Western Democracy won’t work in Singapore

This is the party line towed by Singaporeans when Journalist Articles mention the restrictions to human rights and civil liberties in Singapore.

First of all, what is “Western Democracy” ?
I was under the impression that Democracy is Democracy.
According to the dictionary this is what it means

government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.

If you know what a “Western Democracy” is, please by all means, leave me an explanation in the comments. Is it like “Western Confucianism” or  “Eastern Epicurean-ism” Whatever that means.

Seriously though, is the democratic facade in Singapore such a thick veil that it’s hard to see for the average person? If you think 9 opposition seats out of 99 is a democracy, you probably don’t understand what a democracy is.

How are issues supposed to be debated when almost the entire parliamentary body is made up of a single party that covers for and supports one another? That is neither “western democracy”, “eastern democracy” or democracy. It’s what we call an Echo Chamber.

In otherwords, it’s an autocracy, “government in which one person has uncontrolled or unlimited authority over others; the government or power of an absolute monarch” the opposite of a democracy where the masses govern, here you have an elite person or an elite group deciding what’s best for the masses. 

I’ve long said that Singaporeans are unable to think for themselves and often rely on the government to think for them, well this is what 50 years of autocracy has done to the people, it’s damaged us as a society, a society that tries its hardest to silence dissent and keep its citizens free from thought.

It’s time for change, it’s time wake up Singapore, do you remember your Singaporean pledge, the part where you say “To Build a Democratic Society”, do you actually mean it or do you just say it because the Principal in your school makes you recite the pledge?

Peace!

“In nation after nation, democracy has taken the place of autocracy.” – John Charles Polanyi

Recent debunkle over Straits Times highlights the Importance of Free Press

Imagine a world without the internet, imagine a world where the media is controlled by the iron fist of the government. Not too long ago, as late as the late 90s and early 2000s this was a reality.

Before the internet became a household application, all Singaporeans had to rely on was the word of the government owned press and controlled media. So when the Straits Time reported that Amos Yee’s mother had reported Amos to the Police because she said he was an uncontrollable child by the Straits Time via an unnamed reliable source (let’s be a honest, an anonymous tip and probably an attempt to defame him so the issues he brought up would be looked over) many Singaporeans would have bought it hook, line and sinker but I was skeptical, since when were anonymous tips considered reliable sources?

The fact that the free agents, the internet sleuths, of “The Online Citizen” had a more journalistic approach when it came to covering the evidence of what Mrs Mary Yee said, you know, interviewing her instead of an unnamed source, just shows the lack of professionalism and integrity with the companies within the SPH.

Which brings me to my next point, many Singaporeans are under the impression that Singapore has freedom of press what with it’s many newspaper companies and magazines, I’m sorry to break this to you, friends, that is just an illusion.

newspapers

All these companies belong to the same corporation.
It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that all of them answer to one boss.

Where North Korea succeeds in being an independent authoritarian country that shuts out any outside information from it’s citizens, Singapore fails drastically in this aspect because we seek out foreign talents, not just lower class foreign talents to clean the streets and roads but foreign talents from countries where human freedoms exist, so we need to keep the gates of information slightly ajar to keep dissent low, media is still tightly controlled just not as drastically as it is in North Korea.

However, printed media still holds most of the power as it is the most easily accessible form of media to the layman, therein lies the problem. When the only media allowed is government controlled, it’s not a stretch to say that it will be used for government propaganda, for an effective means of erasing blemishes in history and to tarnish the opposing dissenters, Mr Lee even admits that much.

Freedom of the press, freedom of the news media, must be subordinated to the overriding needs of the integrity of Singapore, and to the primacy of purpose of an elected government”, Address To The General Assembly Of The International Press Institute At Helsinki, 9th June, 1971 – Lee Kuan Yew

And it is very effective, so effective that many people on the street still believe the lies about Dr. Chee Soon Juan being a rabble rouser and a troublemaker still persist, character assassination at its best.

When a simple internet search on Dr. Chee  will show contradictions to what has been said about him by local media.

