‘The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) strongly urges the Government of Singapore to stop this harassment and ensure that bloggers are proetected against such unjustified interference with or reprisals for the exercise of their right to freedom of expression.
By resorting to this kind of harassment and intimidation of bloggers,
is showing complete disregard for
human rights and the rule of law,” said Sam Zarifi, ICJ’s Regional Director for
Singapore Asia and thePacific.
“The Government of Singapore must stop intimidating citizens who express their political opinions openly. The actions taken by the Singaporean police against the four bloggers do not only constitute an attack on freedom of opinion and expression in the country, but also clearly violates their right to privacy.” He added.’
The above is quoted from an article in the TRE titled ‘ICJ: End harassment of bloggers in
’ quoting source from ICJ’s website. Singapore
I am not going to discuss about the subject matter, about what Roy Ngerng, Teo Soh Lung or The Independent Singapore wrote during the Cooling Day of the by election. I will also not touch on the police actions and how they conduct their investigations. I am trying to understand the motivation for the govt or Hsien Loong to allow this to go on the way it did.
Hsien Loong must have a team of political advisers working for him just like his father LKY. These are very experienced and professional people, could be ministers or some people he really trusted for their good judgement and sense of reality and proportion. They are the people that would assist him, give their views and opinions or anything, particularly in this case, political critics.
LKY lived in a very different time, with very different kind of political opponents, different value system, with a less educated population, without the social media, in a world when drastic measures were swallowed without much question by the people and international organizations. The world has since moved on, everything has changed, values, morals, a more educated and enlightened population, more NGOs and a 24/7 social media presence. The social and political tapestry is very different and using old methodology and tactics to deal with current situation may seem out of sync.
LKY listened to his advisors and their views and made his own decision. He decided what should be the final outcome, what should be done, and would throw out bad advices that would not solve the problems but caused him more and greater problems if he went ahead with them. He took many tough decisions and gambled with the outcomes. The situation in his time was tough and rough.
The situation today cannot be that rough and tough. Maybe I did not have the full picture, the full inside story. Under today’s circumstances, the PAP is reining supreme, untouchable, and can afford to have a little criticisms, a bigger tolerance for dissent, and the broadcast during Cooling Day did not do any real damage, water under the bridge, really.
The follow up actions by the police and now the attention from around the world, ICJ, are definitely something that Hsien Loong and his govt need not have to face. It is baffling to invoke such attention. The Cooling Day broadcasts were tolerable and bearable irritations and could be dealt with with a slap on the wrist. Nothing more and no storm in the tea cup.
What made Hsien Loong to allow this mess to go on the way it went? Ok, I am being presumptious here, that he knew and approved the whole process. I could be wrong and I stand corrected. Hsien Loong could be totally uninvolved and the whole incident was left to someone else to handle as that someone deemed best.
All I can say is that it is something unnecessary and there is no need to kick up a dust storm when there is no need to. Why invite the unnecessary attention that is anything but good for
and the govt? This is the 21st
Century, not the days of LKY and the Communist Insurgency. The political
climate and players have changed, the people have changed, the risks have
changed, the challenges have changed. Singapore
Would Roy Ngerng or Teo Soh Lung present such a big threat or challenge that it is necessary to send a bull into a theatre? The PAP shall rule till SG100. Relac.