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.


Anonymous said...

Maybe that's their long term plan. The only owners are them.

It's quite obivous now with the inundation of foreigners without voting but paying and taxing rights. The above position is also quite in line with what many forummers have noted; there are less and less true Singaporeans who are born here. Quite a high percentage are granted citizens.
In fact, there so many policies culpable of high treason that in many other countries, the people would have hung them many times over.

It is really a politician's sadistic fantasy to do whatever they please without accountability, transparency nor credibility. Is it yours to let them get away with it?

sei-ji rakugaki said...

i am sure mr brown will nt be the last...unfortunately...it is unfortunate when our government gets jittery when being criticised...and i remembered the all too familiar tunes that we do nt care what the foreign media thinks of us.. but when mr brown(let call him local media) criticise..shouldnt we at least be gracious and know we cannot be right all the time. see my cartoon on it


Anonymous said...

I think PAP knows all those things you guys said already, but thinks it could find a way around it, e.g.,

not lively? look at all those art things, even crazy horse

not creative? see all those research institutes

press monopoly? you can get foreign news easily

restricted expressions? why dont you start a blog


in this, PAP is actually very open minded and creative, constantly trying new things in the hope they would work; do they?

Anonymous said...

Singaporeans owns their lives and property to the PAP, anbody deciding to desert a sinking ship should be stripped of property and cash before they leave the shores.After all they came into this world with nothing in my view their wealth must stay in the Island and they will leave with nothing after maybe a good canning.

Anonymous said...

Why penalise TODAY papers ?
They are not in control, as we all know.

Why the selective amnesia on our part ? Is TODAY a more convenient target ?

It is a much better paper than the rest. After all, didn't the paper first had the Mr. Brown column and brought fresh views and news for the public regularly. It answered the govt's call for active citizenry. (but alas, it did not work for Mr. Brown and other good and loyal singaporean writers who have more sincere feelings for our country like Mr. Brown. Better than having us, ostriches in the sand and being 'bo-chap' but yet still complain the most (just talk and doing nothing - and are worse than those who sacrificed their time, effort and money, etc.. based on their principles)!

Unlike the Straits Times, and the
Chinese papers, TODAY does not sensalise crime news to attract readers. It gives a better and balanced coverage of news. We certainly enjoyed the articles such as Mr. Brown's and many other contributors from the readers.

Advertisers should boycott the Straits Times, first.

Anonymous said...

Dont be fooled. As a content platform and business, TODAY has to editorially differentiate itself from SPH's vulgar sycophancy. So it tolerates just a tiny wee bit of the alternatives that is negligibly mild. But when it comes to topics that really matter, it will quickly toe the PAP line.

Anonymous said...

people are so optimistic; they always think things can be different

Anonymous said...

PAP is trying discredit blogs and fourms and wants to brainwash Singaporeans into believing so.

PAP is testing the OB markers of Singaporeans as well

Anonymous said...


Excerpts from the AFP:

Supporters of a Singaporean blogger have gathered at a busy subway station for a silent protest at the suspension of his weekly newspaper column after the government criticised his latest satirical piece about high living costs.

At least 30 supporters turned up at City Hall station at 2:00 pm dressed in brown attire in support of the blogger, who goes by the moniker Mr Brown.

Unfortunately for the news wire agency, the real news wasn't that 30 people in Singapore bothered to take part in a flash mob for a proscribed blogger-columnist. I could think of several more newsworthy stories on the top of my head, such as:

How did a secret SMS-only invite leak out to the press, which turned up in battle positions and recording equipment shoved up the noses of participants, even before the flash mob was scheduled to begin?

Or how's this for a more newsworthy story:
Plainclothes police accost flash mob participants at end of event

At least 2 participants were approached Citylink mall by 4 plainclothes police operatives after the flash mob event concluded. The operatives presented themselves to the duo, requesting a "short and private discussion at a more private place".

The operatives, marshalled in a line formation, herded the two to a remote corner of the underground mall, where they proceeded to ask the following questions:
Who organised this protest?
How did you know about this protest?
What are the names of the people who informed you of this protest? What are the names of the people you informed, in turn?

And the winner: Look, we know all about this protest. You better cooperate with us and tell us the truth.

Thankfully one of the cornered persons did read up on his rights, as well as the extent of cooperation citizens are bound to give to plainclothes operatives presenting themselves without a warrant or charges, and gave them his name, his lawyer's contacts, and told them to **** off.

Several, even more newsworthy issues present themselves in the aftermath:
1. Flash mob sparks police actions by government
2. Seeing the flash mob as a bona fide protest, Wong Kan Seng, the Minister for Home Affairs, does not send in the riot police.
3. Instead, the clown show is mobilised.

Apparently there is no formal investigation, no indication that said flash mob is an illegal and destablising event, so what the MHA and Wong can do is send in the clown squad and hope that the idea of plainclothes operatives asking questions and claiming to know everything about the event... will actually scare off the participants, make them piss in their pants, and scar them for life. Remember, kids: for real protests and destabilising events, the riot police is used. When the authorities want to stage a political comedy, they send in plainclothes operatives!

But really, this flash mob was rather lame. People showed up and stood around. No silly waving, cheers, synchronised actions or what have you. No immediate and sudden dispersal. And the best part? People who didn't get the message won't get the message at all. So much for a flash mob for Mr Brown.

Don't get me started on the organiser's horrendously unironic satorical decision wear brown shirts to support a columnist who was unfairly axed. This is what you get when Singapore's artistes pose as political activists.

Ladies and gentlemen, the continuing clown show from Wong Kan Seng. As if the dropping of the police investigation against Char isn't embarrassing enough, they send in a clown show against a not-very-successful or well-planned and conceptualised flash mob.

Anonymous said...

it is most distressing and sad what the PAP has done yet again trying to gag citizens. We have no say at all, not even to express our unhappiness out loud except on line. there is so little to be proud of being a singaporean now no thanks to PAP. thanks to PAP's party politics, You have singlehandedly disgraced our nation and shamed our people through your tyranny.How do u expect us to be proud to be singaporean? just because we have prgress and cars? hey so do many other progressive country these days.What makes them proud to be citizens in thier countries are the intangibles - the freedom to be true and to speak out. PAp will u ever learn or are u so obsessed with power politics and greed for more power?

while us minions r eking out a living amidst rising costs, some GLCs and stat boards r busy spending taxpayers money. Having worked in one of these, I have been horrified to see how wasteful they have been in glorfying their offices and spending on collection of material things in a pursuit of so called "world class" status. I have seen unnecessary collection of expensive artworks at some offices and why the hell did a stat board SLF need to spend $100K on its annual report when it does not have mass shareholders???? Where is the check and balance? where is the transparency