Sep 2, 2008

Friendly Reminders From the Nation-Building Press About The Dangers of Hong Lim Park


ST Sep 2, 2008
First legal demo since rule change lasts just 10 minutes
Non-profit group stages protest against maid abuse, watched by curious onlookers and activists
By Li Xueying

SINGAPORE'S first legal demonstration in two decades was held yesterday at the Speakers' Corner - and lasted for all of 10 minutes.

At 7pm, five members of a non-profit group, Hearer of Cries (HOC), gathered metres from the Clarke Quay MRT station exit at Hong Lim Park to stage a protest against employers who abuse their maids.

Against the darkening sky, they erected banners and played music, as a female member - complete with a neck brace - posed as an abused maid.

HOC founder Mike Goh, 46, gave a short message against abuse as others distributed leaflets to an audience of some 20 curious retirees, political activists and office workers on their way home.

By 7.10pm, it was over. There was no procession, shouting or burning of effigies. 'Is that it?' asked a disappointed Mr Steven Lee, 34, an engineer.
LOL, poor Mr Steven Lee. All these years, the PAP government has been telling him that demonstrations are dangerous; they mustn't be allowed; there will be riots; people will be killed etc. I guess Steven must have actually believed the PAP, at least partially.

Personally, I don't think that any demonstration at Hong Lim Park will be more dangerous than, say, the crowds at the Great Robinsons Sale.

Meanwhile (and by pure coincidence no doubt, LOL), today just happens to be the very day that the Straits Times has an article about an event that happened two years ago. And what happened two years ago?

Well, back in September 2006, a lady named Harkirat Kaur distributed some flyers & advertisements at City Hall MRT. What's so unusual about that, I hear you ask. After all, every day, people stand at MRT entrances distributing flyers, advertisements and brochures.

Oooooh, but this is different. Harkirat's flyers were VERY dangerous. She was publicising a demonstration at Hong Lim Park. And you know what the PAP government has been saying about demonstrations all these years, right? Demonstrations are dangerous; they mustn't be allowed; there will be riots; people will be killed etc.

No wonder Harkirat must be punished.

ST Sep 2, 2008
Illegal assembly: Woman fined $650
By Elena Chong

A WOMAN who took part in an illegal assembly two years ago to publicise a political rally was fined $650 yesterday.

Harkirat Kaur, 29, admitted to passing out fliers during a September 2006 gathering along North Bridge Road which allegedly involved members of the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP).

Party chief Chee Soon Juan, his sister Chee Siok Chin, assistant treasurer Jeffrey George and party chairman Gandhi Ambalam have also been charged in connection with the assembly.

They had earlier claimed trial and their next court date is tomorrow.

The court heard that Harkirat, who does freelance editorial work, took part in the assembly at the entrance of City Hall MRT around mid-day on Sept 10, 2006.

She distributed fliers promoting a rally at the Speakers' Corner in Hong Lim Park scheduled for six days later.
Me, I don't think distributing flyers is dangerous. Unless you're distributing them for opposition politicians to say that they will be speaking at Hong Lim Park. Maybe that's exactly what the Straits Times wants to remind you about, LOL.

On a related note, you might recall that last year, the Workers' Party had applied for a permit to hold a cycling event at East Coast Park. The police rejected the application. When Sylvia Lim went to Parliament to ask why, the Senior Minister of State for Law and Home Affairs Prof Ho Peng Kee said that:
1. East Coast Park is a recreational park for Singaporeans and their families. It is not meant to be used by a political party to promote its cause;

2. Apart from displacing the usual recreational users, East Coast Park is an open area where there is greater potential for breach of the peace, public disorder and unruly behaviour.

3. The police requires political events to be held indoors or in stadiums where problems could be contained, and this policy applies to all political parties.
However, guess where the PAP held its carnival, just last Sunday? At the West Coast Park. And guess who made his grand entrance on a bicycle? Yes, the Man himself, together with a troop of PAP ministers and MPs, all on bicycle.

