Friday, August 17, 2012

Liddat Also Complain

The Executive Summary of the U.S. Department of State report on Singapore Human Rights Practices for 2011 reads like this:
"Singapore is a parliamentary republic in which the People's Action Party (PAP), in power since 1959, overwhelmingly dominates the political scene. Opposition parties actively participated in the May 7 parliamentary elections and the August 27 presidential election, which were generally free and fair; however, the PAP continued to benefit from procedural obstacles in the path of political opponents. Security forces reported to civilian authorities. 
The government has broad powers to limit citizens’ rights. While the 2011 general and presidential elections generally were seen as open, free, and fair, the government benefitted from the use of legal restrictions that handicap the political opposition. The Internal Security Act (ISA) permits preventive detention without warrant, filing of charges, or normal judicial review; in recent years it has been used against alleged terrorists and was not used against persons in the political opposition. 
The following human rights problems also were reported: mandated caning as an allowable punishment for some crimes, infringement of aspects of citizens’ privacy rights, restriction of speech and press freedom and the practice of self-censorship by journalists, restriction of freedoms of assembly and association, and some limited restriction of freedom of religion. 
The government prosecutes officials who commit human rights abuses, although there were no instances of such prosecutions reported during the year. There were no reports of impunity involving the security forces during the year and therefore impunity did not appear to be a problem."

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) is telling everybody who bothers to listen that it is unhappy that the US report “again includes the same gross inaccuracies and misrepresentations of the Singapore Government’s policies that we have rebutted in detail year after year”. They refer, of course, to the reminder about Singapore’s continued use of the Internal Security Act (ISA).  If this upsets the politicians to no end, why don't they follow Malaysia's example of doing away with the archaic way of keeping Communists at bay? Instead of welcoming them en masse into the country under the guise of addressing the population growth rate. And while they are cleaning up their act, how about taking a look at the "procedural obstacles in the path of political opponents"? If the MFA wants a perfect report card, like the Asian student in Australia who bitched about 99.75 marks, they should start sweeping with a new broom. And stop waffling about it.


  1. If the shoe fits, wear it.

  2. Compared with what Singaporeans are saying in the internet;
    I thot the US Deapartment of State was excessively polite and restrained in their praise of the PAP government.

    1. I am inclined to think LKY and son expected a glowing report from the US of A., and why should'nt they ?....considering the support given to Bush in his search for WMDs in Iraq, the multi billion investments to help prop up US banks/financial institutions, the invaluable expert opinion that allowed the US Dept of State to understand why certain leadership in the region is not competent, and of course, the invitation for the US navy to set up base in Spore. Any wonder now why the father and son feel aggrieved ?

    2. I would say that this IS a glowing report from USA.

    3. Yes, it was restrained.

  3. In short, is it not akin to our Govt telling the US Govt "If u can detain terrorists at your pleasure, why we can't detain opposition members at our own discretion, the only difference maybe being so far we have only 1 terrorist to detain?"

    In a crude way, it's almost like "you can commit murder, why can't we ?

  4. What a immature response to US report!

    " you have Guatanamo, we have Whitely road"

    Its all about ego, image, face... the family loves to appear among the rich & powerful. Having a rating like that is not meeting their KPI and that hurts!

  5. When one is respectable,
    why feel bothered by others.

  6. Singaporeans are known to excel in test taking. They know exactly what to do to achieve A+ if this were a test. So stop complaining! "Everything also complain"

  7. The mouse that roared? They used to tell the world not to interfere in Singapore's internal affairs. And the old man would go around the world dispensing his "wisdom". Now taking umbrage at the human's right report, which is really very watered down. Don't play with fire if you can't stand the heat.

    "Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye."

  8. Where is the inaccuracies and misrepresentations here?
    They are every bit correct and factual.
    Mr Ravi of TOC has written a good piece on this red herring.
    Perhaps Mr Shanmugam wants to be reminded that those victims of G.Bay have had their trial , lawyers representing them etc.
    How many of the past detainees got their chance in court?
    You may win on technical grounds (form) but we know the real substance is never there.

  9. "...How many of the past detainees got their chance in court? ..."

    Ha! ha!.. be careful!.. a chance in court is no guarantee!.. remember.. judges have different perspectives at different times, on different cases, with different accused people.

    No standard rule... 12" can also mean 1 meter can also mean 12cm...

    1. Good point!
      other than judges, the past detainees could also end up being evaluated by some psychiatrist....deemed insane during trial.

      so instead of whitley hotel, perhaps IMH hotel. What do u think?

  10. What the Singapore Government fails to tell us is: The truth hurts. Please do not tell the truth, but make us look good.