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The law being used to silence critics, uniquely Singapore

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Postby earthfriendly » Tue, 26 Jun 2007 5:07 am

It sounds illogical to lump all the incongruent examples together. Here’s what I was trying to say. Each govt set its own set of priorities.

Priorities for those drafting 1791 Bill of rights – ensuring all people have equal rights but do people of minority groups like slaves (women, blacks, native indians and other colored folks?) fall within this category. Since their priority was not the slaves’ welfare, they failed to mention this.

Priorities for SG govt – Ecomomic progess within a political and socially harmonious framwork. Western version of freedom of expression just not on their priority list and hence restriction on protests. All I gonna say is they have different set of priorities than their western counterparts. And they have different ideas of how a country should be run.

Shouldn’t this be of grave concern to average Singaporeans? That SG is not being modeled after western ideals? Somehow I see westerners being more concerned with this non-western aspect than the Singaporeans themselves. Average Singaporeans don’t have much interest in politics. They are not interested in its inner workings nor aspire a political career. So much so that PAP has major problem recruiting party members. And one reason for this non-interest is that govt has been doing their job in providing a stable environment for them to live.

Question :
Who started this discussion? An expat or a Singaporean?
Answer: Expat

Question: When does a local get involved in a political discussion?
Answer: Usually in defense of SG political system within a thread started by an expat. It is done to point out that SG being a unique country has a unique political system that bears few resemblance to a western ones. An exception is lotussutra (local?) who is obsessed with politics.

Question:
A forumer once mentioned the largest group of forum users are local? Guess where the locals usually hang out or wherein their interest lies?
Answers: Beauty, business, job and computer sections. I don’t see that many trickling into general or other discussion area. This site could effectively be split into 2 – one catering to expat interest and another for locals. Wherein do you think the locals’ priorites lie? Political and expression freedom? Or more bread butter issue and how to look prettier :P ? Methinks the expats more concerned about the lack of freedom than the Singaporean themselves :P .

And this disinterest in politics not restricted to SG but other relatively stable countries. I see it in citizens of countries like US (low turnout of vote casting) and Japan. As for myself, why do I participate in this forum? I see far too few Singaporeans giving their side of the story and feel compelled to be their voice. Their non-vocal nature largely due to upbringing, reserved and taciturn culture. Nothing wrong with that at all. In fact, something I have come to love about them.

Who should be the ones to set the priorities of a country and how it is run? Bypassers looking in (not referring to those living long term there like SMS) concerned about the lack of freedom or the apolitical Singaporeans themselves?

As for myself, does western political freedom matters to me? Only to the extent it helps to prevent a tyrant govt. And I don’t think SG is one. I am generally happy with the state of affair. Things important to me. My SG family are well fed, decent living condition, access to education and not threaten by high crime rates. And if something like dengue break out, high probability that my family will live thru it as I believe in the govt’s ability to contain the situation effectively. Of course, life’s not a bed or roses. Just like the rest of the world, SG has its problems too.

Is freedom of expression so restricted that Singaporeans do not have access nor understand what it means? Unlike its counterpart in China, Taiwan, Japan and Korea, Singaporeans know English. This allows them to tap into the widest pool of knowledge available in the form of books and internet. Not to mention the very large pool of returning Singaporeans who have either studied or live in western countries. These people know what it is like to live in a free-er society. If things are so bad and oppressive back home, wouldn’t they be more vocal in demanding changes to the political structure. Or better still, don’t go back and just stay in the west. I attended US uni with huge body of SG students. Those in the SG student club I know, only me and another student choose to pick up the US immigration offer of 1 yr unrestricted practical training in the US. Others chose to return SG after graduation. I know about 30 SG students. If the regime that oppressive, more students would be scrambling to stay and pursue US residency, commonly seen in students of other asian nationalities.