"Ehhh, Mr Wang, don't say liddat lah,
West Coast Park not the same as East Coast Park, mah."

I must say - this country is as funny as it is sad.

62 comments:

Anonymous said...

Cue ST spinning Thai unrest to show the dangers of demonstrations in 3, 2, 1....

Anonymous said...

Abraham says -

"LOL, poor Mr Steven Lee. All these years, the PAP government has been telling him that demonstrations are dangerous; they mustn't be allowed; there will be riots; people will be killed etc. I guess Steven must have actually believed the PAP, at least partially."

Lab conditions shd be okay, I guess. Hong Lim so be it. Scarry lah looking at Thailand. Street protests can actually go out of hand and turn violent. Degenerated into paralysing the economy; orchestrated by willy politicians who have nothing to lose upon the common people. Closed businesses then bring out more protesters. One failure leads to another and before we know it the entire country is destabalised and begins to sink. Where do we go from here then - Malays back to Indonesia or Malaysia, Chinese to China or Taiwan and Indians to India?

The danger of playing with fire. The world is now watching how the Thais are being burnt. Where is the help now coming from to put Humpty Dumpty back together again? Democracy going out of control?

Mr Wang Says So said...

"Democracy going out of control?"

--- LOL, obviously you have not been paying attention to events in Thailand over the past few years. The current government didn't get there via democracy, but by a military coup. Therefore I would not say that this is an example of "democracy going out of control".

That would be as absurd as describing the Buddhist monks' uprising in Myanmar and their subsequent massacre at the hands of the military junta as an example of "democracy going out of control".

Anonymous said...

they hv killed off virtually everyting except on the Internet. They noe opening up HL park is a useless thing. No price to pay. Of course the East Coast park-WP thingy was just a joke by PAP. HUmoring WP so to speak.

QQ*librarian said...

I really enjoy your blog posts, and without doubt, danger posed by the Robinsons sale shopping crowd wins hands-down when compared to demonstrations at Hong Lim Park. LOL.

Anonymous said...

I'm flabbergasted by the double standard. However, would the police ever dare to turn down an application from PAP for outdoor event. this country is indeed funny but sad... democracy -Uniquely Singapore

Anonymous said...

This is a good chance for Sylvia Lim and WP to bring up the matter, and see how the PAP weasel out of the situation. They cannot argue that the gathering is organised by the PA or the Government, because it was clearly trumpeted in the MSM as a 'PAP carnival'. Since they also mentioned that policies apply to all political parties, Singaporeans may be interested to know what constitute the different criteria applied in denying the WP while approving the other.

Anonymous said...

Abraham replies -

"--- LOL, obviously you have not been paying attention to events in Thailand over the past few years. The current government didn't get there via democracy, but by a military coup. Therefore I would not say that this is an example of "democracy going out of control".

I did the posting after watching BBC tv. One of the protesters was asked by BBC why they didn't take their cause to Parliament when this is a democratically elected government. The interviewer himself appeared baffled.

Check it out, please.

Anonymous said...

When I was studying overseas, there were demonstrations on campus all the time.

Demonstrations aren't what many silly Singaporeans seem to think they are. Theoretically they could turn violent, but then again theoretically a soccer match could also turn violent.

But just like most soccer matches, most demonstrations are completely peaceful. Sometimes they are just a small group of people carrying two banners and giving out leaflets to educate the public on topics as harmless as kindness to animals etc.

If demonstrations are to be banned, logically one should ban soccer too.

Anonymous said...

oh you better not say that too loudly. Or else, knowing the PAP, they will come up with a new rule to say that you must apply for permit before you kick a soccer ball.

Anonymous said...

Mass political demonstration anywhere in Singapore should not be encouraged for the simple reason that it could be easily infiltrated by inplanted instigator(s) to make a scene.

And then the protestors will be accused of upsetting the peace, safety and security of the Country.

