3/15/2007

rules of law

I was in a discussion with two anonymouses in the threat on hostile acts by Indonesia. And they were exasperated by the notion of rules of law which they found it so difficult to accept. To them, when a foreigner is in Indonesia, they are at the mercy of the authority. You do not need to commit any crime or violate any laws, or be completely innocent, but they can arrest you at their whims and fancy. And to these two anonymouses, that is an acceptable way of life. That is their system and how they do things. In countries that operate under the rule of law, no one can be arrested, citizens or foreigners, if they did not breach the law of the country. Their rights are protected by the constitution and upheld by the authority. How fortunate Singaporeans are. Even in Malaysia, if you are hauled up by the police for speeding, you can ask for evidence. If the police did not catch you on radar and have no proof, they are likely to waive you off. You will not be fined arbitrarily. Malaysia also practices the rule of law. Not the rule of might and warlords. In countries where you have corrupt people, corrupt system, corrupt culture and corrupt ways of life, there is no rule of law. The strange thing is that these are so invisible to themselves that when it is their own kind, they cannot see anything that is corrupt. But when you add the word 'Chinese' to Indonesians, everyone and everything they do is corrupt. Every Indonesian Chinese that is rich is corrupt. On the contrary, not a single Indonesian is corrupt. And they can live happily ever after with their loot which they robbed from the people and country. I would like to assure them that if they are foreigners and living in Singapore, our police or authority will treat them with full respect and all the rights of a free individual. They will not be arrested for no rhyme or reasons. We don't arrest ships in our territorial waters just because we feel like it.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

As you are so fond of saying, Redbean, we all look at things from our points of views. Another one of your favorite: "Everything is relative". SO what is so strange ? You obviously look at it from the pov of a Chinese, hence why you insist on defending the corrupt Indonesians from your race. Your prejudices against the non-Chinese is very glaring indeed. You can fool yourself that you are not racist, but don't try to fool others.

redbean said...

looking at something from different perspectives is a given. but to say that blatant abuse of power, lawlessness, is acceptable and a way of life is a totally different thing.

let me give you an example, some may say rule of law is good while some say it has its problems as well. different perspectives. also, lawlessness has its pros and cons just like a culture where bribery is a way of life. again different views.

when we are talking about the arrest of shipping vessels, it is like our police arresting anyone on the street because they just want to do it. and the people must accept that it is ok.

now we are talking about right and wrong, legal, legitimate or abuse of power, piracy.

every country has its laws. and there are international laws. i am saying that the arrest of vessels with legitimate papers and plying the trade route is illegal, piracy, for it violates indonesian laws and international laws, even if they are in indonesian waters.

redbean said...

it is natural and even expected for people to defend their own kind. i will lose respect for you if you do not defend your own kind.

this is the first level of response. the next is what you are defending and how you defend them. if you are defending a wrong, it tells a lot about you. even when you are defending a right, people will assess you on the reasons and arguments you put forth. are they reasonable and logical?

i can never defend any position that is wrong. just like i cannot defend corruption or buying from smugglers of sand and whatever.

if my reasoning is flawed, i am only opening myself to be attacked. but it is unfair for people to attack me personally just because they have no other better things to say. it will also reflect very badly on themselves.

everyone is reading the posts and can judge for themselves.

redbean said...

oh, i forget to add.

everyone must be proud of his race or his nationality, and himself/herself.

if you don't, then you are nothing.

Anonymous said...

So are you defending or against the dirty money from Indonesia that has been stashed away in Singapore?

Matilah_Singapura said...

> To them, when a foreigner is in Indonesia, they are at the mercy of the authority. You do not need to commit any crime or violate any laws, or be completely innocent, but they can arrest you at their whims and fancy. <

That depends—if you are without the right "contacts", then you are at the mercy of the corrupt state officials.

It is wise to stash some extra cash to bribe your way—i.e. "freedom" can be bought, especially in Indonesia.

> And to these two anonymouses, that is an acceptable way of life. That is their system and how they do things. <

I don't accept this as a "moral standard", bearing in mind that moral standards are personal.