I have lived half my life in SG and USA. I can see why each country comes up with a different system. They each developed according to its set of circumstance, unique to its country. No system is perfect and each has its pros and cons. To keep health cost down, PM Lee urged Singaporeans to live and eat healthy such as incorporating more steam fish into their diet. Bush senior also did in similar capacity to encourage healthy living amongst American. And he mentioned he hated broccoli but later withdrew the statement as it upset broccoli growers. He would not have met the same problem in SG. How free is free speech in US? Do we ultimately have to answer to a higher authority, regardless of the country? Do we answer to the one with the most power? In this example, PM Lee (govt) has the final say but in USA, interest groups prevail. I rather be ruled by a prudent govt who considers the interest of whole society then the interest groups. On the other hand, cons for SG is the low level of political participation and awareness. Resulting in difficulty recruiting members to join politic. People also tend to rely on govt for directives. The govt is fully aware of this shortcomings and MM even lament about the lack of charisma in Singaporeans, compared to Americans. All systems have pros and cons. The most important thing is to have the ability to recognize the cons and your weaknesses. Even within China which consistently gets beat up by western press, they do understand the weaknesses within their political system. Recently in a press conference, Premier Wen Jiabao revisited the theme that over-concentration of power is a key cause of corruption. It is a theme raised by Deng Xiaoping himself in the 80s. However they can’t completely and immediately overhaul the political structure without causing major damage. Does the western media report this aspect of the Communist Party. I guess it is far too tempting and convenient for the west to ride the waves of general opinion. Any govt that does not allow the western version of free speech gets protrayed in negative light (and lacks intellect?). Kind of like my-way-or-the-highway?? Believe it or not, I think the Chinese govt is quite a progressive one and working very hard to improve the lives of all its people, not just to consolidate its position. However their hands are tied and burdened by the immense problems facing their countries. They have made many progresses and surprise surprise, these will not get reported in the western media.

And really, will the western type of open political system and career politicians benefit the people of SG. I let the Singaporeans decide for themselves. I believe people across the globe do want the same thing. We all want a life of dignity, free from harassment and excessive control as expounded by the Bill of Rights. However we may have different definitions of what constitute freedom and rights.

As for Chee Soon Juan, he may have succeeded in garnering international support in raising his party’s profile but he is not highly regarded amgst Singaporeans. OP could perhaps pick a more respected person to make his point :P ? In my days, opposition party leader Chiam See Tong seem to have more credibility than Chee, amgst public opinion.
Last edited by earthfriendly on Tue, 26 Jun 2007 7:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby earthfriendly » Tue, 26 Jun 2007 6:00 am

This is irrelevant to the topic on hand but answer your questions.

sundaymorningstaple wrote:
Japanese intern camps? How long? Under what circumstances? Little off base there I'd say wouldn't you? Were your parents stationed in Hawaii on Dec 7, 1941 when Tojo did his thing? Want to talk about the usage of St. John's Island here?



I understand what you meant regarding the wartime cruelty of the Japanese. But that’s not what I was referring to. Why did the American Japanese get singled out? Why didn’t they intern the American Germans? Same issue but you and me choose to tackle it from different angle and perspective. Which is what I am saying in my posts. Since we spring out of very different social circumstance, our thought processes, needs and priorities are different. We operate on different wave length. Just because it is good and worked well for one group, no need to force it on another. Let other countires decide for themselves what’s best. But of course, it is always enlightening to read all the different perspectives in an open forum like this.

BTW, what do these American Japanese have to do with Tojo’s crime? Over two thirds were born in the USA. Speak English with American accent and adopted much of the American culture. Many were farmers.

sundaymorningstaple wrote:
Wonder why there is a Chinatown in Singapore? Wonder why the government only decorates "Chinatown" during the lunar new year? Again, it would seem I have to repeat myself for the Asians among us. Nobody said the west had it right. The West has made and are still making mistakes all the time. At least we are not blaming our human rights cock-ups on our Asian/Confucian ethics then trying to convince others that it's OK as "We are Asians therefore we are allowed to because of our 'Asian Ethics'"



I once saw a documentary about the early chinese in USA. They were confined within their own living space as they were not allowed nor welcomed by the general American public. One chinese interviewed was so shocked when he accidentally (?) ventured out of Chinatown. He saw people different from him, whites, and realized that’s a totally different world just steps away.

