Our Silence Says All That We Need To Say

It was a bit tricky to find the meeting as down in the foyer on the message board, the Sheraton people had labelled the meeting as the CALD & ALDE Forum.

Cold and Old? WTF?

What was I expecting? " 'Campaign to Create Havoc, Dissent and Mayhem and Bring The Blood-Sucking Dictators Bastards To Their Knees', Swan Rooms I & II, Level 2 Coffee and Tea Available"

Maybe that's it though, mused E@L, and with upwards of 70 to 80 others, he was right.

Under the aegis of both the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD) and Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE), the Singapore Democratic Party ran a meeting that was supposed to be about The Development of Democracy in Asia and Europe. But the invited guests were not allowed to speak.

Uniquely Singapore.

This was weird. Here are eight serious important European and Asian dudes, silent all through this meeting, just sitting there. Yep. They just sat there. And gave a thumbs up sign at the end.

So instead, local speakers took the stage.

The first speaker, a relatively new member of the SDP whose name escapes me, made good points about his personal experience coming back from 10 years in America. He came back to his home country to feel that he was allowed to live only half his life, to feel like he didn't fit in. Without the freedom of speech and assembly that he was used to, he felt incomplete. Don't live half a life, he concluded...

Dr Chee, bankrupt through his non-payment of libel cases against LKY's family, and five times incarcerated leader of the democratic party (you people have no idea what it's like here... it's like living in fascist Italy in the 1930's) then spoke, rather falteringly I thought, using a Powerpoint presentation that hiccupped towards the end when Norton Antivirus came on to say it had expired! No funds to renew, most likely.

Only occasionally did Dr Chee lift his eyes from his list of quotes and stats (devastating to the PAP though they were) and fire up with some passion.

He showed almost identical quotes from Lee Kuan Yue and Adolf Hitler on eugenics and the need to control the numbers in the poor parts of the population, then some stats on how young people view the country. More than 50% said they were looking to leave, 37% said they had no feeling of patriotism... (which in itself is not necessarily bad)...

The floor was then opened to questions to the panel, but the European and Asian members of the panel said sorry, they had to remain silent by the Police's failure to grant an Entertainment Licence (I kid you not). Silent apart from one comment by Graham Watson to apologize for not being able to comment - "I think our silence says all that we need to say."

Funnily enough, the most coherent comments and questions came from a young student who asked about the GST hike, and told the crowd how his teacher in Economics had try to brainwash explain to the class how 2% GST hike would not adversely affect the lowest paid members of society. Reasoning: they'd eat at hawker centres which don't charge GST. Demolition by a Economics Lecturer who jumped up in amazement: the hawker himself has to absorb the GST in order to remain competitive when he buys all his equipment and ingredients and pays rent. GST is CRAP! E@L thinks: the GST is transferred as lower quality food or smaller servings.

Someone tried to read a 15 minute letter about the ministers' salary hike that the ST wouldn't publish - he had some great points, though I couldn't quite catch it all, Wu Jintao makes only RMB37,000 a year! or something - but take a shit or get off the pot, man! Good topic, not the topic of the forum.

At this point, the delegation had to leave. Some photos, mayhem, etc... [Oh, and the only reason I didn't buy a "Democracy Not Hypocrisy" t-shirt was that they had none in my size!]

A Japanese guy tried to get up and address the crowd with some weird comments of his own about hypocrisy. "I have nothing to say!" he cryptically claimed, but as the Europeans were not allowed to speak, it was probably not legal for him to speak either. The chairman Mrs Chee had to ask him to be silent in public but bring his concerns forward privately afterwards.

It was degenerating into a bit of a shambles.

That's also why E@L, an Australian citizen here on a 2 year Work Permit, said nothing in public - scared shitless. What he would have said was this:

The image that comes to my mind when I think of how the PAP is treating the people of Singapore, is that of baby seals on the ice getting their heads bashed in brutally, and all I am able to do is sit and watch... to get it in proportion.




Posted by: expat@large on Apr 13, 07 | 11:56 pm | Profile


*chuckle* nice picture

Posted by: The Ivy on Apr 14, 07 | 5:02 pm

The man's posture just gives the impression of a squealy girl who finds an ant in her bedroom and proceeds to beat it to death with her furry pink bunny-shaped bedroom slipper with sparkles. The seal looks like it's about to bite his balls off.

Artic animals are just so adorable.

Posted by: VirginPornStar on Apr 15, 07 | 12:29 am

It's obvious Singapore man/woman is light years ahead when it comes to communications. No need for serious discussion when everybody uses thought waves. Xiaxue is a good example of this advanced being I think. I know a lot of people find her vain and shallow but who else can keep a blog going on nothing but handbags, make-up and facial surgery?

Posted by: Dick on Apr 15, 07 | 1:35 am

Me? No, obviously not.

My astute editorial interventions have made the first part of your comments somewhat cryptic to the casual visitor.... Relax folks, he's not as (certifiably) crazy as he seems. Just an overdose of clamato juice... he'll be ok once he pisses it out...

VPS: he holds the posture of a man who doesn't need to over-exert himself in order to inflict lethal damage...

Posted by: expat@large on Apr 15, 07 | 2:10 am

Please, would everyone stop looking at and commenting on the picture and just read the post! Sheesh!

Posted by: expat@large on Apr 16, 07 | 12:42 am


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