Thursday, April 25, 2013

Guided Democracy In Play

Contemporary conceptualizations of the public sphere are based on the ideas expressed in Jürgen Habermas' book "The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere". Broadly speaking, the public sphere encompasses the processes involved in political communication and the sites where the processes take place (the media, civil organisations, etc). According to democracy theorist Robert Dahl, there is an expectation that the political preferences expressed in a democratic sphere are "freely formed". That is, if we subscribe to the definition of democracy as a political system that allows political talk to take place in a relatively untrammeled way, where civil liberties provide people with the ability to express views that run contrary to the current flavour of the incumbent government.

Yaacob Ibrahim gave a clue why Nizam Ismail had to go when he said money given to Malay Muslim organisations must be used to help the community, not "creating a platform for people to be involved in partisan politics." The Minister obviously does not subscribe to the belief that listening to diverse views, even critical and dissenting ones, is one of the processes of helping the community, one of the vaunted objectives of the ongoing National Conversation.

The chairman of the Association of Muslim Professionals (AMP), Azmoon Ahmad, had advised Nizam to part ways after separate phone calls from two Ministers (guess who?) took issue with some online comments, speaking at the Hong Lim Park, and participation in a public forum. Azmoon had to act, "Otherwise, the Government will withdraw all funding from AMP." Money may not buy happiness, but it sure does ensure compliance.

Nizam was aghast that activities in his private personal capacity was commingled with community services in his public capacity as an AMP/RIMA director. Community services which stand to benefit thousands – be they low-income families, youths at risk, students. Nizam is also leaving Suara Musyawarah, a feedback panel for the Malay-Muslim community. You would too, if feedback is commingled with kickbacks.

The other news worthy item in the public sphere is the arrest of a cartoonist for sedition, the offending copy being “Malay population… Deliberately suppressed by a racist government.”


  1. The right to help the community and be a platform for people to be involved in partisan politics belong to PA only!

  2. Sad to note that we are still fifth world when it comes to civil liberty and freedom of thought....................

  3. Yaacob Ibrahim ... " money given to Malay Muslim organisations must be used to help the community, not "creating a platform for people to be involved in partisan politics."

    This money ah ... where did it come from?
    Did the money come from YuckCock ?
    Did the money come from PAPig ?
    Did the money come from Singaporeans (including Malay Singaporeans) ?

    Whose money is being given to AMP?
    What do you think?

  4. God of Fortunes4/25/2013 11:48 AM

    Money is the shadow god of all Singaporeans ( foreigners too).

    The fear of losing whatever you have is sufficient to bring you down to your knees. It is this weakness that has been identified and will be used time and again to ensure:


    The opposite effect of gaining support is to reward you with buckets and buckets of millions of dollars.

    Money... so simple a tool to ensure control over anything. Push or pull people... try it... works on every Singaporean without fail.

    Singaporeans have a price... just name it.

  5. Both Nizam and the cartoonist case have made a parody of the democracy here. A dominant part without being domineering..tsk.tsk. how has that been working out for us ?

  6. Someone commented on another site (and I agree) that the two offending articles aren't the ones that really caused offence to the "offended", but the "offended" is going after the cartoonist using these two as an excuse.

  7. MIT Graduate Student demolishes Reinhart & Rogoff austerity thesis "Growth in a Time of Debt.”

    It's a short video.
    Well worth a look.
    The next time some idiot politician says "where is the money going to come from?"
    Well now you know.

  8. Recall Li Yeming case, the chinese clan said “SFCCA does not find it necessary for Mr Li to resign from SFCCA, and hopes that he would continue to serve the community.”

    SFCCA also added, “He wrote in his personal capacity, and not on behalf of SFCCA.”

    It said the federation’s social mission is to unite Chinese clan associations and promote ethnic harmony. It also called for all rational debate to be respected, adding that everyone is entitled to freedom of speech within the legal framework here.
    Now, can someone tell me why Mr Nizam case is any different, given he was very above board in every step of the way.