Confucianism gets misinterpreted all the time. One fella even uses Confucianism to justify MLM in SG saying it encourages hierarchy. He got it all wrong! Anyway Confucianism is about meritocracy and doing what's right for the society. It is unwise to follow blindly. A truly loyal minister would give input and honest opinion about the Emperor and his policies, even if he risked beheading. Says Confucius.

Just because LKY a big fan of Confucianism, doesn't mean the whole island modelled after Confucius' philosophy. When it clashes with one's immediate goal, you just got to make a choice. Confucianism believed in instilling self-restraint in individual, teach them to control their bad impulses, animal instincts and negative behaviours to lift up the whole society. He believed the way to achieve this was to teach them moral values at a young age. Not by imposing 1000 type of fines on your citizens. Fining is not as effective as educating people on why they need to have good habits for communal living. But that would take a longer time, isn't it? And when it comes to policy making, LKY and govt wanted things done ASAP. Which may not have the desired long term effect since people did not have the luxury of time to absorb or think about why they are doing it.

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Postby earthfriendly » Tue, 26 Jun 2007 6:18 am

Breaking up my posts to make it easier to read.

What is political freedom? My definition may not be conventional (western?). For me it is not about affiliating with a political party or declaring my position to the world. It is about opportunity to provide feedback to the govt and have them consider my suggestions. Of course, it does not mean the govt will uitilize it but at least they listen to what I have to say. Believe it or not, SG govt is a very progressive one and understand that they can only derive their power from the people. They have set up many avenues to solicitate input from its citizens such as websites overseassingaporean.sg, ecitizen.gov.sg and reach.gov.sg . The latter portal receives over 4.5 million hits per month. Former is newer site. Aside from internet, there are many ways to participate locally such as events organized by GRC, local housing groups. There are many local conferences solicitating public input on wide range of topics such as greening of Singapore. I get these email announcements all the time. And yes, I have written to them on my concern about immigration policy and the need to balance local with foreign talent. My sister, who has 3 school age students, runs a business and part-time attendant to ageing parents, was able to get involved and she mentioned about being a screener for low income seeking govt aid.

For many migrating or living overseas, their greatest concern is not the lack of political or freedom of speech. But rather the lack of balance in life. An education system oversizing academic success, long work hours, over development, economic progress at the expense of social life and historical preservation, a gentler society rather than kiasu one. And the latest being the 6 million population target. Most Singaporeans are left wondering how they gonna share the living space with another 2 million people without comprising the quality of life. The govt is quite aware and taking steps on some issues. There is an effort by the education ministry to “unschool”

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Postby huggybear » Tue, 26 Jun 2007 7:33 am

i actually read all your posts. i think you're similar to a Republican person in the USA who still supports the war and wants the media to focus on the one good story or success (i.e. saving one person) and ignore the 5,000 other negative media stories.

If the Chinese wanted to root out corruption yes it would cause major changes but that's not a bad thing. The only reason it hasn't happend is because it would result in a loss of income and power from the people benefitting from it. How is it that in a communist country you have ultra wealthy people buying apartments in Singapore while 250 million people starve? Why are these starving people given no avenue to complain or voice their story? The government hides behind the excuse of "we don't want to upset society" But as long as people like you think "hey, there's food on my table and i have a roof, i don't care about you and your problems" then they will continue to be abused.

Besides other East European countries such as the Ukraine, Poland etc all went quickly from communist to capitalist regimes quickly with minimal upheavel. THe only reason the chinese gov't won't do this is because the people who have all the power and the money will not want to give that up.

Look the Japanese internments etc were a low point in our society but we have apologized and made reparations. How come Japan doesn't acknowledge the comfort women of Korea or their WW2 war crimes? I guess using your logic, to better Japanese society and move forward it's better to just pretend like World War II didn't happen, and just erase it from the history books and pretend like it didn't happen? How would acknowleding instigating a global war be good for Japanese socieity?