Say I am cynical and I am indeed so.

patriot

Anonymous said...

Mr Wang, you are wrong! Sunday's event was organised by PAP Community Foundation, not PAP. can you see the difference? so it is not political! LOL.

i wonder, if WP is to set up a WP Community Foundation and then organises the cycling event at East Coast again, will they be allowed??

CJ7

Onlooker said...

Demonstrations are dangerous; they mustn't be allowed; there will be riots; people will be killed.

Onlookers like me might be hurt.
Scary.
Not to forget "there is a conspiracy to do us in" and "Pay increase will cause inflation"(whose pay?).

And they still haven't found what they are looking for

Anonymous said...

That is not double standards we see here. That is our only standard.

orange said...

mr wang, although this double standard is a grave issue, i could not help but laugh throughout the post.
thanks for taking the effort to pinpoint and compare the relevent issues!!

Anonymous said...

>>...However, would the police ever dare to turn down an application from PAP for outdoor event.

It would be interesting to know if indeed an application been made for this carnival :)

Anonymous said...

One plays to win,
the end justify the means.

Yes, it's funny.
Why so sad?
What matters most,
everyone's fed.

Anonymous said...

lol

Mercia said...

Abraham:

The crowds are unhappy and see the Samak Sundaravej as a crony of Thaksin. This current ruling party has the popular vote, it's a couple of angry people led by loyalists, and this uprising has little support.

Interesting how you prize economic stability over personal freedom. Are you conflating an "out of control democracy" with rioting? Because that would make Singapore a very well controlled oligarchy. Democracy doesn't guarantee control, society has to regulate itself.

Perhaps you would rather we be leashed by the government like pets, under an assumption that a lack of control leads to chaos?

Ah, so many redundant questions, so little time.

Shafted said...

It is a fact that demonstrations led to the Hock Lee Bus riots, therefore all demonstrations are dangerous and must be banned.

The motives are irrelevant, the result is clearly unacceptable to the economy.

This is beyond Local Untalented's comprehension, so just listen. Don't "Bo Dua Bo Suay".

Anonymous said...

History holds invaluable lessons for all of us.

Remember the Prophet Mohammed peaceful procession that suddenly turned destructive and racial riots ensued in the 60s in Singapore.

We can't take chances and unnecessary risks in this ever-fragile world. Yes, trouble-makers could infiltrate and all hell will then break loose.

The consequence - tourists stay away, property prices plunge, investors likely to pull out, unemployment, people then view one another with suspicion and our streets won't be safe anymore for everyone, etc.

All we need is a spark to start hell fire!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Abraham. I thought the current PM Samak is democratically elected.

Anonymous said...

Agree with patriot.

The reason why demonstration is not allowed and must be controlled is for our welfare.

The kiasu and kiasi administration will put many mata on standby. The ang chias will be on standby. Maybe even Mount Vernon will be on standby.

When a demonstration is taking place, the mata will line the street just like New Year Eve celebration. Siong leh, some of them serving NS, please have a heart.

Also, our roads are already congested. You don't want protestors blocking your way. And Singaporeans have the strange habit of slowing down to watch show, causing traffic jam.

Anonymous said...

"Democracy going out of control?"

I recall vividly the cry of people of Bhutan to their beloved king:No,we do not need nor want democracy.

Bhutan,a small nation of 700,000 rated as one of the most happy nations in the world,people there are definitely much more happy than the Singapore citizens.

Then,out of the blue,their beloved king told them to take away all his power,and introduced democracy.

Of course people were not happy,their petitioned to their beloved king:No,we do not need democracy,we are very happy with you,pl

But the king of wisdom cautioned his people:

Yes,I know,I am very popular,and I do a very good job.

Democracy would be very messy,and I believe that the politicians who succeed my political power would not be as good as I,in short,they would not do a good job as I do.

But I think long term,what would happen when I leave?we have to start now,it takes time to build democracy,it is unavoidable.

