6 Nov 2004

The Power of Nightmares



The threat of the evil-doers is now being used to invade schools and remove civil liberties from Singaporeans. Cameras in lecture halls, sounds like someone is frightened of what may be said in those rooms. The threat from 'terrorism' is the fear of an idea. When will the cameras be removed? Is there a timeline for installation and 'removal'?

Who will protect Singaporeans from their so called protectors?

The press became accustomed to publishing scare stories and not retracting them; politicians became accustomed to responding to supposed threats rather than questioning them; the public became accustomed to the idea that some sort of apocalypse might be just around the corner. "Insecurity is the key driving concept of our times," says Durodie. "Politicians have packaged themselves as risk managers. There is also a demand from below for protection." The real reason for this insecurity, he argues, is the decay of the 20th century's political belief systems and social structures: people have been left "disconnected" and "fearful".
The making of the terror myth

Yes, what occurred in Beslan was terrible, does the government have any evidence that such an attack was being planned, or is their argument going to be that it 'might' happen. The making of choices based on the idea of 'worst possible' scenario tends to hand control to those with the most frightening nightmares. Rule by fear has replaced the promise of hope.

"Those with the darkest fears became the most powerful."

Climate of Fear

Singapore's tertiary institutions beef up security measures
Date : 06 November 2004 2131 hrs (SST)

SINGAPORE : With sprawling campuses and tens of thousands of students, security is serious business at Singapore's tertiary institutions.

They they have round-the-clock security patrols, emergency hotlines and even security checks for visitors.

At the National University of Singapore, some 80 guards comb the 146 hectare campus in patrol cars and motorcycles.

Emergency phones are easily available to the university's 32,000 students, and security cameras are also installed campus-wide.

Guards keep watch over the entire campus with the help of security cameras that are strategically placed in areas of high student concentration, like walkways around canteens, student hostels and lecture theatres.

Mr Sharif M. Khan, Security Officer at NUS, said: "We have provided safety tips to our incoming students and we provide shrill alarms for staff and students."

Over at Singapore Polytechnic, visitors even have to pass through security checkpoints before entering the campus.

And with over 20 security guards and some 80 cameras, the polytechnic spends over half a million dollars on security each year.

Mr Sam Chan, Estates and Development at the Singapore Polytechnic, said: "We have almost 14,000 students and almost 7,000 visitors coming in each day, so it is very very critical...full height turnstiles, vehicle barriers, vehicle licence plate recognition systems, visitor registration systems and all this will be in place by March next year."

And Singapore's 351 schools will soon be joining their tertiary counterparts when they have their own closed circuit TV cameras and guards over the next few months. - CNA



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