A con job: Singapore National Conversation
To no one’s surprise, PM Lee has emphasised that the National Conversation is NOT about slaughtering sacred cows. He said this at the end of the APEC leaders’ summit in Russia.
As I’ve stressed many times before, the core value of the ruling regime is one of repression. Many things like the law against peaceful assembly and association as guaranteed in our Constitution, gerrymandering, GRC, control of the unions and newspapers and so on emanate from this core value of repression.
PM Lee did not specify which sacred cows he was referring to but Singaporeans and the world knows so there wasnt any need to be coy about it
For instance, the whole world knows of the lack of press freedom in Singapore. This is one very sacred cow that the regime will never let go.
Faced with waning popularity and massive public dissatisfaction in any other democratic country a challenger from within the party would arise to challenge the incumbent PM. But not in a repressive party.
So if we are not going to talk about fundamental issues what will we be talking about? How to prevent vice spreading from Geylang to Orchard Road? Road safety for cyclists? Kindness and graciousness?
National Conversation, as the grand-sounding term implies, should be about fundamental issues like press freedom, political reform etc.
The National Conversation was the name given to the Scottish Government’s public consultation exercise regarding possible future changes in the power of the devolved Scottish Parliament and the possibility of Scottish independence, a policy objective of the Scottish National Party, who at the time were the minority government with power over devolved affairs in Scotland, as the Scottish Government. It culminated in a multi-option white paper for a proposed Referendum (Scotland) Bill, 2010 (Wikipedia)
Increasingly, ours is beginning to take on the appearance of a National CON-versation.
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