This is the issue that every opposition party in Singapore has to face, I’m not sure if it’s uniquely Singaporean that state own media is legally allowed to print libel, promote slander and character assassinations on opposition members but this is a practice that needs to be challenged by promoting freedom of press to allow citizens to have more than just one perspective and make up their own minds.

As big and wide as the internet is, most of us don’t have the time in our hectic schedules to look up current affairs affecting Singapore or Singaporean politics on the internet most of us use the internet to look up cat videos, I know I’m guilty of that. This is why freedom of press is paramount, it allows us to get a multifaceted view on issues and allows us to make up our own minds, a practice many of us take for granted.

I’ve already made up my mind about Straits Times and the recent coverage on Amos Yee is more evidence for me to not take them at face value.

Peace!

“When the public’s right to know is threatened, and when the rights of free speech and free press are at risk, all of the other liberties we hold dear are endangered.” – Christopher Dodd

Sniffing Out Propaganda

I return my gaze to the article on “The Independent” by Mr. Calvin Cheng and followed it back to it’s source, “The Strait Times” a Government therefore PAP owned newspaper company, where I read the article in it’s entirety and has become blatantly obvious that is is a propaganda piece targeted at the lower educated Singaporeans who have never experienced life outside of Singapore.

Mr. Calvin asserts that Singapore instills these draconian laws  that restrict our freedoms because any good person wouldn’t break them by citing petty criminal offences such as littering, leaving gum everywhere, urinating in public, vandalizing to more serious issues like drug smuggling and rape.

Well I hate to break it to the man but even with these laws in place, you will still get people committing them, look around you. The only way to fully stop people from doing something you don’t like is to take away that freedom, like chewing gum. To my foreign readers, chewing gum is contraband in Singapore and we wonder why we’re called a nanny state.

It’s so simple, if you don’t obey we take it away.

Mr. Calvin points out, back in the 60s we had racial riots and yes we did, it is not for the Government to say, okay you cannot gather here and you cannot say such things. It is the duty of the Government to protect our human rights, from those who wish to revoke them from us, not to repress our rights. So instead of learning from that historical event, we push the narrative of racial harmony, restrict the freedom of assembly for fear of another riot.

If America had acted like Singapore during it’s civil rights day, the Jim Crow Laws would still be in effect but they understood what civil rights were and deemed the Jim Crow Laws unconstitutional allowing for the minorities and those who supported them to stand up for their freedoms, was there violence during these uneasy times, yes of course but they learned what real freedom costs, unlike Singaporeans who would rather be sheltered by ignorance and fear, fear that we would go back to the 1960s instead of learning from our mistakes and not repeating them again.

And he has the audacity to call our draconian society, civilised.
I’m not even going to bother addressing the more severe crimes he mentioned to which he thinks it’s uniquely Singaporean that we criminalize those and take actions against because any intelligent person would know better (and be against corporal and capital punishment, to which he suggests are a good way to deter such offenses, civilised right?).

Next he talks about “Freedom of Speech” and likens it to giving people the freedom to offend other people’s religions, race or defame another person.
I really don’t know if he believes in this drivel hes writing or if hes just towing the party line but I’m sure someone who has had the privilege to travel the world and live abroad would understand that freedom of speech is a necessity to progress humanity forward by being able to highlight unpopular opinions and controversial subject matters, such as religion and politics, to which I’ve highlighted in my post “Freedom of Speech is Freedom to be Human” and he says we’re better off because our Government with their unlimited government funding can sue private citizens.

The best bit is where he has the audacity to defend Operation Coldstore by argumentum ad populum, by comparing Operation Coldstore to Operation Demetrius and Guantanamo Bay, making the assumption that people who condemn Operation Coldstore do not feel the same way about Operation Demetrius and Guantanamo Bay, when most critics of such human rights abuses, detention without trial, universally condemn such actions.

As a Singaporean, I am ashamed that my country people can excuse such actions saying, “oh it was necessary for the time” or “oh it because they were communists”. Fun Fact, there is no evidence to support that Barisan Sosialis members were communists and secondly, even if they were communists, it doesn’t give anyone an excuse to detain people without a trial.

