A dangerous National Day Pronouncement
The Singapore model for economic development and authoritarianism is The Model for the world to emulate. This is the first time some one so close to the establishment actually, formally, admitted the term authoritarianism as an intrinsic element of our political system. There is no denial and no need for denial any more. We are a good and successful authoritarian state. This is the gist of Chua Lee Hoong's article in the ST and a must read for National Day. And who can speak for us more authoritatively than a westerner by the name of John Kampfner, a British journalist writing for The Guardian. We have our endorsement from the liberal western world than this model might not be a bad thing. This is what Kampfner said, 'The model for this is Singapore, where repression is highly selective. It is confined to those who take a conscious decision openly to challenge the authorities. If you do not, you enjoy freedom to travel, to live more or less as you wish, and - perhaps most important - to make money....' The strength of this system is economic freedom, to be rich, to chase your material wealth and dream, and to enjoy your rich life freely. The only condition is not to challenge the authority. Repression against those who challenge the authority is the right of those in authority, and justified. Are Singaporeans really accepting this precept and willing to go down this path? Political challenge or offering an alternative political solution, an alternative team to run the country, cannot be a crime in any sense. In fact providing an alternative political solution must be enshrined into our system to encourage good people to challenge the system for the betterment of people and nation. But once we accept the precept that all political challenge can be lawfully and rightfully repressed or suppressed, we are in for a very dangerous slide down to a dictatorship or an authoritarian state. Is that what we want? Some may argue, like Chua Lee Hoong, that we are already an authoritarian state and we are progressing very well. The world is looking up to us as The Model for economic growth and uplifting the livelihood of the people. We are on the right path. Really? How much is Chua Lee Hoong's position of an authoritarian state a reflection of the thinking of the political elite? Is this her position or the position of the elite and they are giving notice to the Singaporeans, that this is the real stuff and this is what we gonna be? In a separate article Tommy Koh wrote about the role of the legal profession and urged them to be passionate for justice and against injustice. If we are to accept repression against political challengers, do we need to consider or think about justice and injustice? Is political repression an injustice to be fought against?