10 Jul 2006

Stop harassing Mr Brown and let him speak freely

Media Release: Stop harassing Mr Brown and let him speak freely

9 Jul 06

The worst of the PAP’s pubescent mind has surfaced yet again with the latest silencing of Mr Lee Kin Mun and the removal of his newspaper column. It is an act worthy of a regime insecure and untrusting of its own citizens.

It is confirmation, as if more is needed, that the PAP governs from a political fortress isolated and under siege. It dictates that criticism and dissenting views are unwelcome, and moves swiftly to eradicate them. The arbitrariness and top-down-we-couldn’t-care-less-how-the-people-feel approach is wielded with increasing frequency.

The treatment of Mr Lee aka Mr Brown is not unlike that of Dr Catherine Lim in years past. This is testimony to the fact that under the PAP – whether it is Mr Lee Kuan Yew or Mr Goh Chok Tong or Mr Lee Hsien Loong as prime minister – the wrapper may change but the package remains decidedly antiquated.

Dr Vivian Balakrishman then fans the flame by saying that "if someone says something which we disagree with, we will say so. If someone says something which is unhelpful we have a right to say it is unhelpful.” The minister ignores the fact that citizens, in whatever capacities, have just as much right to tell the Government what we disagree with and find unhelpful about policies that affect our lives.

Such disagreements between the governors and those governed are bound to exist. The attendant debate and their resolutions must, however, be carried out in an open manner through the mass media – not shut down with Communist-like excuses that no one understands, much less believes.

The Singapore Democrats call on the Government to stop harassing Mr Lee Kin Mun and to restore his rights as a citizen to freely express his views. It goes without saying that this can only be done if the PAP desists in its unconstitutional control of the media.

The PAP needs to catch up in its development with the rest of the Singapore.

Chee Soon Juan
Singapore Democratic Party



Anonymous said...

he is free to speak; the doubtful part is whether he gets an audience once mediacorp/sph no longer host him, which depends on whether he is considered to be an asset to Singapore Inc

Anonymous said...

The government's high-handed way of shutting down dissenting views is backfiring.

Check out the response video called Silent Nation at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQxU3K-w0bU . Many bloggers who are supporting Mr. Brown are putting the Silent Nation on their blog. More than 10,000 have watched it. Furthmore, perhaps someone can start another online petition for Mr. Brown case (just like the petition for James Gomez). I am sure if there is an online petition, there will be lots of supporters.

Anonymous said...

hehheh..another optimist

sph/mediacorp wont provide publicity to this; some foreign press may, but not many would see the reports here; damage control is strictly enforced, since the guys doing the work now have no need to foster an atmosophere of opening up

Anonymous said...

I read your pathetic arts minister, Balakrishman claims his tiny little Island does not care what the worlds press say about happenings in Singapore.

He may well ignore the stories in papers in the Washington Post, the London Financial Times,however, he must have the sense to remember these daily papers are read by world leaders, who do care about injustices.

One day soon, just a simple anti singapore story will sink the boat, and a managing director will sit up and say, Ok, its time to poll our company out of the Island singapore, they cannot be trusted.

Mr. Balakrishman, its not the newspapers you should be worried about, its the influential people who read the stories.

A few million blogs have been written about Mr. Brown, this is world wide bad publicitdy.

Anonymous said...

what vivian says is both true and false; singapore spends a lot of effort and money on getting good publicity and on damage control; ignoring unfavorable reports is just part of the news management effort

Anonymous said...

The blame should go to MICA (Ministry of Information. Arts and Communications) Minister Lee Boon Yang who had warned of tigher controls after the GE.

We do not hear anything much against this unpopular Lee Boon Yang. And why personal attacks on others eg the MICA spokeswoman when they do not formulate policies.

But who voted all of the MPs in ?
(some may be deserving of course, but not all of them, obviously. Just look at their track records. Many residents even do not know who their MPs are. Their shortcomings and residents' peeves were also mentioned in our mainstream papers perhaps in a 'roundabout' way when comparing with some oppostion MPs, etc..The former are more busy in their own profession and business trips. We can't blame them as we keep on voting them in, right?)

As mentioned in several blogs, we the people of Singapore have some part to share this blame and outcome. Someone mentioned that even the former Speaker of Parliament, Tan Soo Koon had brought up about price hikes (which comes after every General Election)in Parliament a few years ago. Remember ?
Nothing different from what Mr. Brown had brought up or even Mr. Ngiam, the former Perm Sec.

Foreign govts can only conclude that we deserve the govt we voted in. Isn't this what 'democracy' is all about ?

If we do not heed what the huge rallies of the opposition had to say during the election period, but chose to 'believe' what the mainstream papers and TV/Radio had to say with biasness and lack of coverage; and if we do not heed what was published accurately by so many independent bloggers and citizens, and yet we voted otherwise....what do you think the conclusion of foreigners be ?

We are not hungry enough for change. Why should foreigners be more hungry than us ?

Seph said...

Illiberal democrary!!! We are voting in an authoritarian govt by democracy!!!

Hai.. Political participation is critically low - 92.7 per cent have never given feedback to the Government, 94.9 per cent have never written letters to a newspaper, and 94.5 per cent have never signed a petition.

Actually also have to take in account that the voting system uses first past the post, thats why so little opposition. Not to mention the GRC which Goh has openly said it helps the PAP. Actually, 44.4% did not vote for the PAP.

Anonymous said...

Then, make sure in the next GE, oppo parties to contest all 84 seats.

Seph said...

Don't really need to. PAP rearrange the constituencies. Or is it just me that people in aljunied got into uncontested Marine Parade and people in pro pap Marine Parade got into aljunied GRC?

nelly said...

I'm going to give optimism a shot.

I read everywhere about the 66.6% of Singaporeans who voted PAP. That sounds intimidating; the oppostion voters are outnumbered 2 to 1.

But viewed from another angle, 33.3% is only 16.7% + 1 away from a simple majority. That's all you need for a victory.

You heard me loud and clear: YOU OUTNUMBER THAT 16.7% 2 TO 1.

There's work to do, though. And I commiserate ...

Happy Pride, nevertheless.

Anonymous said...

well, 66.6% includes some % of those walkovers GRCs, which might not necessarily mean walkovers are fully supportive of MIW. so, it is supposedly less than 66.6% if these GRCs were contested!!