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Postby ututu » Tue, 26 Jun 2007 11:32 am

[quote="huggybear"]

Besides other East European countries such as the Ukraine, Poland etc all went quickly from communist to capitalist regimes quickly with minimal upheavel. THe only reason the chinese gov't won't do this is because the people who have all the power and the money will not want to give that up.

[/quote]

Huggy, have you been to Ukraine ? You shouldn't have given her as an example. Ukraine is one of the most corrupted countries. As matter of fact whole ex-USSR is the perfect example that rapid Westernization DOES NOT work, when the system however bad it was is switfly destroyed it takes an awful amount of time to build something else in its place and until then in that vacuum there is pretty bad stuff is going on. I can you cite stat after stat showing that ppl in Ukraine are worse off today than 15 years ago. So you better pick examples illutstrating your points carefully :)

If I have to pick between SG and Ukraine government I'll pick SG any time of day.

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Postby earthfriendly » Tue, 26 Jun 2007 12:09 pm

huggybear wrote:If the Chinese wanted to root out corruption yes it would cause major changes but that's not a bad thing.


Once again, different concepts at play here. They believe in doing things the harmonious way. Easing into a more open system. Anyway, given the free flow of people and information across border, it would be hard to curtail it. Just a matter of time and how they can incorporate it causing the least disruption.

I don’t know how to say this anymore but the chinese and east asians do think differently from westerners. Numerous studies were done in Japan to indicate this. There was one done by US university whereby they present same picture artwork to 2 groups. One to Americans and one to Chinese. They then asked each person’s interpretation. Those chinese consistently pointed out one aspect and the American a different aspect. Conclusion, they do see the world differently. Wouldn’t this also affect their methodology when solving political problems? Japanese studies concluded the use of kanji (chinese writing) makes one part of their brain (left or right can’t remember) more active and they prefer a more holistic approach to life, compared to westerners.

Just do a simple test. Go ask a chinese, Koreans or Japanese if there major differences between easterners and westerners. And then ask the same question to westerners. In fact somebody started a thread asking the same question in this forum. You will find overwhelmingly east Asians answering in the affirmative but westerners the negative.

It is extremely important to recognize differences between different cultures. Not trying to be divisive here but I don’t believe in one-size-fits-all solution.

Not forcing my opinion on you. But if you keep insisting the western system of open freedom and governing is best for Asian society, just don’t be surprised if you are met with resistence from the Asians themselves.

huggybear wrote:The only reason it hasn't happend is because it would result in a loss of income and power from the people benefitting from it. How is it that in a communist country you have ultra wealthy people buying apartments in Singapore while 250 million people starve?


They are fighting back corruption actively and you see this making headlines in the chinese media. From recollection, 43 govt official investigated for commercial crime and ex mayor of Beijing fired from his position. You won’t read this in western media though. Much more needs to be done as they are too many rogues out there.

huggybear wrote:But as long as people like you think "hey, there's food on my table and i have a roof, i don't care about you and your problems" then they will continue to be abused.


When did I say this? In fact I am trying to convey the opposite. Here’s what I wrote:

earthfriendly wrote:The govt is quite aware that citizens also want greater freedom - politically, socially and economically. The latest that brought homosexuality into limelight, the implementation of speakers corner (not a success due to lack of participation), allowing business to operate out of home. I believe the govt will introduce measures to allow for greater freedom but only in their own terms.


One thing I admired about SG govt is its attempt to create an inclusionary society and try not to leave anyone behind. Easier said than done. Public education for every child and there’s no such thing as private-school-better-than-pubic mentality so prevalent in bay area. Excellent public facilities like swimming pools, libraries, playgrounds, senior activity centers and parks. Not confined to wealthy neighborhoods but right in the heartland. Issuance of Singapore share stock so citizens get to share in the success of the country.