  9. Regarding the case on the cartoonist, Leslie Chew, I think that he had been unfairly singled out for police action. If I remember correctly, more than one person lodged a police report against LKY's remarks over the Malays, but police never take action to arrest him. And neither did LKY apologised. Stand corrected means to take back his words, but this is certainly not an apology. Neither is it sincere, since it is issued by his press secretary and not read out by him in a press conference.

    Now, Mr Chew is just repeating what has been said by LKY who represents the government. The perpetrator of racial politics is the government, not Mr Chew, who simply presents the government's stance on Malays based on facts: i.e. population figures and what was said by LKY.

    1. When has LKY's party become so paranoid that even a political satire cartoonist they are so fearful of that they have to investigate him ? I suspect that racial sedition thing is only an excuse to take action against him.

      Looks like PAP is behaving more & more like China's Communist Party. Is it any wonder that more & more Singaporeans are beginning to hate PAP for this kind of discriminatory & bullying tactics.

      Supposing PAP loses a couple of 100K of voters to the opposition, so is PAP going to attract another couple of 100K of new citizens to replace them ?

      Looks like PAP is beginning to lose its honour of being a meaningful political party to protect Singaporeans' interests. Behaving more & more worst than any of the opposition parties WP, SDP, combined.

      In this manner LKY is surely on its path to become the most hateful icon to represent PAP, anyone disagree ?

  10. Amusing Amy Cheong gets away on hate speech, but Leslie Chew gets a staycation in the cell for sedition?

    1. Amy Cheong is a foreign talent.
      Leslie is a Singaporean.

  11. "money given to Malay Muslim organisations must be used to help the community, not "creating a platform for people to be involved in partisan politics."

    Is the P.A.'s budget and money being used for partisan politics?
    I really don't know.
    What do you think?

  12. er..Which part is offending, and to whom?

    The "deliberately suppressed muslim population" or the "racist government"?

    We Singaporeans, majority chinese have been KPKB that we are very suppressed by talent-this and talent-that, so who exactly is being offended here?

    1. gee, what part of the disclaimer do they not understand?

      besides, if one is so easily offended, there are several things they can do to exercise their right ;-

      1) look up dictionary definitions of parody or satire. do you even understand the meaning?
      2) try laughing at yourself , if not, see #1
      3) ignore it or go read something that is so UNoffensive and dead serious like the straits times.
      4) if all else fail, remember all these construed offense in your head is just a figment of your imagination. Surely, you must know whatever is said in the cartoon strip cannot be true UNLESS you really think is not false?!!
      5) If so, then please check yourself into IMH.

  13. I enjoy reading the uk's private eye and china's daily show. This country is also very ripe for some good old fashion satire and parody. In fact, I think Mr brown has the potential to become our very own Jon Steward (of course, don't bang on mediacorp giving him a slot anytime soon). And now, I wonder if they will go after newnation for disseminating falsehoods and fake news????!!

    1. haha..

  14. Now foreigner Amy Cheong of ex-NTUC staff was let off without a scratch on her. I wonder, will local chew be treated as leniently as her?

  15. Isn't that tantamount to holding the Association of Muslim Professionals to ransom ... as if our PAP Govt gives a damn to the welfare of Muslim Professionals just because one of its members has crossed its line in critising the Govt ?

    The same kind of bullying tactic they used on those Art Groups and threaten to withdraw funding if they 'misbehave' ?

    And why didn't they threaten PA to withdraw its funding since PA is widely seen as a PAP platform for partisan politics then ? Why is it that PA can be allowed to do all the dirty work for PAP, one may ask ? Is it LKY or rather PAP's fair way of using public funds to threaten funding groups into submission ?

    1. Just to add, so can we now see for ourselves what real purposes do those Malay MPs serve ? Maybe PAP can care to enlighten us ?

  16. Should we also question why PA continue to receive funding when they are involved in partisan politics, like organising supporters to PAP rallies with offer of free food and transport?

  17. Hahaha.....

    Why are Sinkies seeking answer or explanation that will never be given?

    Just live and bear with the discomfort lah, nothing can be done with the irregularities? Right or not?