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Edwin Tong

Edwin Tong Chun Fai (simplified Chinese: 唐振辉; traditional Chinese: 唐振輝; pinyin: Táng Zhèn Huī; born 1970) is a Singaporean politician and lawyer. He is a currently a member of Parliament in Singapore representing the Marine Parade Group Representation Constituency (GRC).

Edwin Tong Chun Fai
SC
唐振辉
Personal details
Born 1970
Nationality Singaporean
Political party People's Action Party
Alma mater National University of Singapore
Profession Politician

BiographyEdit

Tong was educated at St. Michael's School and St. Joseph's Institution.[1] He read law at the National University of Singapore, graduating in 1994. After admission to the Singapore Bar, he joined Allen & Gledhill LLP where he was a partner until 2018. He is a Roman Catholic.[2]

Political careerEdit

Tong's political involvement commenced with grassroots work with various incumbent members of parliament and constituencies, especially the now defunct Jalan Besar GRC.[1] Tong was fielded by the People's Action Party (PAP) as a candidate in the group representation constituency of the newly formed Moulmein-Kallang GRC in the 2011 General Election.[1] He was elected, with the team garnering 44,828 votes or 58.56% of the total votes cast. Tong previously served as a member of parliament for the sub-electoral division of Jalan Besar, but it has since been split up and merged with Kolam Ayer, Kampong Glam and Whampoa in 2015.

Tong ran in Marine Parade GRC against the Workers Party in the 2015 General Election and was elected with 67.02% of the vote.

Tong represented Pastor Kong Hee of the City Harvest Church in the City Harvest Church Trial.[3] On 5 February 2018, the Singapore Attorney-General's Chamber said it would take action against a man for contempt of court for publishing on a Facebook group a doctored image of Chinese tabloid Lianhe Wanbao, insinuating that Edwin Tong and his affiliated political party had saved Kong Hee from harsher penalties. The original title of the Chinese paper had used the word "outdated law" instead of "PAP lawyer", to describe the reason behind Kong's relatively light penalties.[4]

Tong is also a member of the select committee set up to look into tackling the issue of online falsehoods. In March 2018 at the committee hearings, Tong led evidence from freelance journalist Kirsten Han, whose submission to the select committee centered on Singapore's tight control on civil liberties, and who clarified that she was one of the 34 interviewees who contributed to the Human Rights Watch Report on Singapore in 2017. Han acknowledged that her article titled "Singapore plays up terrorism to curb liberties" was “incomplete at the very least, and possibly misleading at the other end of the spectrum”.[5][6] In banter with Han, he seemed to allude to the possibility that those who similarly post misleading articles may eventually be subjected to litigation.[7][8]

On 1 July 2018, Tong was appointed as Senior Minister of State for Law and Health. [1]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d Edwin Tong - PAP candidate
  2. ^ "Mr Edwin Tong Chun Fai". Parliament of Singapore. Government of Singapore. 6 February 2012. Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  3. ^ "Accused in CHC case hire elite lawyers". Asiaone News Portal. 25 July 2012. 
  4. ^ "AGC has written to man who posted 'fake news' about lawyer who defended City Harvest Church leaders". Channel NewsAsia. 
  5. ^ "Select Committee on deliberate online falsehoods to hold public hearings in March". Channel NewsAsia. 
  6. ^ "Singapore fake news panel debates Benjamin Lim case, Human Rights Watch report with journalists". Channel NewsAsia. "Mr Tong took issue with how she quoted civil society groups as identifying “a sit-down demonstration for a cause” as reason to invoke a new Public Order and Safety (Special Powers) Act. The full text in the Bill, said Mr Tong, describes a scenario where “a sit-down demonstration for a cause attracts a large group of sympathisers who voluntarily join the sit-in. For over a week, the group grows and the demonstrators start to occupy the publicly accessible paths and other open spaces ... Their presence starts to impede the flow of vehicular and pedestrian traffic and interfere with normal trade or business activities in the area”. “That is quite different from just having 'a sit-down demonstration', correct? “If cited completely, it would … address the imbalance I think you're trying to convey which is heavily slanted in favour of curbing liberties,” said Mr Tong. Ms Han replied: “I feel that even if it had been quoted in full, I would still stand by my argument that there are concerns that national security has been used to justify things that might curb civil liberties in Singapore.” “That is a different point,” Mr Tong countered. “All I'm putting to you is there is a difference between what you have quoted and what the full illustration actually entails.” He said the article was “incomplete at the very least, and possibly misleading at the other end of the spectrum”. “I take your point and accept your opinion,” said Ms Han. 
  7. ^ "Select Committee on deliberate online falsehoods to hold public hearings in March". Channel NewsAsia. 
  8. ^ "Singapore fake news panel debates Benjamin Lim case, Human Rights Watch report with journalists". Channel NewsAsia. "This is the sort of open discussion that I would recommend for discussing issues which we disagree on interpretation; we talk about it openly, nobody gets sued and nobody goes to jail." "Not yet," said Mr Tong.