6 Feb 2005

Jamie Han

I kneel down before Jamie Han. This man has nerves of steel. I only hope that young men and women of Singapore take this as a call to argue and debate. Jamie Han, I throw myself in front of you, laid out on the floor.


Stability doesn't come easy



Student:
My name is Jamie Han, history honours student.

I'm not questioning your decisions in the past, I'm sure at those times, there was a need for consensus and stability. But I think we have come to the stage where stability is already here and that, in order to progress, the minority viewpoints have to be heard.

And I'm not saying that the People's Action Party is corrupt or anything now.

The truth of the matter is this: No matter how enlightened a despot is, ultimately, he'll turn into a tyrant if there are no checks and balances in place.

MM Lee: There's nothing to prevent you from advocating that, pushing that strenuously and finally getting a political party to adopt your platform, and we will put it to the vote. That's the democratic way of doing it.

I would beg to express my reservation that we have established unity and therefore all is well. You do not, maybe you do not realise how sensitive and how fragile some of this apparent unity could be...

(MM Lee talks about the 1964 race riots, the Jemaah Islamiah plot to blow up seven bombs in Singapore around 2001 which was disrupted, making the point that fault lines exist in Singapore society.)

Please do not assume that what you see as stability is something we can take for granted. It has to be worked for, looked after, nurtured and any incipient problem nipped in the bud...

Student: With all due respect, sir, I just wanted to say: One, that you are using the fear of the past in order to prevent progress; and second, you are picking examples of countries which suit your argument but I can raise a dozen others to counter with you.

But this is not a philosophical discussion, so thank you for your time.

I first saw this at ivan. Stand up Jamie and take a standing ovation.

24 comments:

dON Lee said...

But Steven, think for the poor boy, I hear they keep their lawyers clothed and well fed... hahaha... Maybe our hero Jamie Han will disappear only to appear 32 years later...

http://donlee21.blogspot.com/2005/01/politicians-are-same-all-over-they.html

Steven, sorry for the self publicity, but if I won't do it, who will?

Anonymous said...

I kow tow to Jamie Han for his courage. Well done jamie :) only criticm can make a country progress for the better. You are a true Singaporean who cares for Singapore's future. Singapore need a future leader like you. As JFK said, think what not a country can do for you but what you can do for a country.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
mel said...

Steve has even bigger balls than you 'anonymous 2'. By the way, who are you? For not agreeing with Steve, you should at least have the balls to show yourself.

Anonymous said...

I'm Ferdinand, Imelda baby !

Anonymous said...

Hellow, don't get too worked up! Be more courteous when debating. I'm afraid all might end up shooting each other instead of thinking and debating wisely.

pea said...

Yes I do applaud him but he should be more strategic in getting his point across to MM Lee. Now he just gave MM Lee an opportunity to reiterate the point that all graduates behave like as if everyone owes them a living.

Not good not good.

If he was just a little bit smarter in that sense (everyone knows he is smart academically... Honours student leh), people wouldn't be criticizing his attitude now.

And from what I know people are criticizing him not because he stood up to MM Lee (we love challenging forums), but was rude. Read ching's take on his body language in mrbrown.

Singaporeans will indeed welcome him with a standing ovation if he actually made MM Lee shut up willingly.

And I will personally set up a temple/mosque/church of Han.

akikonomu said...

Actually every time the Great Leader attends a talk at NUS, there will be at least one student doing this sort of thing. So Jamie Han isn't exactly the first or the best or even the most courageous person in Singapore, for anyone to bow down to.

It's good, but these students should shape their skills up - the questions or comments they put to Great Leader allows him to get away with too much in his replies. And don't expect to be allowed to ask a follow-up question to deliver the critical blow - they need to do already that in their very first question.

So, Jamie Han is good but not good enough. Next better challenger, please!

Anonymous said...

If he is not good enough, are you akki?

The local newspapers have been STRESSING that him, jamie han, being rude, to create an impression of his poor attitude towards our "great" leader. If he is a great leader, do you need a rhetoric for people to know that one is a great leader?

Since you think he is not good enough, what makes you think you are good enough?

akikonomu said...