The fact that he defends the blatant human rights abuse by the government with this fallacy is testament to his support for it but I could be wrong. Much like how “To Singapore, With love” by Tan Pin Pin a documentary about Singaporean Exiles which attempted to show the humanity in those exiles received a “Not Allowed All Audiences” rating by the Media Development Authority in Singapore.

We cannot even make up our own minds, well we can, but we’d have to take extra lengths to go across the causeway to watch it, point being it’s banned in Singapore so we only get the one sided view.

And he claims there have been no trade offs.
Maybe there has been no trade off for Mr. Calvin Cheng but for many Singaporeans, those who value their independence, human rights and civil liberties, there might have been a massive trade off.

And maybe this is just one huge propaganda piece to protect the delicate sensibilities of the lower to middle class Singaporeans who had never experience life outside of the country, where the truth of dissent might shatter their view of reality.

The rest of the article, he confuses freedom for security, which I’ve already replied to, in “Freedom and Security are not Synonyms“.

Peace!

“The goal of modern propaganda is no longer to transform opinion but to arouse an active and mythical belief” – Jacques Ellul

Sources
The Original Article
To Singapore, With Love
Operation Cold Store
Dr. PJ Thum on Operation Cold Store

Reply to Belmont Lay of Mothership.sg

This is the sort of articles Mothership.sg allows to be published?
This simple thoughtless guttural trash?

The New Yorker — a publication with a tendency to be pretentiously serious and seriously pretentious

Just so you know, Sir, your opening statement could be construed as libel.
They could possibly take you on for defamation lawsuit if they wished.
Is this the kind of restriction you wish for, where you’re not allowed to criticize anyone?
Let me rephrase, is this the kind of restriction you wish, where you are only allowed to criticize people who have a different opinion to yours but anyone who shares your opinion or people you admire, are immune to criticism?
World Press index puts Singapore at 153 as I hope you know.

But seriously, many people know when you let stupid people talk, they do all the work of discrediting themselves for you, just like how you’re discrediting yourself and tarnishing the credibility of the website you’re associated with.

Yes, you read it right. Heller is saying that Singapore will be better off being run by people like Amos Yee, who cannot even comb his hair properly.

What does combing one’s hair have to do with running a country?
I had a principal in secondary school who couldn’t comb his hair either and made us sit on the floor of the courtyard to read books despite the fact that we wore white pants, he later had the audacity to say to us the residents around our school was complaining about our dirty pants.

Yes, the principal in this case was a moron, it’s not based on his appearance, it’s based on his actions.

Just like Albert Einstein couldn’t be bothered to do his hair, would you call him a moron just because he doesn’t comb his hair either?

You a grown man have still not realized that someone’s outwardly appearance do not reflect on their inwardly thoughts have a lot of growing up to do.

The questions then are: Since he is at it, why not suggest arming Amos Yee with a nuclear warhead too? And making him President of ‘Murcia?

I’m just speechless at the asininity of this statement.
I got a better idea, why not give Amos Yee god like powers and make him God.
Oh, did I just break blasphemy law?
Nah… I didn’t mention it was your god, for all you know I could have been talking about the Flying Spaghetti Monster that pastafarians satirically worship, you know because of his hair.
And before you tell me Flying Spaghetti Monster is not real, prove it.

What’s stopping Heller from calling Amos “the saviour of Singapore society in a post-Lee Kuan Yew era”? His sense of balance?

His sense of balance, his intelligence, his faith that people in Singapore are smart enough to think for themselves, more than I can say about you, Sir, judging from the lack of content in your “Article”.

Lee Kuan Yew’s daughter last week wrote about how there is a need to be wary of White Men with instructive bent who want to tell Singaporeans how to live.

On hindsight, useful advice, that.

You criticize the drivel that is her letter, which is just mindless I should be immune to criticism and the racist undertones, I just hope your last line was written with sarcasm intended.

You see social justice warriors, THIS is what happens when you spread around that “Healthy Cultural Paranoia” tripe, non white ignoramuses start thinking racism towards white people is okay.

Peace.