Govt state-of-the-art health care institution offering affordable healthcare. In fact tough cases are referred, not to some exclusive private hospitals like Mt E, but to govt run hospitals like NUH and KK children’s hospital. Like most (all?) Singaporeans of my generation, I was born in KK. In an effort towards more open economy, the govt is giving doctors freedom to set their own rates. Some Singaporeans are afraid they may no longer afford their regular doctors. Like everything else, freedom is not all good and can come at a price.

huggybear wrote:
Look the Japanese internments etc were a low point in our society but we have apologized and made reparations. How come Japan doesn't acknowledge the comfort women of Korea or their WW2 war crimes? I guess using your logic, to better Japanese society and move forward it's better to just pretend like World War II didn't happen, and just erase it from the history books and pretend like it didn't happen? How would acknowleding instigating a global war be good for Japanese socieity?


What does the American Japanese have to do with the acts of those in Japan. Just because American Japanese were mistreated during WWII doesn’t mean it is OK to mistreat (whitewash history) its Asian war victims . What’s your point? Beside, American Japanese and the Japanese within Japan can be quite different. I have mixed with and dated men from both groups. It is very commendable and I am very touched when Reagan issued his official apology to the American Japanese.

I only brought in the Japanese and minorities in response to Jpatok’s post. I felt it was too simplistic. I was pointing out the bill of rights did not apply to everyone. Just like SG govt is limiting rights of certain groups (political activists), bill of rights also excluded certain groups.

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Postby earthfriendly » Tue, 26 Jun 2007 12:17 pm

ututu wrote:
huggybear wrote:
Besides other East European countries such as the Ukraine, Poland etc all went quickly from communist to capitalist regimes quickly with minimal upheavel. THe only reason the chinese gov't won't do this is because the people who have all the power and the money will not want to give that up.



Huggy, have you been to Ukraine ? You shouldn't have given her as an example. Ukraine is one of the most corrupted countries. As matter of fact whole ex-USSR is the perfect example that rapid Westernization DOES NOT work, when the system however bad it was is switfly destroyed it takes an awful amount of time to build something else in its place and until then in that vacuum there is pretty bad stuff is going on. I can you cite stat after stat showing that ppl in Ukraine are worse off today than 15 years ago. So you better pick examples illutstrating your points carefully :)

If I have to pick between SG and Ukraine government I'll pick SG any time of day.


Not just Ukraine. I just saw a documentary on human trafficking in this case destination is Turkey. But problem not just confined to Turkey as the girls were shipped illegally to other parts of Europe too. Girls were sent off to become sex workers. A very big problem in Eastern Europe and former USSR. And when the person responsible went to court, he was let off very lightly. Very problematic justice system too. A big insult to the victim who put in great deal of effort and personal resource to see justice served. Extremely sad and I was crying throughout the show.

Not to mention (ex? what are they called nowadays)-russian scientists selling dangerous lab material to earn extra bucks.

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Postby ksl » Tue, 26 Jun 2007 5:29 pm

earthfriendly wrote:
ututu wrote:
huggybear wrote:
Besides other East European countries such as the Ukraine, Poland etc all went quickly from communist to capitalist regimes quickly with minimal upheavel. THe only reason the chinese gov't won't do this is because the people who have all the power and the money will not want to give that up.



Huggy, have you been to Ukraine ? You shouldn't have given her as an example. Ukraine is one of the most corrupted countries. As matter of fact whole ex-USSR is the perfect example that rapid Westernization DOES NOT work, when the system however bad it was is switfly destroyed it takes an awful amount of time to build something else in its place and until then in that vacuum there is pretty bad stuff is going on. I can you cite stat after stat showing that ppl in Ukraine are worse off today than 15 years ago. So you better pick examples illutstrating your points carefully :)

If I have to pick between SG and Ukraine government I'll pick SG any time of day.


Not just Ukraine. I just saw a documentary on human trafficking in this case destination is Turkey. But problem not just confined to Turkey as the girls were shipped illegally to other parts of Europe too. Girls were sent off to become sex workers. A very big problem in Eastern Europe and former USSR. And when the person responsible went to court, he was let off very lightly. Very problematic justice system too. A big insult to the victim who put in great deal of effort and personal resource to see justice served. Extremely sad and I was crying throughout the show.

