MHA slams Function 8 for showing ‘disrespect’ to Archbishop Nicholas Chia
Posted by temasektimes on September 21, 2012
In an unusual move, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) publicly slammed an activist group calling for the abolition of the Internal Security Act (ISA) Function 8 for showing ‘disrespect’ to Archbishop Nicholas Chia by publicising his retraction of a letter through blogger Alex Au.
Archbishop Chia had earlier sent an unsolicited letter to Function 8 in June this year expressing his support for its rally to call for the abolition of the repressive ISA which was used to detain many Singapore patriots without trial, one of whom is former MP Chia Thye Poh who spent 32 years in detention.
Soon after Archbishop Chia sent the letter to Function 8, he was ‘invited’ to a tea session with Home Affairs Minister Teo Chee Hean after which he sent a second letter to the group asking them not to publish his letter.
The state-controlled media published a report yesterday claiming that Archbishop Chia had withdrawn his letter because he was “concerned” it could be used to “harm” the social harmony in Singapore.
In a statement, the ministry said Archbishop Chia’s decision shows his appreciation of the complexity of Singapore’s multi-racial, multi-religious society, and the need to keep religion and politics separate.