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Re: Singapore establishment feels threatened by the exercise of democratic rights.

Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:19 am
by cassowary
neverfail wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:06 pm
cassowary wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:37 am
In the case of Amos Yee, he is a trouble-maker and most Singaporeans detest him. His offense was to insult Christians and Muslims.

Here is a sample of Amos Yee's Utube offerings:


Thanks cass. You might have guessed that I posted this link to a recent Asia Times article to sound out your opinion. I have no set one of my own. You put up a good case with reference to Singapore's fragile security situation.

But cass, the article mentions a number of other dissidents whose activism seems to have more legitimacy (as distinct from legal sanction) than blogger Yee's; yet you mention only this soft target blowhard as though his case is supposed to bring disrepute down on all of the others:
Well, for the record, I mentioned another case - the guy who got arrested for demonstrating in front of the British and American embassies. I already explained that demonstrations are not illegal provided it is done in Hong Lim Park where the Speakers' Corner is located. This is to prevent riots as recently happened in Chancellorsville over Robert E Lee's statue. But the attention seeker deliberately did it illegally, to get himself in jail.

Since you ask, i will comment on the others as well. The most interesting case involves that Lee Scion and Harvard Fellow, who is our PM's nephew. He wrote on his Facebook page that the judiciary in Singapore is compliant. That is true. The PAP has been in power for so many years. The party in power gets to appoint the judges. So it has appointed PAP supporters.

This puts opposition members at a disadvantage when they are involved in litigation against a PAP member. Our judges generally have the same worldview. So you get very consistent and predictable judgements. We are spared the spectacle of what happened in the US over Trump's travel ban. The Democrat dominated 9th Circuit Court declared the ban as illegal, only to be overturned by the Republican dominated Supreme Court.

Bias is something found all over the world. It depends on the world view or ideology of the person making the judgements. Despite its bias in political cases, Singapore ranks 9th for rule of law, according to the World Justice Project, which reflects well on its courts. By the way, Canada ranks 11; Australia ranks 12 and the US ranks 18. After Muellers' witch hunt, I think US ranking is going to drop.

Finally, there is Jolovan Wham, the social worker who ran afoul of the law. Again, like Yan Jun, he could have avoided arrest if he had organized his demonstrations in Hong Lim Park where the Speakers' Corner is. Wham is an idealist. So I got to admire his courage of his convictions. But I have mixed feelings. Wham presses all the leftist buttons I detest. For example, he campaigns for the abolishment of the death penalty and claims that low wage temporary foreign workers are oppressed.

Wham and his friends would hold candlelight vigils outside the prison whenever some drug pusher gets hung. He does not think of the lives ruined by drugs or the people killed by overdose. Suppressing drugs also avoids the warfare of drug gangs which will affect innocent bystanders. Like so many leftists, Wham cares more for the criminals than for the victims.

Wham has been warned many times to stop. If he wants to protest, he can go to Hong Lim. My speculation is that Wham is frustrated for the lack of support for his pet causes. Singaporeans, in general, do not care for such things because they are too busy trying to get rich. The spirit of capitalism is too strong for there to be much interest in such foolish idealism. Perhaps in frustration, Wham sought arrest in the hope of drawing attention to his causes.
(quote) That doesn’t sound so illiberal in theory until recalling that the government characterized teen blogger Amos Yee’s YouTube harmless rants as hate speech, suggesting that the state’s tolerance threshold is low. (Yee was recently granted political asylum in America.) (unquote)

Two points: it is your government that decides what is "hate speech" and what is otherwise just harmless sounding off. There is a danger here that the top honchos in the ruling party routinely abuse these sweeping powers to stamp out any sign of discontent before it can coalesce into an opposition movement that endangers it's monopoly grip on power - on the pretext of national security and social harmony. Are you not concerned about this and if not why not?
Yes, I agree. Unfortunately, the government has a lot of discretion on what is hate speech. I am not happy with what I perceive as a double standard. The government appears to be harsher when Muslims are offended by non-Muslims, as in Yee's case, then when non-Muslims are offended by Muslims.

Yee was jailed for a month for saying mostly accurate things about Islam. He did not portray them as enemies to be overcome. He was just making fun of Islam and claimed that ISIS is following the Koran. (He is right.)