However, I do accept it as reality—this is how it is in Indonesia. Can you fight against a pandemic culture of corruptasi? I can't, but perhaps you can, I don't know and don't really care.

No one forces any foreigner to do business in Indonesia, or for that matter even visit the place.

You cannot rely on the justice system to protect your "rights", and so this raises the issue of self-defense as an essential adjunct to the ideas of FREEDOM and LIBERTY; both those ideas stemming from the ideas of self-ownership (Individual Sovereignty) and private property rights.

Thus, if you want to be free, you'd better be able to defend yourself. This applies on the individual as well as on the societal level. Unfortunately on the societal level it has become political and thus has led to the creation of standing armies, navies and airforces, and the idea of conscription (national service).

Now we hit a contradiction: to be "free" (i.e. to protect our individual sovereignty and property) we need to "give up" (by force) our private property (tax) and ourselves (submit to National Service). Once you have a contradiction, you know that there is a false premise somewhere.

The false belief is that we need standing armed forces and NS. And the proof that these are ineffective is so clear today.

Standing armed forces and NS may have some degree of effectiveness if the conflict is State vs State. Today the "enemy" is NOT a rogue state. They have names like Al Queda and Jemaah Islamiah—i.e. they are private organisations.

Libertarians have always believed that de-centralised spontaneous orders and distributed networks—borrowing from Nature itself—are extremely effective, because no single person or group can exert total control. Unfortunately, the modern terrorist organisations have borrowed this concept, rendering EXPENSIVE standing armed forces (and NS) with their nuclear weapons totally ineffective in combating terrorism.

Yet the world's leaders seem to believe that they they need BIGGER standing armed forces and more powerful OFFENSIVE WEAPONARY, and very little development has been done in the field of DEFENSIVE weapons. I suppose this keeps the arms manufacturers rich and comfortable, as they eventually get a large chunk of peoples' productivity by way of government taxation.

All arms manufacturers support the idea of conscription (NS). Why? It is extremely good for BUSINESS.

Back to Indonesia—this is a large state, so rest assured it will be "violent" toward individuals—especially foreigners.

Can anyone name a LARGE state which is non-violent? China? I think a Tibetian or a student back in Tianamen Sq days will disagree with you. India? Ask a Pakistani. US—cased closed. Ah... Canada! Canada is the world's most peaceful large state! (Australia's out ever since it "invaded" E Timor)

Anonymous said...

Quote
everyone must be proud of his race or his nationality, and himself/herself.

if you don't, then you are nothing.
Unquote

Too much pride and you become a bigot. No pride does not mean you are nothing, you may be humble.
I find your logic very strange.

redbean said...

we all look at things different and understand things differently. no need to agree with each other.

nothing strange if you are prepared to accept that people all have their own views.

matilah_singapura said...

In reality we are one species—there is only one race: The Human Race.

To redbean, everything is indeed relative—he prefers a world of no absolutes, a subjective world.

Well, to each his own I suppose :P

But there is a question to those "relativists" out there:

When you say everything is relative, is that a relative statement, or is it an absolute statement? And if it is a relative statement, what is it relative to? ^0^

redbean said...

in life choices, everything is relative. absolutes are more commonly found in the world of the hard sciences.

the only absolute in life is death. the rest are relativity.

even in science, relativity is getting more important with einstein's theory of relativity.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Quote: redbean
> in life choices, everything is relative. absolutes are more commonly found in the world of the hard sciences.

the only absolute in life is death. the rest are relativity.

even in science, relativity is getting more important with einstein's theory of relativity.

End quote
===================

I'll ask the 2-part question again, and am keen to know if you're man enough to answer it ;)

1. Are what you've just written absolute or relative statements?

2. And the statements are relative statements, what are they relative to?

Brilliant tip-For-The-Day: Don't even bother or fry your brains attempting to answer the second part if you can't even manage a simple answer on the first part.

redbean said...

what the hell matilah,

have i every said anything is absolute in life? in fact i have added many contradictions too.

good can be bad and bad can be good.

Matilah_Singapura said...

"War is Peace"

George Orwell, 1984.

Run faster and faster redbean, one day you just might catch your tail! :)