Contrast this with PAP whose battle cry seems to be:all of you would perish if you have democracy!

Anonymous said...

Why now? To my mind this comes about because of the success of web sites and blogs in offering alternative (and hard to suppress) sites for debates and viewpoints. So the government decides to "give in" by turning Hong Lim into a site for demonstrations. What this shows is that the real issue is the free flow of viewpoints and discussions - not demonstration as such. The censors cannot keepthe genie in the bottle now that is is out there in the web (and thanks to people like Mr Wang). Not demonstrations as such but debates and viewpoints are the perceived threats to the ruling elite.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Wang. Sorry to clog up your comments but the use of the term "dmonstration" is not all that innocent. In context, a scientific or medical demonstration suggests a rational procedures of explanation and display but when we use the term in conjunction with political a different implication is conjured up such as "political demonstration" suggestion protestion etc. So why allow demonstrations at Hong Lim? Why not a simple citizens' corner?

Anonymous said...

Until the day when an articulate, charismatic and new media savvy "b n b" singaporean lawyer stands up and be counted, promising winds of change and inspiring a ( orat least 50%) nation ala Obama ...

Its still going to be the same in 10 years.

yamizi said...

I think those Christmas and New Year Eves' countdowns will prove to be more dangerous.

I often heard that women would have their sensitive parts touched without consent.

Maybe cancel all the countdowns?

Anonymous said...

I wish to take a moment to applaud the small group of demonstrators who tried to raise awareness of maid abuse issues. It is good to know that after decades of suppression of civil society groups by the ruling party, there are still Singaporeans who make the effort to speak up for what they is right and just. That includes you too, mr wang.

Anonymous said...

I think about 4 years back SDA or something wanted to put up paper dolls at Raffles place for racial harmony day (the likes of), and the permit was rejected.

Because, people might start punching each other up due to differences in opinion and start a riot.

Raffles Place, the most civilised upmarket professional place in Singapore. Riot over differences in opinions. Wonderful education PAP Gov has delivered all these years. Such social grace.

Anonymous said...

Scarry lah looking at Thailand.

Ya, damn scarry. PM said in newspaper last time if Shin Corp losts are materialized, somebody will ganna.

Now is profit or lose money? Materialise liao or not? PM say one, must honour word you know.

Anonymous said...

"Remember the Prophet Mohammed peaceful procession that suddenly turned destructive and racial riots ensued in the 60s in Singapore."

Yes. I was informed by my late uncle that then bands of ultras (extremists) under the cover of the huge procession were already armed with parangs beneath their attires, ever ready to commit violence. Neither the police nor the army then given the ratio was able to stop the carnage initially.

We've to be wary of demonstrations. Therein the devil always lurks. The age-old adage "Once bitten twice shy" must never be forgotten by all Singaporeans. It's always better to be safe than sorry later. Learn from past mishaps!

Anonymous said...

"Remember the Prophet Mohammed peaceful procession that suddenly turned destructive and racial riots ensued in the 60s in Singapore."

These days, Mr wang's blog is considered amazing in that u have 3 (or so) brave souls who dared post using their blogger id.

I believe the Gurkha contingent (armed with automatics) alone should be sufficient.

orange said...

"Remember the Prophet Mohammed peaceful procession that suddenly turned destructive and racial riots ensued in the 60s in Singapore." - 1964 Racial Riots

well im not sure if this is entirely relevent on today's context. i mean, the riot happened then because the people were not taught to settle matters amiably...
the standard of living, education level, culture - there's a huge difference between 1960s and today.

and yes, im was one of those students brainwashed by PAP. the school (social studies) implied demonstrations will eventually lead to riots, then lead to people getting hurt. mr wang, your kids may face this kind of education in secondary school too...

Murali said...

Yeah at the time of the riots our brave leader LKY was either on holiday or conveninetly overseas duing both times the racial riots happened...

hatasan said...

