Changi Prison enthusiast Jolovan Wham heir apparent to million-dollar empire?

Feb 27, 2021 | 🚀 Fathership

Civil rights activist and budding Changi Prison enthusiast Jolovan Wham is allegedly the son of jewelry trader Johnny Wham and Gina Wham, both of whom founded popular jewelry chain Goldheart in 1974.

According to local tabloid Singapore Ink and a 2018 post on Sammyboyforum, Jolovan Wham's dad is now runs a retail jewelry business Platim Jewelry located at Orchard Towers. In the same building, the father also ownes Jamboree Bar and Cafe, a high-end bar catering to the local expat community.

Wham is no stranger to civil disobedience in Singapore.

Wham was recently fined S$8,000 on Monday (Feb 15) for organising an illegal public assembly on an MRT train in 2017. He told the court he intends to pay $2,500 for the charge of refusing to sign the statement he gave to the police but will go to jail - for 22 days - in lieu of paying the fines.

In 2019, Wham was fined $3,200 for organising a public assembly without permit in 2016 and for refusing to sign a statement he gave to the police on the case. He appealed but lost, then chose jail - 16 days - instead of paying the fine.

In the same year, Wham was fined S$5,000 for contempt of court for publishing a Facebook post in 2018 alleging that Malaysia's judges were more independent than Singapore's in cases with political implications.

He appealed later but lost. Lee Hsien Yang, the brother of Singapore's current Prime Minister, had put up a S$20,000 security deposit for Wham's appeal but ultimately had it forfeited when the appeal was quashed in February this year.

Wham chose jail again - 7 days - instead of paying the fine.

With rising costs of living and the volatility of Singapore's economic landscape, not many have the privilege to protest and risk having a black mark on their record that may prevent them from having a stable career.

But that's not something for Wham to worry about apparently.

Op-ed by Ahmad & Lup Cheong

Malay PAP and WP MPs silent on PA saga with some refusing to comment

Jun 16, 2021 | 🚀 Fathership

Political leaders in positions of power have the privilege and the platform to chime in on matters concerning the community with the hope of reining in the outrage before it escalates into something worse.

Unfortunately, all the current Malay MPs from both the People’s Action Party and Workers’ Party either did not wish to comment on the PA saga or did not respond, according to TODAY.

Various Malay community leaders and former MPs gave their views on the matter when approached

Mr Zainal Sapari, former MP for Pasir Ris–Punggol Group Representation Constituency (GRC), said that he would not frame the recent incident as a case of racism.

“I believe PA is true in its cause of promoting racial harmony and social cohesion,” the former PA grassroots adviser said.

“Despite their best efforts, such incidents do happen and will happen again in future, but I would not frame it as racism.”

He also hopes that this incident “does not dampen the spirit of many volunteers who want to serve the community, but may make some bad judgement calls unintentionally”.

“We should just apologise, learn from it and move on,” he added.

Mr Zainul Abidin Rasheed, former Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, said that the reactions to the incident should be one of understanding rather than taking on an accusatory tone.

“We need to continue to learn from each other — how do we appreciate each other’s cultures and differences and bring about better understanding and harmony — rather than to start pointing fingers,” the former Aljunied GRC MP said.

Mr Mohamed Imran Mohamed Taib, an interfaith activist and founding board member of the Centre for Interfaith Understanding, said that racism cannot just be confined to an act of an individual or a particular incident.

He said in a Facebook post on Tuesday — which he confirmed with TODAY was a response to the PA incident — that racism is a “structure, and a system of thinking and doing, that can manifest in an individual, group or social organisation through a style of thinking, speech and communication, law and policy, and physical action”.

“One has to go to the root source and identify what makes the individual think, say and act in a particular way,” he said in the post.

“Doing so would bring us to a point where we say it is not his, her, their or my problem, but it is our problem; that there is something wrong in the way we organise society.”

When asked to elaborate on his post, Mr Imran told TODAY that given the sensitivity of the issues concerning racism, we “must learn not to rush into saying that something is racist or not”.

He said that racism is experienced at the “everyday level” and one should be careful not to dismiss and invalidate the experiences of racism, especially among minorities.

“Instead, we must learn to ask ourselves what racism looks like, especially to those who are at the receiving end... Racism feels real, even if we don’t believe so.”

Mr Hazni Aris Hazam Aris, vice-chairman of AMP Singapore, a non-profit group serving the Muslim community, said that there needs to be a “paradigm shift” in how inter-racial relations are approached and understood.

“The types of conversations on race must progress beyond festivals and clothes, and move into understanding values and worldviews that shape how members of a race thinks or behaves.”