Meet Dr Cherian George, an ex-senior journalist with The Straits Times who then moved into academia.
I have included a section of Calibrated coercion in Singapore here to encourage you to go and read the entire article.
How long these circumstances can last is largely a matter of speculation. Determined challengers could try to expose the repressive core of the state by deliberately provoking a strong response. Following Arendt’s logic, a violent reaction by the state would reduce its power. This appears to have been the tactic adopted by opposition leader Chee Soon Juan, who flouted public speaking rules and refused to pay a fine, landing him in prison. The degree of public outrage was limited, partly because the authorities did not respond to Chee’s well-attended talks with any show of force, but simply dealt with the speaker and organisers later through the courts. Still, Chee’s action drew attention to the taken-for-granted licensing rules for public events, and the ensuing public discussion led to accommodation by the government, which instituted a Speakers’ Corner and then liberalised the licensing rules for indoor talks.
Calibrated coercion could also be compromised internally, by less astute political leaders. In this respect, the widely-held stereotype of Lee Kuan Yew as more “hardline” than younger leaders may be profoundly misleading. The central argument in this essay has been that calibrated coercion is more a matter of political nous than of ideological position. It is the product of long-term strategising, shaped through experience and honed through practice. Lee Kuan Yew and his two successors – who make up the three most senior members of the current government – have had a total of more than 90 man-years of cabinet experience. Future leaders will inherit formidable means of repression, but not necessarily the long-term vision or the expertise to use them in a calibrated manner. Like many other leaders around the world, they may reach quickly for the seemingly decisive weapons that are so easily within reach, at great cost to their legitimacy and power.
First stumbled upon at Mr Wang Says So.