This Muslim preacher, on the other hand, led his congregation in prayer calling for the defeat of Jews and Christians.

Excerpt from link:

Image

This is the standard jihadist ideology of the sort that ISIS practices. The imam sees Jews and Christians as God's enemies who must be defeated in a holy war. In my view, this is far worse than Yee's mocking of Islam. One mocks, the other is a call for war. Yee got jail. But the Imam got only a $4,000 fine and was deported back to his country.

I think that the government knows that many Muslims agree with the Imam. Sending him to jail may provoke violence among his supporters.
(Yee was recently granted political asylum in America.) really? I doubt whether the US authorities would have done that lightly.
The sensible Trump administration rejected Yee's application. But some leftist went to court to help Yee get in. Yee won the court case. It must have been a Democratic judge. And the left is so hypocritical. They always level accusations of hate speech to shut up their conservative opponents. That's what Yee was guilty of - hate speech. The only reason why the left supported Yee in this case is that they detest Singapore for being a show case of capitalism -low taxes and government spending.

When Trump called for Muslim immigrants to be banned, it was hate speech to leftists. When Yee said things like the Koran came from Allah's assh...e, they welcomed him - no doubt to poke the eye of Singapore.

Re: Singapore establishment feels threatened by the exercise of democratic rights.

Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:43 am
by cassowary
Milo wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:10 am

And paying the jizyah is cheaper than security?
Indeed. Loss of free speech is the price to pay if you have a significant number of Muslims in your country. Thus I urge you to stop Muslim migration to western countries. I have a fondness for western civilization or what is left of Christian civilization. Preserve it for as long as you can.

The photo of the demonstration against the new President Halima Yacob is a lesson for you to learn. Prior to her "election", we have not had a Malay/Muslim President for a long time. The last time, was when a Malay/Muslim President was appointed, not elected.

The Presidency is mostly a ceremonial post. The only power the President has is to say "no" if the government of the day wants to spend money from reserves. There has been a rash of Malay/Muslims joining ISIS. So to make them feel at home, it was time to have a Malay/Muslim President.

But there were other contestants, including the popular Tan Cheng Bok. Everybody knows that a Malay/Muslim candidate stand little chance to win the Presidency. It is not that we are racist. All other groups have assimilated well. But the Malays, as LKY said in his book, remain distinct and separate. It is because they insist on being that way. They have their own sharia court, have exclusive dietary laws that make socialization more difficult and even a minister in charge of Muslim affairs.

There is no equivalent of the sharia court and no minister in charge for the other groups. As you sow, so shall you reap. The rest of Singaporeans also keep a distance. Some Malays/Muslims say that they are not accepted. The fear is that this alienation will turn some into radicalization. The result is that Malay/Muslim candidates are less electable. But whose fault is that? It is their fault.

In the end, the government passed a law restricting the candidates to the Malay/Muslim race. This provoked indignation as you can imagine. Supporters of Tan Cheng Bok were angry. These are the problems you will face when the Muslim population in western society grows larger. They will not feel that they are accepted and blame it on you.

Re: Singapore establishment feels threatened by the exercise of democratic rights.

Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:32 pm
by Milo
cassowary wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:19 am

Singapore ranks 9th for rule of law, according to the World Justice Project, which reflects well on its courts. By the way, Canada ranks 11; Australia ranks 12 and the US ranks 18. After Muellers' witch hunt, I think US ranking is going to drop.
Rule of law is essential a proper society but freedom of expression and democracy are also necessary. In my view all are equally important and Singapore is rather lacking in the other two.

Freedom House gives Singapore a D minus for freedom.

https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom ... /singapore

Re: Singapore establishment feels threatened by the exercise of democratic rights.

Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:21 pm
by neverfail
Milo wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:32 pm
cassowary wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:19 am

Singapore ranks 9th for rule of law, according to the World Justice Project, which reflects well on its courts. By the way, Canada ranks 11; Australia ranks 12 and the US ranks 18. After Muellers' witch hunt, I think US ranking is going to drop.
Rule of law is essential a proper society but freedom of expression and democracy are also necessary. In my view all are equally important and Singapore is rather lacking in the other two.

