Statement on Court Of Appeal’s Judgement on Dan Tan’s Appeal

Chris Eaton, Executive Director Sport Integrity at the International Centre for Sport Security released the following statement regarding the Court Of Appeal’s Judgement on Dan Tan’s Appeal.

“In a totally globalised world, where actions in one part of the world can easily impact anywhere else in the world, how quaintly 19th Century and out-of-touch is the reasoning of Singapore Justice Menon in deciding to release Singaporean Dan Tan Seet Eng from custody for international match-fixing of football.

In his decision Justice Menon described the damage Dan Tan had wrought internationally to football as “reprehensible”, but then noted his view that it didn’t effect Singapore directly. So while Dan Tan was in Singapore, no doubt using Singaporean communications facilities and public places to plan and engage people to do unlawful acts outside of Singapore, that’s ok, just so long as Singapore is ok!

This is the attitude that turned the world of sport, INTERPOL and many other Governments into roundly criticising Singapore as hypocritical for not showing good global citizenship in the first place. The Singapore government finally reacted by arresting Tan and several others, and now just as Singapore is being congratulated for its new leadership in helping to save sport competitions from corruption, its own Courts have put the country back in the firing line!

In effect Justice Menon confirms the worst International fears – that Singapore can be a safe haven for any Singaporean to commit whatever crime they can imagine internationally, but just so long as Singapore and Singaporeans are not directly impacted, they are good to go!

The daily reality of the world today is replete with the routine global connections and integrations that Singapore has taken maximum advantage of to build an outstanding economy. If the Singapore economy and reputation are built internationally, Singapore must also have a duty of care to that global market place, not just its own borders. How very selective it is to take all of the advantage but none of the care.

If this is a failing of extra-territorial legislation, then the Singapore government must fix it now, so that their courts do not look so out of touch with the connected global realities that have served to make Singapore what it is.

Dan Tan Seet Eng wrought enormous damage in the global sport of football. Evidence of it abounds internationally. If Singaporean law doesn’t fit a modern world, Singapore must fix it now so that it does, just like Dan Tan fixed football matches.”