26 Nov 2003

Spot the Contradiction

One rule "that remains firmly in place, is the requirement that foreign journalists stay out of Singapore's politics," Lee said.

But the minister said that the government did not expect its stand to impede Singapore's ambition to become a base for international news organisations, adding that the number of foreign correspondents here had risen to 190 from 82 in 1986. (Littlespeck)

A belief that the forces of globalization are unstoppable in economic terms, so we have to cut your wages, yet the effect that it is having on culture and politics are stoppable, within this little island.

Don't Singaporean journalists comment on foreign government policies?

The forces of globalisation are not simply economic but also include the spread of ideas and cultural values that may not be adhered to in Singapore. Nation states around the globe are all facing this issue. Values and ideas that may appear 'new' are being fed directly into the homes of Singaporeans and allowing individuals to re-assess previously held notions. Driving some into an idealized image of the 1950's and others into the 20th century.

Freedom of choice is not merely the choice to buy the items advertised on TV but the right to choose how you live your life. The world order is possibly going through a process of restructuring, in values as well as economic concerns.

To think that Singaporeans could be sheltered from this up-heaval and that the government doing the sheltering would remain immune is un-workable in the long term.

Singaporeans and Singaporean ministers no longer define all the rules.

12 Nov 2003

Singaporean Internet Laws Tightened

The following has yet again not been reported widely within Singapore. In fact it failed to receive a report on the evening news yesterday.

The new law gives the government the powers to spy on ALL internet activity. Some MPs have even expressed concern that these new laws may be a further tool of oppression in an all ready authoritarian state.

The law has been introduced to combat hackers and enables the government to conduct a pre-emptive strike. I am all for undermining the attempts of malicious hackers but this law means that while you read this you are being watched.

Recent reports in the press regarding the detention of an adult male for having consensual oral sex with a legally consenting female has shown that old archaic laws can and will be implmented when the judicary decides to. What guarantee do the people of Singapore have that this new law will not be used to stifle a new born sense of free speech that the internet has heralded?

The Singaporean government claims to be opening up and becoming more transparent. They call for Singaporean's to express their views. Expressing your views in the full light of a government official can only undermine free speech in a country that is infamous for 'self-censorship'.

10 Nov 2003


Yes, its official. The law in Singapore ensures that anyone can be imprisoned in Singapore. Old laws still have their function in 2003. Its a definite that no matter who you are you have contravened some law or other.

It would be hilarious if it didn't result in a man being sent to jail for two years. Yes, the law may exist, but like rights the law needs to be exercised wisely and appropriately. Otherwise the law appears to be a mechanism of ensuring a Kafkaesque draconian state.

As in the novel, 'The Trial' we are not aware of our actions being criminal here in Singapore, but when they come a-knocking you will realise that 'the law is an ass',(meaning the donkey variety) administered by unthinking, uncaring bureaucrats.

What follows is yet another example of the global village looking upon the 'nanny state' as the global 'jobs-worth'.

Singapore Policeman Gets Two Years for Oral Sex
Fri November 7, 2003 07:55 AM ET

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - A Singaporean police sergeant has been jailed for two years for having oral sex in a country where prostitution is legal but oral sex is not, a newspaper reported Friday.

The Straits Times reported that the 27-year-old police coast guard sergeant landed in court after a 16-year-old reported to the police that she had performed oral sex on the man.

She was above the age of consent and agreed to perform the act, but oral sex is against the law in the city-state, the paper said.

"The act by itself is an offence. It is not a question of consent or no consent. Even between consenting people, it is an offence," criminal lawyer Subhas Anandan told the paper.

The maximum punishment for the offence is life imprisonment.

© Reuters 2003. All Rights Reserved.

5 Nov 2003

SleEze-Link - What's Next?

Articles have recently appeared in the local press regarding changes to the price structure of the Ez-Link cards. Yet again the lack of planning and general research that normally takes place before an organisation introduces something new, has been lacking.

And yet again in Singapore, guess who is expected to deal with the price tag for such an error. The consumer, or rather the Public, who depend heavily on the mode of transport provided by the monopoly.

The government and large monopolies in Singapore seem to regard the consumer as a bottomless pit of money. This is yet another blow to the wallets of those of us who can afford it the least.

In the recent interview with the PM he refused to be drawn on the relationship between the government and the electorate. When pressed he opted for a relationship of 'equality'. This admission highlighted a very entrenched 'mind-set' of those in power. They believe that they have an unquestionable right to rule and ignore a very central notion of democratic states, namely that 'they' are public SERVANTS and not the masters.

This 'mind-set' spills over into the corporate world of Singaporean CEO's and managers. The work force and general public are viewed as resources of finance. Resources that can be called upon at will, with little opposition. The population of Singapore is its only natural resource. But this should not be read as resulting in a culture whereby, management and government pay for the up-grading of skills within the work-force.

The working class people of Singapore are a source of income to be tapped as often as possible. Month after month they are called upon to fit the bill that was created by errors not of their own doing. Ez-link, GST, CPF, Redundances..., Hospital Bills. No wonder a popular advert campaign asks...