A stupid man’s report of what a clever man says can never be accurate, because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand.” – Bertrand Russell

Sources
The Original Article by Nathan Heller
The Attack Piece by Belmont Lay

I don’t support Censorship, I just believe in Moderation

This is the phrase I’ve often hear coming from people who support censorship.
The thing they never thought about is, moderate to whose standards?
Their standard?
When did someone else become the authority of my sensibility and sensitivity?

People who say this tripe need to realize what they are advocating for is thought policing which is a sign of an totalitarian autocracy, the death of democracy.

In my conversation with someone on youtube who advocates this idea, he compared Amos Yee on one end of the spectrum and ISIS on the other end.
Wherein Amos Yee represents the lack of moderation and ISIS as the extremists of censorship.
Which I think is an adorable analogy on just how flawed his thought process is.

There is no in between

There is freedom of speech on the Amos Yee side and there is no freedom of speech on the ISIS side, it’s simple as that.
Well you may complain, what if I get offended?
So fucking what you got offended?
What do you want me to do about it?
Stroke your hair and whisper sweet nothings into your ear and tell you it’s gonna be okay, the bad people are going to leave?
Fuck no, grow a thicker skin and move on.
When did “sticks and stones may break may bones so do words” become a thing?

I am an advocate for human liberties and freedoms.
And I support everyone’s free speech, even yours, you who champion moderation.
I let you speak, then I tell you how stupid you are for not realizing, you’re the extremist.

Oh… and if you have an issue with the word fuck appearing four times in this article, you can sod off, I recall most of you from Singapore do not have an issue with the word sod, which is a synonym of fuck, as it went on air uncensored on Phua Chu Kang where Frankie and PCK were having a banter competing on who can be the biggest poseur English prick.

Peace

I do not agree with what you have to say but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it” – Voltaire

Are Singaporeans ready for the return of their Freedoms and Liberties?

If I was to go by the comments left behind by many Singaporeans with regards to the 16 yr old teenager who was arrested for practicing his freedom of speech on a recent yahoo Article.

I would honestly have to say no.
Singaporeans are a testament to what 50 years of autocratic rule and the restriction of humans rights and civil liberties have done. They are afraid of freedom because freedom comes with a cost, responsibility.

When you have lived in such an environment where you don’t even have to be responsible for your thoughts, faced with ideals that challenge your perception and slave mentality, you will fight to keep yourself chained to the machine, it’s the only thing that is real, that and the fear.

Like with these commentators; 

The terrorism in Paris and Sydney is the stark stabbing example of Western brand of democracy/human rights. They condone radical preaching in their backyard and stood helpless (binded to their ethos of democracy/human rights) even when tragedies strike on the expense of their native citizens. America’s irrepressible urge to “spread” democracy in Middle East rendered nothing but a wretched mess of radicalism – hell on Earth.

It is so abhorrent to know that Kirsten is a Singaporean. I hope it has now become past tense

I assume they are talking about Charlie Hebdo, in which case they certainly do not follow current affairs, as Charlie Hebdo brought to light some very fundamental issues with how religion is given a free pass. A discussion is happening, ideas are being put forward and shared, spawning the Paris March.

Freedom of speech dose not mean to hurt other feeling, I have seen Amos Yee few videos but in all he like to talk offensive. Yes you can talk but first prove your self that you are right.cheap publicity is very much easy then doing really work on floor. You should appropriate good people work who build nation but if you don’t want to appropriate then no one having given right to depreciate. Better just seat inside room do your study because what services you are enjoying now to upload videos on youtube need good Internet speed which 70% of Asian countries not enjoying so better shut your mouth and do some good work.

Freedom of speech does not take need to take your emotions into consideration, so what you’re offended? it doesn’t give you special rights, saying you’re offended is just a whine, it has no reason to be respected as a phrase.