Just to add in more on the debate in Thailand.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_general_election,_2007

Not sure how this present government is installed by the military, a bit rich considering the current PM Samak Sundaravej was paving the way back for Thaksin (or at least some of his party members are) - which concidentally was ousted by the military few years back.

Democracy is a two edged sword and no way is this more exemplifed than in Thailand now. If demonstration can topple (or at least severely threaten) a government that a minority is unhappy with (basing my assumption on the 2007 election) it does not bode well for the governance of the country. Add into the mix when the pro-government supporters jumps in with their anti-anti protest - well, great footage for CNN and BBC.

So is Hong Lim going to turn out like what's happening on Channel 5 at 9 pm for the past few nights? I highly doubt so. We are a pretty 'watched' society, any trouble-makers can be swiftly identified and taken out but because we believed that our social stability is so fragile that it cannot withstand a few heady religious and/or racial comments, HL will never be able to flourish like it did elsewhere.

Good or bad? Who knows?

Mr Wang Says So said...

Personally, I think that most of the time, demonstrations are a rather ineffective way to deliver a message or effect any real change.

They are no different from, say, the Ministry of Environment putting up a few educational boards and displays at the community club, and having one or two ENV officers stand around and talk to passer-by about how to prevent dengue, don't forget to pour away your stagnant water etc etc.

The reach is generally poor, unless quite considerable effort placed into the logistics planning process; and quite clever ideas on how to gain publicity.

Large demonstrations are most relevant for really, really big & basic matters. I remember a BBC programme many years ago where some academics looked at historical examples and concluded that in poor countries, if people held large demonstrations, they were more likely to get government help with fundamentals like food aid.

In contrast, in rural areas where people didn't hold demonstrations and put themselves on the national agenda, they had a much higher chance of just dying outright, from starvation, as a result of famine. Simply because they would largely be ignored & unnoticed by the central government and the relevant aid agencies.

In less drastic situations, I really don't think much of the efficacy of demonstrations. In Singapore, the influence & reach of such demonstrations, if held, is likely to be less than if you had used other means (eg the Internet).

The ST article reported that the maid abuse awareness group had an audience of about 20 people. By almost any criterion, this must be considered poor. By way of comparison, if I wrote an article on maid abuse and posted it on my blog, within the first 60 seconds of my posting, the article would probably have been read by more than 20 people.

Anonymous said...

It's not about the logic of your argument but how powerful you are and in Singapore PAP is definitely powerful (in every sense) and SDP, WP etc are terribly weak (also in every sense). Heard the phrase "from a position of strength"? Applies to all things.

Anonymous said...

"Personally, I think that most of the time, demonstrations are a rather ineffective way to deliver a message or effect any real change."

It is all about size and awareness.

That XiaXue's blog have a bigger readership is not a slight but reflects in general most people have no interest in social issues. Even if 1000 readers starts blogging about it, there is still limited real impact. It is not going to spread beyond the usual anti-pap mob.

If the same 1000 men and women take to the streets, you can be sure that the Gahmen will take note and react much more quickly. Thats the power of crowds. It would quickly multiply.

See HK, S korea. Both highly wired and advanced nations where people still take to the streets to make a point and get things done.

Having said that, I am a coward who talk kok only and does not advocate violence :-p

PS: Democracy is more than going to the polls every few years. Thailand is pretty much still a monarchy.

Anonymous said...

"Raffles Place, the most civilised upmarket professional place in Singapore. Riot over differences in opinions. Wonderful education PAP Gov has delivered all these years. Such social grace.

September 3, 2008 9:33 AM"

A very good point indeed. If after all these years we still reherse and have to resort to the same fears about racial tensions/riots etc then something is ver wrong with the ruling party's efforts to build a nation. Assuming that the fears of racial tension are very present then perhaps the government should hand over its nation building efforts to someone (hopefully though they will not hire foreign talents). For what this means is the sad lack of progress despite the many years of unchallenged rule.