Not to mention (ex? what are they called nowadays)-russian scientists selling dangerous lab material to earn extra bucks.


Not just the Ukraine or Turkey, sex workers have been auctioned off at the airport coffee shops in the UK, Crime is well rooted in the UK, and joe bloggs the population are ignored protection, because its all about capitalism, including the police force! Speeding tickets yes, fines, yes, anything to make money and bonuses, is what matters in the UK these days, and if that isn't the American syndrome, I don't know what is.

The problem is the UK have always been robbers, back in the 16th and 17th century, the privileged so called aristocracy, went out and raped the world of wealth, do you think they are going to give all that up? for the sake of democracy and equality, not on your life!

The UK is now a melting pot of immigration and crime, the rule of the gun, is more common today, than 20 years ago! And there is a feeling of anarchy within the working class, that don't have respect for authority, its getting more and more like the wild west of boozing and brawling, at street level.

We have to adapt, no matter where we live, we can get involved at a price, and the price is not always rewarding enough, thats basically what it comes down too! In the case of the guy being arrested in Singapore, for pulic slander or whatever, the laws must be followed. If on the other hand he could get public opinion on his side, then the government have to sit up and take notice!

There are other ways of disposing of his threats, like the UK does, promote them and hide them away :mad:

It is always sad, that people are punished for no real crimes! The fathers of UK will know this, they are all imprisoned, if they fail to support, their children, by that I mean miss a few payments and you are at the mercy of the clerk of the courts, not the judges.

The clerk of the courts, appealed to the judges, that I should be jailed, because I lived abroad at the time, the punishment is actually decided, by the toss of a coin many times justice is violated.

And once in the hands of the sadistic prison handlers, that make their entertainment at your expense, you will understand how dangerous a society is, my time in prison for a civilian offence, was the only time in my life, that i was ready to kill, to protect myself. these are very traumatic circumstances, that drive people to run or fight, and i'm a fighter!

Traumatic all the same, when primal survival instincts have to be used, hate lies deep in the gut for a very long time, personally i don't think i will ever get over the torture and torment of UK prison, and the financial burden, which was inflicted. Life is not fair, some people are lucky and some not, my consolation, are my thoughts, that unfortunately others are suffering much worse, than i suffered.

I can only say to those, that have never fell into the hands of any government institution, to prey, that it never happens, becuase you will be scared for life.
The traits of the humans, that are attracted to these positions of power, will be identifiable, and worrying, that many sick people have managed to get through the system, into powerful positions, that can inflict pain and suffering on others.

These people are not filtered in their application for jobs and their reasons for application are not checked closely enough in my opinion, from a psychological point of view, these people can be a danger to others. The Blair & Bush duo are an example of injustices and mass deaths, that could have been avoided in my opinion.

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Postby E-T » Tue, 26 Jun 2007 6:32 pm

Wind In My Hair wrote:Firstly, Chee Soon Juan is an idiot who gets on my nerves, but he's one of the few who has the guts to stand up to the entire government and is today probably single-handedly responsible for drawing attention to some of the appalling laws of our country.


Can't agree more with this. For a while I was baffled by the denial of his selection of Queen Counsel, he is one of the rare few who takes the game to the big boys. The only thing that he should check on is his approach. I thought he would have learnt his lessons after so many years, that "words" form a very important part of this warfare where certain people has a hobby of suing others for libel/defamation. It brings very little wonder why in Singapore, the complainant does not have to prove themselves against the "defamatory remarks". By doing so, alot of dung will be dug up.

With nothing related to the above post, sometimes I wonder about the legitimacy of using foreign companies to justify the integrity of our govt and policies. In order to attract foreign investors in Singapore, it is completely imperative for them to offer attractive terms, which locals are finding it hard to accept. Let's just take a look at ourselves among here, we hear of $70k to $100k per annum salary, the average joe in Singapore don't even hit the $30k/annum.

Try speaking to the approximate 70% of average Singaporeans, public sentiments are clear. It's only a matter than Singaporeans have all resigned to fate and too fearful to speak up. Fear is what the top mgmt has instilled in their citizens, and they have suceed. With fear, you can manipulate your subjects in any way you like.

