How Dare They?
Straits Times Editorial, Fri Sep 28, 2007:
Condemn Myanmar Junta - Sooner or later Myanmar will become a democracy. Sooner or later its military leaders will have to give way to an elected government.
Substitute 'Singapore' for 'Myanmar', 'business' for 'military' and you have the situation here.
Thought police are trawling my blog as you read this, no doubt.
I am technically not allowed to voice a political opinion on Singapore because I only live here on a work permit.
And if I didn't live here, my opinion would still not be welcome because, hey I don't live here, what would I know?
But if I was Singaporean and lived here, I STILL wouldn't be allowed to voice an opinion. I would have to register my blog as political. They would then tell me to join a political party if I had even a mildly political opinion and get me sacked from my newspaper job if they considered my opinion to be written "in a very mocking tone" (PM Lee on MrBrown).
And If I DID join a political party they would sue for me for defamation, or arrest me for disturbing the peace if I voiced or even displayed a banner with a political question or opinion. Either way they would use threatening displays of power such as an overwhelming police presence, then eventually use tweaked bankruptcy laws as a weapon against me...
So no matter where I live or where I come from, whether I am Singaporean or not, in a political group or not, I am not allowed to comment on the current Singaporean business junta.
Well, in defiance of that, here's a comment:
Don't come the high horse with me over Myanmar, Singapore. Get your own un-democratic house in order.
There is an overwhelming irony in such restrictions on freedom of speech: if I was allowed to say this stuff, I wouldn't need to say it.
Voltaire doesn't live here any more.
OTHER MONKEYS SAID
It's funny, I was thinking pretty much the same thing when George Bush gave his speech at the UN. We remain obsessed with countering dictatorships in some areas-while in ohters we turn a blind eye.
For example, there is huge outrage when Old Beady Eyes shows up at Columbia (to the scorn he richly deserves, I might add-inlcuding from the host) and yet the leaders of China are feted as partners on the stage. Even when they are guilty of political persecution that makes Iran look tame.
Why does not Singapore take the lead and demand that the rest of S.E.A do something about what's going on in Burma?
Because its bad for business.
Mussolini: "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." (apocryphal)
From Wikipedia of Corporatism:
"Many critics of free market theories, such as George Orwell[verification needed], have argued that corporatism (in the sense of an economic system dominated by massive corporations) is the natural result of free market capitalism.
Critics of capitalism often argue that any form of capitalism would eventually devolve into corporatism, due to the concentration of wealth in fewer and fewer hands. A permutation of this term is corporate globalism. John Ralston Saul argues that most Western societies are best described as corporatist states, run by a small elite of professional and interest groups, that exclude political participation from the citizenry."
New book I picked up in HK, mentioned it in a post a few months ago when the author wrote an article in the Newsweek, I haven't seen in Singapore yet: "Asian Godfathers" by Joe Studwell.
Re: OBE - did you read the article Spike linked to a few days ago?