Anonymous said...

"If the same 1000 men and women take to the streets, you can be sure that the Gahmen will take note and react much more quickly. Thats the power of crowds. It would quickly multiply."

lol .. that would be a flash mob liao isn't it?

If really 1000 people take to the streets, the reaction will be mata, ang chia and roadblocks. And cursing from commuters.

ST will probably include a close-up picture (remember election rally pictures NOT published by ST?) with its politically correct writeup.

The real juice will still come from STOMP and blogs.

Anonymous said...

China has one Country two Systems i.e. Hong Kong and Mainland China.

Singapore has one Country and two totally different type of Law. One for Elites and one for Common Peasants.

Anonymous said...

lhl was looking at the camera while cycling. this is very dangerous. imagine there is a kid on the cycling path (say a child belonging to the malay woman in the background), then lhl might knock the kid down. the kid bleeds, the mother gets furious and inevitably confront lhl. this may spark off some strong words. since it is a public place, chinese and malay singaporean bystanders would eventually join. this would likely lead to fights. many would be injured. some will die.

Mr Wang Says So said...

One comment was posted by a reader who called himself "Spark". Sorry, I tried to publish the comment but I do not know why it's not showing up on my blog. Please feel free to repost.

Anonymous said...

There are two versions of the Hock Lee bus riots, One is that put up the British colonial rulers and subsequently adopted by the present government that the rots were leftist instigated out to create social unrest and agitation thereby destroying the economic and social cohesion (of the ahem,one must say, colonial Singapore). The other view is that the riots were part of the anti-colonial struggle without which there would not be independence and self rule. Well, after all, even the early PAP agitated for strikes by workers. We must notsimply accept the strait jacketted view of history unthinkingly. I have faith in Singaporeans - we didnot get through so many years of hardship without some quality. Truth will set us free. We have to learn tolook at the past and at truth without fear and with our own eyes.

Mr Wang Says So said...

There is also a series of books (now out of print) by a guy named Tan Kok Seng. You probably still can get the books at National Library. The titles are "Son of Singapore" and "Man of Malaysia".

In these books, a coolie recounts his personal experiences growing up in Singapore and Malaysia, in the 1950s - 1970s.

In one account, he talks about how he and his coolie friends were very excited to be offered money to do a very simple job.

They were to join a certain big crowd, and watch the speaker carefully. They didn't know what the speech was about. They just knew that whenever the speaker, a famous PAP leader, raised his fist into the air, they were all to shout "Merdeka!" as loudly as they could. ;)

Anonymous said...

The lesson to be learnt from Hock Lee and other off-quoted riots in the 60s and 70s is that extremists and pple who believe that violence justify the ends are scums and should be eradicated. If such scums want to create trouble, they can always try to bomb and MRT station or crash a plane. Demonstrations, per se, should not be the blame for the actions of such scums.

In any case, given that the PAP believes that the end justifies the means and that they would resort to extreme violent measures to stay in power (such as calling in the army if they lose an election), I would think that it is the PAP who is more likely to abuse demonstrations for political reasons than someone like CSJ who has never shown any violent tendency.

Razorwindsg said...

"See HK, S korea. Both highly wired and advanced nations where people still take to the streets to make a point and get things done."

Huh, so you think the demonstrations in Hong Kong are effective?

Sure, they bring the point to the government. Everything takes ages to decide because of this. The latest big fire which killed two civil servicemen is somehow linked to lobbyist defending the tear down of old buildings, and the constant difficulty in imposing fire safety regulations(Landlords are too stingy to pay for the new installments, so they make a hell lot of noise for it)

On the flip side, even IF there were 50 people in Singapore with enough guts to parade in the streets, I doubt anyone would pay attention to them.

"If the king is just, the people are generally satisfied" To most Singaporeans, all people seem to care about is their livelihood (5C's). The bunch that live slightly less well off are of the generation where poverty was even worse, so they are not too bothered. The new generation seems to setting in pretty nicely, or they become so dissatisfied they move abroad.

