12 Jan 2006

Soros criticizes Singapore's lack of political freedom+

So what is an open society?


In Karl Popper's definition, found in his two-volume book The Open Society and Its Enemies, he defines an "open society" as one which ensures that political leaders can be overthrown without the need for bloodshed, as opposed to a "closed society", in which a bloody revolution or coup d'├ętat is needed to change the leaders. Democracies are examples of the "open society", whereas totalitarian dictatorships and autocratic monarchies are examples of the "closed society".http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_society


Soros criticizes Singapore's lack of political freedom

(Japan Economic Newswire Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)SINGAPORE, Jan. 11_(Kyodo) _ U.S. billionaire financier and philanthropist George Soros on Wednesday criticized Singapore government leaders for using libel lawsuits to crush opposition politicians.

"Obviously, Singapore does not qualify as an open society," Soros said in response to a question at a forum on global open society in Singapore.He observed that politicians from opposition parties have been slapped with lawsuits for libel, which often resulted in exorbitant financial penalties leading to their bankruptcy, and as a result barred them from running in political elections."The use of libel and financial penalties can be a tremendous hindrance to freedom of speech and freedom of expression," said Soros, who is founder and chairman of the Open Society Institute.But he added, "Singapore is a prosperous society, and prosperity and openness go together...I hope Singapore will become an open society."Speaking to reporters later, Soros said, "When people who express critical views are sued, and sued out of existence by imposing financial penalties, they are prevented from participating in political life.""That is the deficiency of the system which I think by now could be abandoned."In its annual report last year, the U.S. State Department criticized Singapore for using libel suits to intimidate the opposition, saying the threat stymies opposition parties.Singapore has been ruled by the People's Action Party since independence, and opposition parties are generally weak and fragmented.Under three decades of rule by Singapore's first prime minister Lee Kuan Yew until 1990, Singapore was transformed from a colonial backwater to become Southeast Asia's most advanced economy. But critics say the economic wealth that Singapore enjoys today has come at the price of political freedom.Lee's elder son, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who took office in 2004, has promised to pursue greater "openness" and a kinder, gentler style of rule in which citizens would have more say in the political process.


Related Coverage:
Yahoo Singapore not an open society: George Soros
Business Day‘Singapore not an open society’

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

gambling, prostitution and abortion are allowed; more freedom than usa

Anonymous said...

Well US has no

1) Newspaper and Printing Act= Pro-Govt Media, Secret Police as Editors, Editors and journalist reprimanded, sacked for reporting on "anti-govt news"

2) Trade Union Act = ONE!! Pro govt union

3) Parliamentary Elections Act= Sue Sue Sue! Bigger Consitutencies! Limit opposition fundings by forcing those who donate to them to DECLARE!

4) National Service Act= Force conscription for 2 yrs. Jehovah Witness or consicious objectors jailed

5) Education Act= Propangda, one party history, one type of school system, Hail PAP system!

6) And the list continues like a 2000 book volumes...

Anonymous said...

who cares about those? people want to have sex and win money, and PAP allows them to enjoy themselves and not bother with other things; why are you complaining?

Anonymous said...

Singapore: Puppet of America....with rules!.....pretty funny...take of your levis, and get rid of your pc's, cell phones, movies...dont criticize when most likely you are a mere clone of what we created...freedom of expression....no free citizen of singapore has created that...because there ARE NONE!....maybe lky...:)))))