Why did the hacker not get a lawyer?

Temasek Review
your letters


This letter has been submitted by T.C


Human rights lawyer M Ravi has now put forth his application before a Supreme Court judge to adjudicate on whether he should have been, or be given immediate access to his client, hacker James Raj.

About not given access to a lawyer


Looking at the law plainly, while access to counsel is a right of the accused, nowhere does it state that this access must be immediate. This basis for the law is logical to this writer because a defence counsel could inadvertently affect the evidence-gathering process. This must be as unaffected as possible to ensure a fair trial for all accused persons. Therefore, it would appear that the law has been deliberately scoped broadly to account for this point.

For example, if someone is caught trafficking in drugs – if the defence counsel went to speak to his cousin (who happened to be the mastermind behind the trafficking), don’t you think the cousin would try and flee the country then, therefore jeopardizing the whole criminal justice process and the possibility of apprehending the mastermind?

In my opinion, scoped in this way, the law accounts for both the constitutional right of the individual by stating that access to counsel must be granted but within a reasonable period from the moment he is taken into custody. What Mr Ravi is asking for by taking this application to the Supreme Court judge, therefore, is that the law be tailored to suit his (and his client’s) circumstances, whatever they may be. But how can the law be flexible? If we make exceptions for one person, won’t it only be fair to make exceptions for everyone else? And by that premise, then, what would be the purpose of having laws?

About the hacking

Don’t you think what James Raj has done, or has sought to do is actually quite ridiculous? On the surface, while hacking into sites like Sun Ho’s website could serve as entertainment for some, I think hacking into government websites brings with it a whole different set of issues. How would you feel if the data you provide to your Town Council is stolen by hackers like James Raj? Worse still, if your bank accounts get compromised because of such stolen data. While I initially was quite impressed and amused by the hacking of Sun Ho’s website, I quickly wiped that smile off my face when I read he hacked into government websites. We have so much personal data with the government, and I don’t know about you – but the thought of my data being stolen by a group of anarchists really kinda freaked me out. What supporters of hackers are actually supporting are burglars and common crooks, except now they go by a different name under the cloak of anonymity. I think what’s most worrying is the fact that many of these supporters don’t even know what they’re supporting underneath it all.

Beyond this, I think what we need to pause to consider is the question – what exactly is James Raj’s motivation for hacking into these government websites, or even Sun Ho’s website for that matter? He said in his video that the “primary objective of our invasion was to protest the implementation of the internet licensing framework by giving you a sneak peak of the state of your cyberspace if the ridiculous, communistic, oppressive and offensive framework gets implemented”. But really, what has James Raj achieved by threatening the government through such means? I’ll tell you – what he’s done is merely wasted police resources tracking him down, seeking help from the Malaysian Police and wasting taxpayers’ money by keeping him under custody in institutions.

Are we merely supporting a junkie who was on the run and encouraging copycats to create more social nuisance?

Even if his real agenda was to achieve freedom from his supposed oppression (though in my opinion, we are definitely not an oppressed nation – there are cracks in our social policy for sure, and we are definitely not meritocratic as we like to proclaim, but look you only have to look at other countries overseas to see how un-oppressed we actually are), I’m sure there are other ways to achieving a true democracy (which, by the way, how do we even define a true democracy?) here.







  1. thanks for such interesting article i have enjoy to read every single word. in that case i found both lawyer and client are pathetic.

  2. “in my opinion, we are definitely not an oppressed nation”

    How would you explain the press freedom index?

    Rank – Country
    30 – Ghana
    76 – Congo
    85 – Kosovo
    98 – Mongolia
    104 – Uganda
    115 – Nigeria
    119 – Ecuador
    124 – South Sudan
    131 – Libya
    143 – Cambodia
    146 – Palestine
    149 – Singapore
    178 – North Korea

    1. I personally think the “Press Freedom Index” is a little outdated – here on the internet you get an all-you-can-eat freedom buffet.

    2. “Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.” You decide for yourself if you want to believe the data, given that the people who piece it together will always be pushing some agenda. If we hinge our minds to taking things log stock and whole, we are going to have a serious problem.

    3. What makes you think the so-called ‘press freedom’ gives you a free press? What happens when you relinquish state control of the press? Big corporations come in. Lobby groups come in. The press agenda starts being dictated by these people. You get the pork companies telling you pork is as healthy as chicken (true story).

      1. The “press freedom index” tells you that the Singapore MSM carries one opinion, that of the PAP government. What is unclear about it? Are you saying that Singapore press is FREE to print whatever it wants, such as advocating against immigration policies, ISA, million dollar salaries, just to name a few?

  3. “here on the internet you get an all-you-can-eat freedom buffet.”

    The Messiah protested he wanted to protect your freedom buffet. Even Google, Yahoo etc are against the Singapore government on this control.

    You should be criticizing PAP for maintaining the outdated media control and EXTENDING it to the Internet.

    Don’t get me started on your other points…

  4. Glad you made the point that right to counsel cannot be absolute from the stand point of investigations and arrest. However, on the flip side, the authority withhold this right should not be absolute either – an authority which is what you seem to be advocating.

    The indefinite denial of this right could lead to situations allowing investigators to possibly take advantage of an accused lack of information to extract statements which would unwittingly be incriminating to the accused.

    To prevent such situations, a limit on the suspension of the right to counsel must be clearly spelt out and not left indefinite. A balance can and should be struck between the exigencies of investigative work and the need to protect the rights of an accused.

Share your thoughts!

Zeen is a next generation WordPress theme. It’s powerful, beautifully designed and comes with everything you need to engage your visitors and increase conversions.