt of court are the latest in the aftermath of the controversial changes to the bill in 2016, which lowered the threshold for what counts as scandalising the judiciary. These changes have since seen, in addition to the cases of Wham and Tan, the prosecution of a lawyer over a poem and of Li Shengwu over a private Facebook post.