Is democracy a dirty word in Singapore?

After securing the premiership, Julia Gillard said, “Australia has a strong democracy.”

Although our ministers have been taking the pledge every National Day “to build a democratic society” in Singapore, they’re actually extremely shy in uttering the word “democracy” on other public occasions. 

Other leaders in the region are also proud to declare their achievements in strengthening democracy in their countries. 

But Singapore ministers, including MPs, are firm believers in the adage that “silence is golden”.

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10 Responses to “Is democracy a dirty word in Singapore?”

  1. A democracy that does not have a proper SWAT team or allows its citizens to overrun the airport is nothing to boast about. Might as well subscribe to “communism” of China.

    Actually our government has been a firm believer of democracy from day 1, the ministers firm believers in the ballot box and not bullets.

  2. There are democracies which are chaotic but there are democracies worth emulating.

  3. I might add that even the mainstream media fights shy of any discussion on Singapore democracy.

  4. Perhaps the government is right – this region is not ready for democracy. How else to explain when the model is exported to places like Taiwan, the people started fighting in parliament?

  5. To paraphrase the government, the ballot box is where the battle is won. This means that the PAP can also lose a lot of votes like Barisan Nasional.

  6. Let’s create a republic instead….

  7. Thanks Kwon for the YouTube reference and Roger for stimulating our senses.

    Can you really have freedom without some form of control?

    • Let history be the judge. In my opinion, it’ll acknowledge him as the architect of our success but at the same time see him as a ruthless figure.

  8. We can’t blame the younger generation. Nothing stands still in life. They have aspirations too. The older gen has to make way for them for better or for worse. It’s been like that throughout history. But erecting obstacles only leads to greater resentment. They’re not stupid.


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