Have you felt that the concept of democracy in Singapore is much maligned and misunderstood?
Ever wondered whether there is any basis for the constant criticism of [Singapore Democratic Party] SDP in its work to bring democracy to Singapore?
How would you feel about the status of democracy in Singapore in 2006?
First things first. SDP is organsing a public forum on The Government's role in the NKF scandal. Details:
13.1.2006 (Friday) 7 pm. Phoenix Hotel, Rose Room, Basement Level (next to Somerset MRT Station)
SDP had earlier prodded Singaporeans to be more critical of the parallels between the government and the NKF as institutions handling public money and trust.
The latest forum is another SDP initiative to educate Singaporeans on the need to understand that the lack of transparency and accountability in the government is a sure way to Singapore's economic and social downfall.
In 2005, SDP pushed for the abolishment of the death penalty, they indirectly raised issues of gay rights, they questioned the government's intention to judiciary that is very accommodating and friendly towards the PAP, they organised activist workshops and built bridges with foreign NGOs to share ideas on democracy.
SDP knows that it cannot work alone to bring democracy in Singapore and foreign media, NGO and government cooperation is needed.
Foreign pressure is the main way to ship real democracy to Singapore. Yet, this approach has been much maligned and misunderstood. SDP's intention is not anti-Singapore just because it is anti-government. The usual accusations of SDP being manipulated by foreigners is an old stale one. The latest allegation is that Dr Chee Soon Juan was paid to write a commentary attacking the Singapore government in a foreign newspaper. This probably was about the the article on the death penalty in The Australian.
We must ask ourselves whether it matters if indeed the allegations that SDP accepts foreign assistance in the form of money or advice are true. Let's be brutally honest. The PAP already said that democracy will never fully take shape in Singapore because we have "Asian values". Duh. The PAP is on a vindictive streak to make sure that Dr Chee never gets elected into parliament and there were questionable defamation suits to ensure that. The SDP and Dr Chee need every help they can get, be it from locals or foreigners. Think about it, it is ultimately all about bringing democracy to Singapore and challenging the unfair undemocratic hold the PAP has over Singaporeans.
Jason the Arm Chair Critic
10 Jan 2006
Written by Jason the arm chair critic on NewSintercom