The Gen Y, though, through the exposure of internet, has somehow been "tainted" with the thought of pure democracy, freedom of speech.

"Tainted" is in quotations is because there are generally two views: 1) People MUST have freedom of speech and media (Which i believe) 2)People just need the 5C's, individuality and political involvement can wait.

I shall illustrate this with a good case. I had seen Dr Chee and his crew passing out phamlets in various places before (Uni's, Bedok Interchange). It bewilders me why people take an EFFORT to avoid him and his crew. It is even a larger ring of "vacuum" than the one see at the old man selling tissues somewhere beside them.

Fear? Not bothered? With all this talk for people's choice and their willingness to initiate "change", funny no one actually dared to go up to Dr. Chee and at least have a quick chat, or just shake his hand at least. If you really don't agree with his views, you can also take this chance to have a quick debate about it.

As long as the government doesn't mess up(in all senses). I don't think Singaporeans will ever budge from their comfort zone.

Do you really want that extra power? Do you have the guts to say if the party you voted did a stupid decision, that you will take the blame for it? It is due to YOUR judge of their character and ability after all.

The beauty of democracy is that you can vote, but not feel bad that you have contributed to the problem if it didn't go well. Sure, the other 99% of the voters caused it, not you. It is Mr.X who made the decision, not you. Well, it is YOU who said Mr X represents you, speaks and acts for you, thats what your vote means.

Darth Solarion said...

The situation in Thailand is far more complicated than many of the people who make stupid comments here think. What is happening in Thailand is a class struggle/business struggle/"I simply hate Thaksin and anyone who worked with him".

What is happening in Thailand, is people are taking things into their own hands and completely ignoring the democratic processes because politicians representing the middle and upper class know the poor despise the elite. You must be completely deluded if you think that won't happen in Singapore.

Anonymous said...

anon@September 3, 2008 2:00 PM

"That XiaXue's blog have a bigger readership is not a slight but reflects in general most people have no interest in social issues."

i read xiaxue's blog and mrwangsayso... ^^"

although i agree that riots are dangerous, but most of the time, demonstrations are quite peaceful for the sake of creating awareness. demonstrations should be allowed.. but under some form of survellience just in case things spiral out of control. have every single demonstrator registered with a clause that the demonstration will be a peaceful one provided there is no provocation from the people doing survellience, if the demonstration spirals out due to some "extra external sabotage", at least it can be traced whether it's from the registered people or "sabotage".

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:

"Until the day when an articulate, charismatic and new media savvy "b n b" singaporean lawyer stands up and be counted, promising winds of change and inspiring a ( orat least 50%) nation ala Obama ...

Its still going to be the same in 10 years."

Firstly, why would this person -- assuming there's one out there somewhere -- want to jeopardise his / her future for a group of apathetic citizens? Secondly, years before that person reaches adulthood, he or she may already be identified and given distractions that steer him or her off the political course.

Razorwindsg:

What about the demonstrations / protests over the HK Government's intention to amend the Basic Law a few years ago? Correct me if I am wrong, but the Government announced that they shelved that amendment "indefinitely" after a group of people took to the streets -- peacefully.

Anonymous said...

"Huh, so you think the demonstrations in Hong Kong are effective?"

To a certain extent yes. Many unpopular measures (medisave, gst, etc) were stopped.
Of course, it sometimes prevents work from getting done. Nothing is perfect so it depends on how you look at it. Personally, I am sometimes afraid when the gahmen tries to help with "higher gst", erp, ... very long list .. etc.

"On the flip side, even IF there were 50 people in Singapore with enough guts to parade in the streets, I doubt anyone would pay attention to them."

Absolutely correct. You probably need a 1000 at least. have to say that the way WP squandered the "Hougang moment" in the last GE was criminal. Had LKY been in charge of WP ...

"Fear?" -Spot on!

