Singapore human rights: disgraceful

In its report to the UNITED NATIONS on its record on human rights, to no one’s surprise the Singapore government trotted out its usual well-worn excuses. 

This government, which has ruled as long as the madman, Gaddafi of Libya, has once again to its citizens’ utter embarrassment and dismay asserted that this is due to the multi-cultural, multilingual  and multi-religious nature of our society.

Hence, it imposes limits on free speech, assembly and the press.

All autocratic regimes pull out the same bag of tricks with the assertion that their countries are unique. 

No doubt the Indonesian president must be laughing like mad as Indonesia is even more diverse than Singapore.

Singaporeans can no longer be fooled. 

This government’s woeful record on human rights stems from
its attempt to hang onto power as long as possible. 



9 Responses to “Singapore human rights: disgraceful”

  1. I am layman and my views stand with the government. I do not buy the UN style of human rights and don’t feel ashamed at all.

  2. (1) The Singapore/Libya comparison astounds me. Like comparing a rock and a diamond.

    (2) It’s a huge tapestry but why are you looking at only one corner of the art piece?

    (3) Who’s the madman in Singapore?

    • It’d be churlish to ignore this govt’s economic achievements which I have paid tribute to in earlier posts. As we are all aware of, one blot suffices to degrade the whole picture no matter how excellent it is. The comparison with Gaddafi is with duration. I’d qualify to be mad man if I assert that Singaore is like Libya.

  3. Would Dubai be a good comparison?
    A great metropolis (?) from all accounts.

    IMO the key is the inhabitants.

    Do the citizens feel that they belong to all those advancement, ‘sophistication’ and modernity around them and they have this very real feeling of participation in the governance of this place, OR they feel, more often than not, like mere digits and ‘extras’ and props (to use a Hollywood phrase), and like children, to be seen and not to be heard (freedom of speech, remember) in a make-believe and gilded cage?

    At least the people of Dubai have imported workers and talents to man infrastructures and facilities that they cannot do themselves. At least, the govt in Dubai provide lots of privileges and ‘welfare’, esp. medicare to its people.

    Contrast it to this place where the pay difference between the apex and base of the pyramid is MIND-BOGGLING. We have ham-fisted million dollars Ministers quibbling over a few miserly dollars increase in payment to the poor and aged in the HIGHEST forum in the land, parliament. We have supposedly representatives of the people, the Members of Parliament, paid a 6-figure sum, who function (if at all) as mere RUBBER STAMPS for ANY and EVERY law and policy the govt chooses to enact with the most superficial of debate. Where the citizens know too well from experience that not an iota of a request for change by them would be acceded to and the so-called debate in parliament is nop more than window dressing – local terminology, a ‘wayang’ which means a show or Chinese road side opera event, once popular – to produce as and when any criticism from locals and foreign critics alike were received!

  4. The govt often expects Singaporeans to ‘move on’ when it decides to implement unpopular and often monetarily punishing policies. It often trots out, as is currently happening now, mawkish and out of date and out of sync (with the time and the generation) ‘nation building’ sentiments which harked back to a time which is often painted as ‘dark, evil, dangerous and straiten’ before the present govt, led by LKY galloped in, in a calvary charge that saved all of us from eternal damnation or be all but swallowed up by the indigenous populations all around us.

    Surely, LKY and his lieutenants did their bits, for which we are all thankful. But it is quiet another issue when he continues to expect to be paid and absolutely refuses to be paid off. Now, we can all see that the once NOBEL aspiration by him and his colleagues has turned into a ONE MAN monument which he is by his concurrent actions is in grave danger of being turned into ARTE FACTS to be buried and entombed with him when his time comes! We are supposedly being ingrates to refuse such an ‘honour’?

    Yes, we should all move on, both citizens and more critically, the govt. We are NO MORE in the immediacy of a post-colonial or anti-communism struggle. We are, according to constant and unending govt propaganda streams, a #1 world – never mind the barbaric human rights record, the shabby treatment of its people and work force, the even shabbier treatment and gross EXPLOITATION of maids and foreign workers, imported in to prop the govt into its much craved for First World status.

    Let me give this assessment: It is a Pyrrhic victory; a victory with little honour or grace when it built upon the bodies of the down trodden masses of the country and our regional neighbours.

  5. 1. You’ve expressed eloquently and potently what many thinking Singaporeans are aghast about eg unjustified ministerial salaries, YES men in Parliament, income gap etc.

    2. But there are many who, entrenched in their comfort zone, prefer to look the other way. Such people are easily led by the nose by an autocratic regime. Their mantra is Don’t rock the boat. But fortunately there are others who live by their principles and have the moral courage to speak up.

    3. By clinging to power at all cost, the ruling party has missed out on the chance to leave behind a
    great legacy. One that sparkled not only with tremendous economic achievements but also with great democratic institutions that can form a bulwark against a dictatorship.

  6. The ‘generous’ phase of the pap has already gone for some decades. The disintegration of a political party once dedicated to the betterment of the people happened when the few good men/women left/passed into history. Even in the lifetimes of some prominent members of this group, the rot is already taken root. In many ways, the old boys network, the camaraderie from common and shared experiences can grow to cankerous extremes. This is what happened when peers and contemporaries demurred and abdicated responsibility for restraining and prevailing against a creeping perversion, corruption and decay. It certainly, to me, demonstrated the great weakness and sad aspect of such human behaviour and sentiments. LKY’s peers and comrades, while they could, did not have the guts or gumption to stare him down when he started to diverge and digress from the original path. When we remember some of the ‘founding fathers’ we must also equally attribute what they could have but did not do for us.

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