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Postby Wind In My Hair » Tue, 26 Jun 2007 8:56 pm

E-T wrote:
Wind In My Hair wrote:Firstly, Chee Soon Juan is an idiot who gets on my nerves, but he's one of the few who has the guts to stand up to the entire government and is today probably single-handedly responsible for drawing attention to some of the appalling laws of our country.


Can't agree more with this.


You agree that Chee is an idiot? Or that he has guts? :wink:

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Postby E-T » Wed, 27 Jun 2007 1:48 am

I admire his guts to take it up to them... but the manner he does it is nothing more like a hooligan.

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Postby huggybear » Wed, 27 Jun 2007 2:19 pm

Earthfriendly

i agree with how easterners and westereners view the world differently and i concede that Ukraine was a bad example. Just think that there isn't much to gain from trying to control everyone using brutality to enforce the rules (i.e china). in terms of not allowing people to voice their opinion, look at someone like george bush, people plead him to hear their views in the end he just discards everyone who doesn't agree with him and will enact laws to facilitate his actions.

unfortunately, in some areas such as china if you speak out you will be imprisoned. at least in the states they won't put you in jail for not siding with the gov't.

I await your next novel of a post. :cool:

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Postby ashnd76 » Thu, 28 Jun 2007 12:30 am

well if he wants to cut n paste my previous posts , i guess its their right, and its fine with me, sundaymorningstapleR, i dun think you should question them, like a headmaster does.

Frankly speaking, if you think my statements are inaccurate, dats your right too, and i respect that. But my slant is constitutional law, while yours is political, and i'm not a politician.

And the generalizations u made abouit Asians and Confusionism values etc... where did that come from? You're gong into philosophy too??

I guess previously we are used to sweeping isues under the carpet, now we have the vacuum cleaner here in spore u know. We suck up the dirt and throw them back at the West. hehehe!

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Postby earthfriendly » Thu, 28 Jun 2007 12:48 am

China is grabling on how to govt a huge country after emerging from century long self-imposed close door policy. It is trying to find its place in a modern world. But don't expect it to follow the western examples of govt. The country is plague with serious problems that seem to have no end in sight. If the regime's too oppressive and fight against the will of an entire nation, matter of time before it topples. Protest and revolts are not that uncommon on certain issues in China.The govt and its citizens have to figure out the best way to solve these problems themselves, not what someone else tells them. International travel, migration and internet is too embedded in today's world for the Chinese govt to continue their suppression of speech. Slowly and surely they got to open up. But at their own pace. They can certainly reference the western ways and incorporate what they think will work within their country.

My sister is into health fads and constantly touting to me things like noni juice, royal jelly, detox etc... One day I just got to tell her just because it is good for her doesn't mean it would work for me. I just don't believe in heavy reliance of supplements. I rather incorporate nutritious food within my daily diet. We both wanted the same thing i.e. health, but we have different ways of achieving the same goal.

I don't believe there's only one way of doing things, i.e. western way. China and India is gaining prosperity. Can you imagine the citizens of 2 most populous countries following the western concept of economic prosperity. A lifestyle dominated by material goods. The environmental impact would be huge. Think of the amount of disposable diapers generated if all their babies start making the switch. For many in developing countries, they ultimately do look to the west esp USA. The american dream's not confined to Amerca but are aspired by many around the world.

I am not saying one way (east or west) is better. Rather to let people be and let them decide what's best for their society. Let them figure it out and fight it out themselves. In fact there are many things that Asians can learn from the West, methink, such as the higher level of discipline and civic-consciousness in western society.

As for Chee, I hope his followers are not supporting him just because he has guts? There are people who carry out gutsy acts but I have no respect for . Cho of the virginia tech massacre is one. One of my all time favorite quote:

"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power. " ~ Abraham Lincoln

E-T
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Postby E-T » Thu, 28 Jun 2007 8:26 am

This thread is about Singapore... how does it even end up talking about China policies? :???:


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