France has freedom of speech and expression. Look what happened to those cartoonists. France as a nation has a long history and her people are open to such freedom without fear. The killers may be from the religion which those cartoonists were making fun of but they were naturalised citizens. Singapore is a young nation where race, religion and culture are still very sensitive. We have gone through many racial problems in the past but the laws put up, maybe draconian to many, have prevented reoccurrences of such incidents. Just look at our neighbour. Their laws are more draconian esp when it touches race and religion , well, mainly for one race and religion only. We have to trade in some of our freedom to live in harmony and most importantly, safely. Here we can walk safely in most parts of Singapore even in the dark. I f France has some restrictions on such freedom, those cartoonists will still be alive and drawing. However this will not to be and you will see more of such problems in future. One day, it will not be safe to walk the streets in these western free countries.

And I assume this person has been drinking the Calvin Cheng koolaid, where he quotes the part about the amazing safety in Singapore as though crime and violence doesn’t ever break out and how he condones submitting to terror for the sake of safety.

If you read through them you will notice a common narrative, fear.
I cannot emphasize enough, 50 years of autocratic rule and the restriction of human rights and civil liberties have conditioned people into a state of constant fear.

Instead of looking for enlightenment and understanding by asking critical questions and describing radical ideas, many choose to remain silent and live in fear of retaliation and it’s just so sad.

I mentioned in my article “Freedom of Speech is Freedom to be Human” that it is the government’s duty to protect our freedoms and civil liberties from those who wish to revoke and restrict them.

So if you ask me, are Singaporeans ready for their basic human freedoms and civil liberties to be returned to them?
I would have to say no but then again, I don’t care to coddle the ignorant masses who are keeping down the progressive few.
The progressives need to take a stand and lead by example.
We need to show them how Democracy and Liberalism must go hand in hand.
We need to show them that theres more to life than just survivalism.
If more Singaporeans care about the pursuit of happiness maybe we wouldn’t need to spend so much money to teach people how to smile via useless propaganda… I mean campaigns.
We need to build a nation where peace and harmony is achieved through respect, love and understanding not ignorance, fear and apathy.

Peace!

People learn to love their chains” – Danerys Targaryen

Additional Links
Plato’s Allegory of the Cave
8-bit version of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave

Sources
The comment section of this article

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/blogs/singaporescene/freedom-of-speech-in-singapore-a-matter-of-030239722.html
Four Million Smiles
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Million_Smiles

Democracy without Liberalism leads to Autocracy

The one flaw in democracy is that at it’s very core, it’s about the interest of the majority.
With that said, what happens if the majority are just as bad as a single fascist dictator?

Look at Egypt for example, they overthrew a dictator, had their first openly democratic election and what did they do? They voted in the muslim brotherhood into power and the first thing the muslim brotherhood did was restrict human rights for Christians and women.

We have to remember, that democracy is only tool, like any tool it can be used for evil.
Liberalism needs to be the guiding principle behind democracy where basic human freedoms and rights will be secured by the majority ensuring that minority voices are represented in parliament or as demonstrated in history, it will devolve into an autocracy where an elite few masquerade autocracy as a democracy.

Democracy ensures that people can keep the government in check but when people become afraid and apathetic to politics, they’re not only throwing away their lives, they’re possibly throwing yours away, especially when voting is mandatory.

Think of the stupidest person you know, do you think someone like that can be trusted to make a decision so big? This is why autocracies love mandatory voting the illusion of power because they know the ignorant masses will silence the critical few and drill it into our heads that voting is the most powerful thing we can do, it is our moral responsibility to voice ourselves in government.

And they’re right, voting is the most important tool for a citizen to express dissent towards a ruling party but when a majority are too ignorant, fearful and politically apathetic to civil liberties that have been restricted by an autocratic government that they continue to keep a corrupted government, the cycle takes forever to break.

Voting is a huge responsibility and people need to learn to vote responsibility, to understand why they’re voting and if they don’t understand do not want the responsibility, that is their freedom to choose but when they complain that life is shittier because they didn’t vote feel free to rip into them for not educating themselves when it mattered.
Remember this the next time you vote.

Peace!

“It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government, except all those others that have been tried” – Winston Churchill

Additional Links
Muslim Brotherhood
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muslim_Brotherhood_in_Egypt#Post-2013_Egyptian_revolution