10 Jul 2006
An Intolerant Government
The response of Ms K. Bhavani, Press Secretary to the Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts, to Mr Brown’s article, "S'poreans are fed, up with progress!” is a poignant reminder that no one party should stay in power for too long (40 years is definitely too long) or be given absolute power.
After 40 years of almost absolute power, the PAP has become extremely allergic to criticism.
At first it was against the opposition from political opponents with different ideologies. When ideologies were no longer the issues, it then objected to the style of opposition - confrontational, hooligan-like, etc. Subsequently, it couldn’t even stand objective, rational and well-intentioned discourse on the public life of the nation. It said that there were sensitive areas which were out of bound, or alternatively known as OB markers. And now with the censuring of Mr Brown, it seems to be trying to pre-empt all forms of civic participation by Singaporeans.
The PAP should take note that if it continues to deny the people of any civic participation, they would lose their sense of ownership of the country. Some of them may leave the country while those who stay would not put in their best performance. This would undermine the nation and the PAP may eventually not have any nation to lead at all.