Freedom House gives Singapore a D minus for freedom.

https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom ... /singapore
Good point, Milo.

As my parents were at pains to point out to me: strict adherence to the rule of law is better than lawless chaos, but it has little or nothing to do with the achievement of natural JUSTICE.

Even reading between the lines of Cassowary's latest essay I can tell that law and order up there is far more for the convenience of the governing class than for the well being of the general populace.

Re: Singapore establishment feels threatened by the exercise of democratic rights.

Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:48 pm
by neverfail
Cass, I would like to thank you for taking such pains to try and inform me and other readers better on the situation in your country. I can see that like me you have striven to be as impartial as possible - and I appreciate that effort.
cassowary wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:19 am
. I already explained that demonstrations are not illegal provided it is done in Hong Lim Park where the Speakers' Corner is located.
I looked up the location of Hong Lim Park on a Googled up map of Singapore. Well, it still seems close to the downtown part of Singapore (as I recall the layout of your home town) but I can see the sense of corralling protestors into the middle of a public park from the perspective of the convenience of Singapore's governors - once out of sight then out of mind. I see it as a ploy to render public protest ineffectual. Cass, were public protests are held (say) out front of a foreign embassy or outside of the Singapore Parliament they might have a chance of achieving their goal of persuading the relevant powers-that-be to (figuratively) pull the old finger out and change something for the better. That is the whole point in holding public protest demos.
cassowary wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:19 am
This is to prevent riots as recently happened in Chancellorsville over Robert E Lee's statue.
Prevent riots? Cass, WHY are they so scared in Singapore of riots breaking out? If Singapore is such an uptight society that they are perennially scared of peaceful protest demonstrations degenerating onto lawless rioting, then there must be something radically wrong over there.

As for the USA: recalling their 1960's era of protest as I do, I expect nothing better to come out of there.

Re: Singapore establishment feels threatened by the exercise of democratic rights.

Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:05 pm
by Jim the Moron
Must say . . . what's with all this dumping on Singapore?

Re: Singapore establishment feels threatened by the exercise of democratic rights.

Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:45 pm
by Milo
Jim the Moron wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:05 pm
Must say . . . what's with all this dumping on Singapore?
I think Cass brings this on himself with his rather smug and Manichean comments.

Re: Singapore establishment feels threatened by the exercise of democratic rights.

Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:27 pm
by neverfail
Milo wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:45 pm
Jim the Moron wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:05 pm
Must say . . . what's with all this dumping on Singapore?
I think Cass brings this on himself with his rather smug and Manichean comments.
Well, as it has unfolded I have come to regard this as a serious dialogue between grown ups.

Dumping? Speak for yourself, Jim!

Re: Singapore establishment feels threatened by the exercise of democratic rights.

Posted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:20 am
by cassowary
Milo wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:32 pm
cassowary wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:19 am

Singapore ranks 9th for rule of law, according to the World Justice Project, which reflects well on its courts. By the way, Canada ranks 11; Australia ranks 12 and the US ranks 18. After Muellers' witch hunt, I think US ranking is going to drop.
Rule of law is essential a proper society but freedom of expression and democracy are also necessary. In my view all are equally important and Singapore is rather lacking in the other two.

Freedom House gives Singapore a D minus for freedom.

https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom ... /singapore
As usual, you got your facts wrong, Milo. You did not read your own link carefully. Freedom House did not rate D or D- for Singapore's freedom of expression. They were referring to category D! Freedom House rated Singapore's freedom of expression to be 9/16. It is still a passing mark.

If you were referring to overall freedom, they rated Singapore 4/7 - also a passing mark. Their ratings are numeric and not alphabetic.

Re: Singapore establishment feels threatened by the exercise of democratic rights.

Posted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:28 am
by cassowary
neverfail wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:48 pm


Prevent riots? Cass, WHY are they so scared in Singapore of riots breaking out? If Singapore is such an uptight society that they are perennially scared of peaceful protest demonstrations degenerating onto lawless rioting, then there must be something radically wrong over there.
We saw what happened in western countries and we don't like it. We like law and order. No riots. We don't like to see people getting hurt and property damaged. A park is a good place to hold demonstrations. The only things they can damage are trees if things get rowdy.