Chilled Air

Last week I made veiled joke about how cold it was in Montreal, comparing it being paraded in front of a blasting air-conditioner by the Singaporean police.

Take a cold shower, stay wet and stand nekkid in front of the full blast air-conditioner and you will be 40° warmer than I was last night. Chances are, if your Singaporean neighbour see you doing this, you will arrested and the cops will repeat the procedure, in their benign way of trying to encourage you to confess. Here in Canada, it is totally legal to be frigid.

Funny eh?

I just want to let you know that I wasn't making this up, that I had based this 'gag' on a real fact from the history of the Singaporean police state. I read about this last year in Singabloodypore. Soci had quoted a slab from an article in OpenDemocracy by Geoffrey Roberston, flamboyant Australian QC who used to be on TV a lot - I'm going to quote it too...

From a section titled The Singapore Scar

Many governments approve the inhumane treatment of detainees "in the interests of national security." That was the case in Singapore's "Marxist conspiracy" detentions in 1988, when the Internal Security Department (ISD, the city-state's secret police) rounded up a group of young lawyers, Catholic aid workers, and women playwrights, detaining them for years without trial and subjecting them to what home affairs minister (now prime minister) Lee Hsien Loong admitted was "psychological pressure to get to the truth of the matter … the truth would not be known unless psychological pressure was used during interrogation."

This psychological pressure was described by the detainees who became my clients: it amounted to sleep deprivation (for up to twenty hours), standing for interrogation in cotton pajamas under sub-zero blasts from an air conditioner, being doused with cold water, and enduring threats to have their loved ones arrested for similar treatment.

These "psychological pressures" were cunningly chosen so that they would leave marks on the mind but not on the body. But what "truth" did they elicit? They said what their paranoid interrogators told them to say: "I am Marxist inclined … my ideal society is a classless society … I was made use of by…" (insert name of priest or student that the ISD wanted an excuse to interrogate). These "confessions," made by frightened middle-class idealists to win respite from the deep freeze, were anything but the truth, because the truth in their case was of no interest to conspiracy-fixated interrogators.

Geoffrey Robertson, QC

Cold? It chills you to the bone. Is this the sunny paradise of Singapore or Pinochet's Chile? This is what the *current Prime Minister of Singapore* is capable of doing peoples, puppet that he is notwithstanding.

It's OK Singaporeans, put your fucking heads in the trucked-in Malaysian sand, I don't give a rat's arse either.



Posted by: expat@large on Feb 01, 07 | 7:50 am | Profile


i am starting to worry about you, darlin...

" boy, we are pilgrims in an unholy land..."

Posted by: savannah on Feb 01, 07 | 11:16 am

How can you sure you are not *already* worrying about me? MMMmmmm???

Pilgrim - indeed it's a grim and bitter pill to swallow, this snappy-clean fascism...

No need to worry I have the answer to enduring happiness. It's spreading reciprocal constructive criticism with "social manipulation, relationship aggression and reputation management" a.k.a gossip (a.k.a. blogging) and replying to all your Christmas cards (not done yet)!

Um, quote is from - some John Wayne movie?

Posted by: expat@large on Feb 01, 07 | 11:40 am

bless your heart, darlin...

indian jones and the last crusade

Posted by: savannah on Feb 01, 07 | 11:58 am

ok...the cover tells it all...*w*

i am doomed..i stopped sending out/replying to seasonal greetings.

Posted by: savannah on Feb 01, 07 | 12:03 pm

I do Chinese New Year cards, because a) it's non-sectarian and b) by then I know who's sent ME Christmas cards...

MMmuhaha *evil laugh*...

Posted by: expat@large on Feb 01, 07 | 12:07 pm

i like the way you think *w*

Posted by: savannah on Feb 01, 07 | 12:20 pm

What? Me? Think?

From the smileyface book: "Curing hypocrisy is much harder [than curing depression] because part of the problem is that we don't believe there is a problem."

Posted by: expat@large on Feb 01, 07 | 1:36 pm


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