Evidently the etymology of "Great Leader" and "Dear Leader" didn't get through to one Anonymous.

Like our Great Leader, Anonymous believes that if someone wants to critique another's arguments, he has to prove he is much better? The emperor wears no clothes, regardless of the age of the person uttering the comment.

What's next? Will Anonymous demand I set up a party so I can critique - for or against - whatever the Great Leader's critics have been saying?

What I said was simply "People need to try harder, to ask questions that leave no room for Great Leader to maneuvre out of".

Mock Turtle said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

The dictator said the same old things....
instability, riots, disorder if people
get more freedoms. This is bullshit lah,
my uncle migrated to Toronto for 5 years,
there also multiracial and multi religious,
people oso have complete democratic freedom.

All this years, the PAP garmen has been using
stability as an excuse to bully us. That is all.

Anonymous said...

You decry the lack of free speech in Singapore yet you practise censorship yourself, you hypocrite !

Anonymous 6:18

Anonymous said...

Precisely, I hate it when foreigners come and criticise the lack of free speech, and delete comments not to their liking. So Jamie Han is rude, but that's fine with you, you want to kowtow to him. Yet you delete the rude comment of someone who disagreed with you. Ah, the hypocrisy.

dON Lee said...

Come on guys/gals get real. You don't even have the guts to put your ID here. What right do you have to talk about censorship? What are you afraid of? Reprisals? Come on, the ISD is on "your" side. Or you don't know how to set up an account? Its quite easy really.

Try going to http://www.blogger.com. From there, follow simple instruction. (1) - (2) - (3)

Maybe Steven should disable the Anonymous option so at least we knows who's ranting at who...

Its really immature that you've really lost the bigger picture and the reason you got fired up in the first place... Or were you just trying to get a dig at Steven because he's a "foreigner"? Tut tut... Shame on you... I'm a foreigner too, here to eat your food, take your jobs and steal your women. Sheesh...

Grow up. So what if your comment got deleted? Why does it matter so much to you? Is it a matter of pride?

I wonder...

Anonymous said...

Steve doesn't practise what he preaches. Simple as that.

Anonymous said...

To Don Lee, go back to South Korea and eat your dog soup !

dON Lee said...

All in due time my boy, all in due time..

Anonymous said...

I've been to S.korea and I love it, but the tour guide said the politicians in S.Korea aint that great. They migrate back and forth among the parties in power. And many presidents have met with grisly ends for various reasons, and a few relatives of presidents implicated for graft....

Anonymous said...

With regards to Jamie's reference to cab drivers...

"Too bad all the people who know how to run the country are busy driving taxicabs and cutting hair."
- George Burns.

Anonymous said...

To akki,

When you are playing in someone's court, in this case, the "great leader", and when he had build up fences, walls, barbed wires, traps, tower, checkpoints, do you think it is a fair fight? This is like going into one's territory with only your skin as armor, hands and legs as weapons.

Therefore, in this instance, jamie did very well to challenge the owner of the court and gave all due respect with civility - if you read the actual dialogue.

Besides, the "great leader" has to use fear and bully tactics on his questioner. You don't need to do that if you are capable to counter, You only behave in such lowly manner when you can't. Bully link: http://www.newsintercom.org/index.php?itemid=250

Evidently, your ego is just too big, for there is someone better than you, to swallow, just like the "great leader".

Anonymous said...

I saw the dialogue on CNA, and Jamie Han was rude.. From his tone to his hands on his hip stance to the buay song look on his face.

The MM offered bitter medicine and perhaps that's why people think he's intimidating. He's just giving frank answers to the questions posed. He said something like, "some of you will lead the country in the future, but not all of you will lead the country" I think that makes sense. Not everyone has the wisdom to lead, the best man wins.

Also, about the website. It's true that if you have something to say you can set up a website and get a healthy viewership. If one doesn't have the perseverance to correct what a perceived enormous injustice, then he doesn't have the mettle S'pore needs to lead the country.

Agagooga said...

When MM offers bitter medicine people say he's being frank. When people offer bitter medicine (honest questions and points), people say they're rude.

Go figure.

Anonymous said...

"Bitter medicine" alludes to the truth of a certain statement.