Law Society of Singapore: finally wakes up, thanks to Ravi

First it was the SMRT train disruptions last December that incurred the wrath of Singaporeans already fed up with the massive imports of cheap labour. Hot on the heels of this debacle, PM Lee was roundly rebuked by Singaporeans for dragging his feet over whether to hold a by-election in Hougang.

Now the latest controversy involves the Law Society of Singapore which tried three times to stop Ravi from representing a Hougang resident in the High Court.

Its representative produced a letter from Ravi’s psychiatrist declaring that his mental condition rendered him unfit to practise law. The intriguing question is why the psychiatrist was so co-operative.

His conduct raises the issue of doctor-patient confidentiality. At a time when the government is making great effort to signal that there’s nothing to be ashamed about mental health, this psychiatrist has single-handedly destroyed the good work done by health professionals and hospitals.

What also raises eyebrows is that the normally quiet Law Society of Singapore all of a sudden, to the consternation of many Singaporeans, found some hidden source of energy to bestir itself to treat the psychiatrist’s letter as a matter of the highest urgency and barged into the courts.

Now the latest twist and turn of the high drama has the Law Society of Singapore coming out with the excuse that its representative had acted on his own but with the best intentions and that it was unaware of the drama until later in the afternoon.

Many Singaporeans have no respect for the Law Society of Singapore for its “Silence is golden” motto. In most countries, the Law Society is in the forefront fighting for fair play and justice. But ours play it safe, apparently fearing to step on certain toes.

The Law Society of Singapore finally wakes up. The sequel should be riveting.

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