"If you really don't agree with his views, you can also take this chance to have a quick debate about it."

If PAP have to bring out Davinder ... I believe even Mr Wang would struggle to hold his own against Chee, nvm Mr Man-in-the-street.

"The beauty of democracy is that you can vote ... blah blah"

Democracy is not just going to polls. Every1 has a responsibility to speak up at all times. Maybe PAP is right. I am not ready (no balls).

"I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong." - Bertrand Russell

Anonymous said...

"Firstly, why would this person -- assuming there's one out there somewhere -- want to jeopardise his / her future for a group of apathetic citizens?"

Its call advertising.
You try again and again until Mr charismatic lawyer (whoever he is)loses hold of his senses :-)

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:

"Democracy is not just going to polls. Every1 has a responsibility to speak up at all times. Maybe PAP is right. I am not ready (no balls)."

I agree with both statements. Everyone has a role to play in a democracy and it is not just confined to casting a vote during elections.

Singaporeans are largely political immature (and I may add, juvenile) and I won't fault the PAP for being extra kiasu when clamping down on activities that will have the slightest chance of societal disruption. We are light years behind the Hong Kong people in being politically mature.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:

"Its call advertising.
You try again and again until Mr charismatic lawyer (whoever he is)loses hold of his senses :-)"

Good idea, but who is going to contribute to the advertising budget? And will it be any bigger in terms of amount than the carrot that will dangle in front of this person at a certain young age? :)

Actually, we have such a person in our country's history and he went on to become Singapore's first Prime Minister. What is the probability of having someone like him among this generation or the next? If he was born in the 1980s or 1990s, what are the chances of him becoming a politician during this day and age, and which party would he possibly join? - IrCTP

Anonymous said...

Talking abt voting. I think the constituency Potong Pasir opens a lot of hope for would-be Opposition like you in 2012, Mr Wang. The constituents there are indeed very loyal electorates. It has been in Opposition hand since time immemorial under Mr Chiam. The last time I saw him on TV, Mr Chiam was already limping and sickly. So . . . .

Anonymous said...

Even the government must admit (especially after the Mas Selamat fiasco and the ShinCorp blunder) that they can be wrong. OK you may consider these as not being crucial but what happens if there is a really big issue? Will be have more of the same from government: shaddup, I know what I am doing. That is one important reason why citizens should be heard freely and withour fear on all matters. Citizens hold the check on recklessness should this happen one day especially if the government has an overriding majority in parliament.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:

"Even the government must admit (especially after the Mas Selamat fiasco and the ShinCorp blunder) that they can be wrong. OK you may consider these as not being crucial but what happens if there is a really big issue? Will be have more of the same from government: shaddup, I know what I am doing. That is one important reason why citizens should be heard freely and withour fear on all matters. Citizens hold the check on recklessness should this happen one day especially if the government has an overriding majority in parliament."

You mean the Mas Selamat and the Shin Corp issues were not big enough?!

Anonymous said...

try this:
http://www.snopes.com/quotes/truman/truman.asp

Anonymous said...

The Straits Times (yes The Straits Times!) reported the death of Tan Sr A Samad Ismail who was arrested by the British in 1945 "on a charge of spreading discontent"(Sept 5 2008). In 1953, Tan Sri was a founding member of the PAP. Now, what's this about the dangers of Hong Lim Park? The founding spirit of Singapore (and the PAP, hopefully) has always been free speech and freedom of expression. Isn't that one of the key reasons why we were evicted from Malaysia? To raise the spectre of the dangers of Hong Lim and of free speech by the authorities is a slur on our history.

tVotA said...

I never admire a man who steals ideas.

At least make it rollerblading instead, for goodness' sakes. Or, since you said it should be indoors, have a rave party or whatever. Can't believe they actually used the same activity. Shame on you, copycat.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mr Wang

Tot u might be interested to know that the speaker's corner finally drew a crowd larger than 5.