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8/17/2008

Notable quote by Ho Peng Kee

'Citizens wishing to participate in the public discourse are free to enter politics and fight for their convictions, or to stay outside the ring as 'poets, philosophers and public intellectuals'. Ho Peng Kee I can call myself a poet, but I can't write poems. Can I call myself a philosopher? Hmmm, better don't delude myself. How about public intellectuals instead of private intellectuals? What's the dif? Who dares to call himself an intellectual? I will be content with the 4th P, just simply 'people.' Can the people of a country participate in public discourse without entering politics? I think in a democracy this is the right of a citizen, the people of a country to discuss matters that affect them and their lives. In an authoritarian state, the people are expected to shut up and just obey. So, if the people indulge in public discourse, are they committing a crime here? Looks like so leh, according to this interpretation. It only permits 3 types of people to talk cock. How many people qualify as poets, philosophers and public intellectuals here and can be given licence in public discourse? Who says we can speak freely and those who think otherwise are having a wrong perception?

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