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PAP MP for Bishan-Toa Payoh, Hri Kumar Nair delivered this speech on the first day of the parliamentary debate over Section 377A at 7:29pm, on 22 October 2007. Transcript of this video segment: "I rise to support the Bill. A major overhaul of the Penal Code was timely and the Ministry of Home Affairs has obviously put in much effort and thought to the amendments. I particularly commend the new laws to protect minors from sexual predators whether here or abroad and I support the amendments fully. Let me touch briefly on the issue of Section 377A. As Professor Ho Peng Kee pointed out, this is one debate which will not see people switching sides easily. Both proponents and opponents of the law have deeply entrenched views on the subject and that is unlikely to change for some time. I have personally asked many people, both young and old what they think of this issue. And the almost common consensus is that they do not want this law to be repealed. And that is consistent with the feedback the Government has received. So I do not wish to engage in a moral debate and certainly not a long one, and I have no rousing speech to deliver. What I wish to do is to approach it from a lawyer's point of view and how I see Parliament and Parliament's role in making laws. As a lawyer, the power of Parliament to make law is of particular interest to me. When judges and lawyers interpret laws, they are in certain instances permitted to refer to Hansard to determine the intention behind any word, phrase or provision in a piece of legislation. Parliamentary debates therefore play an important role not just in the passing of laws but in how they would be understood by those who later apply them. What we say here or do must be consistent with the law we promulgate and also make sense to those who scrutinise our words perhaps years from now. In my submission, laws must meet the 3 Cs -- be clear, be consistent and be concrete -- meaning that it must be substantive, effective and make sense. What I find difficult about this issue before us is that while the majority do not wish a repeal for good reason, intellectually Section 377A does, in some respect, fall short of what a good law is or should be. First, it's unclear what the current legal position is. In a statement on 7 Nov 2006, the Ministry of Home Affairs said that, with respect to Section 377A, it will not be proactive in enforcing the section against adult males engaging in consensual sex with each other in private. But what does that mean? Does it mean that the police will not act on complaints? Or that suspects may be investigated but ultimately not arrested or prosecuted? Or is it the case of the Attorney-General, who has prosecutorial discretion, (and who) may prosecute some but not all offenders? That puts the Attorney-General in a difficult position because selective prosecution will give rise to more issues. But if the intention is not to do anything at all, then what is the purpose of having the law? Does it not hurt our credibility that we have laws that are toothless? The Penal Code is an important piece of legislation. And in the long run, making some conduct criminal under our Penal Code whilst stating that the law will not be enforced simply invites attacks on the integrity of the Code. Second, we are not being consistent. The retention of 377A is often justified as being consistent with the importance society places on family values. But society has done away with criminalising a whole host of other conduct which is far more damaging to family values, such as adultery which carries a more direct threat to the integrity of the family. And adultery was one of the original Ten Commandments. Further, it is not always true that laws always reflect society's or the moral position. Marital rape is a good example. I cannot imagine any member of this House believing that it is acceptable for a man to force himself on a woman under any circumstances regardless of whether they are married. But we do not completely outlaw marital rape. The Bill here certainly protects a woman more by prescribing circumstances under which a husband can be charged with rape. But the protection is not absolute for wives. Why? Well, over and above the reasons that have been given -- and in this respect, I share Nominated MP Eunice Olsen's criticisms of those reasons. But more importantly, the law knows its own limits and it's practically impossible to properly enforce a law by giving wide absolute protection. So likewise, if we do not accept that the Penal Code is not... we also accept that the Penal Code is not the appropriate tool to legislate or regulate the private heterosexual behaviour of consenting adults. Indeed, it is almost impossible to effectively do so." Links: http://sporelgbtpedia.shoutwiki.com/wiki/Hri_Kumar_Nair%27s_views_on_homosexuality#Transcript http://sporelgbtpedia.shoutwiki.com/wiki/Section_377A_of_the_Singapore_Penal_Code

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current07:00, September 4, 2015Thumbnail for version as of 07:00, September 4, 201506:04480 × 269 (10 KB)Groyn88 (wall | contribs)created video
06:59, September 4, 2015Thumbnail for version as of 06:59, September 4, 201506:04480 × 269 (10 KB)Groyn88 (wall | contribs)created video
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06:59, September 4, 2015Thumbnail for version as of 06:59, September 4, 201506:04480 × 269 (10 KB)Groyn88 (wall | contribs)created video
08:45, August 30, 2015Thumbnail for version as of 08:45, August 30, 201506:04480 × 269 (10 KB)Groyn88 (wall | contribs)created video
05:41, August 30, 2015Thumbnail for version as of 05:41, August 30, 201506:04480 × 269 (10 KB)Groyn88 (wall | contribs)created video
08:17, August 17, 2015Thumbnail for version as of 08:17, August 17, 201506:04480 × 269 (10 KB)Groyn88 (wall | contribs)created video
15:05, August 4, 2015Thumbnail for version as of 15:05, August 4, 201506:04480 × 269 (10 KB)Groyn88 (wall | contribs)created video
12:33, July 17, 2014Thumbnail for version as of 12:33, July 17, 201406:04480 × 269 (10 KB)Groyn88 (wall | contribs)created video

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