Singapore’s human rights: lame excuses?

The review of Singapore’s human rights is currently underway at the United Nations.

Singapore’s severe curbs on freedom of speech, assembly and a free press is widely known and have come under fire from respected international organizations like Amnesty International.

With customary arrogance, Singapore has brushed aside such accusations.

Its defense at the United Nations makes you cringe. 

Singapore cannot afford these freedoms because:

1. We are a young nation with little margin for error.

This hints at the impoverished state of a young country. But the whole world knows Singapore is in the top 10 of the world’s sovereign wealth fund hallowed club. 

2. We are a multi-cultural country with many races, religions and languages.

There are many other multi-cultural countries in the world that are democratic and have survived for years eg India, Britain and now Indonesia.

3. With the rule of law, Singapore can have security and stability, the prerequisites for economic growth.

Only with repressive laws, a country can achieve economic growth?

The ruling party should stop hiding under the catchall “specific national circumstances and aspirations” to justify its repressive laws.

Despite the red herring, it’s clear for all to see that the ruling party desires to hang on to power at all.

In its report on human rights in Singapore, the US State Department says, “The government has broad powers to limit citizens’ rights and to handicap political opposition, which it used.”

And that was in 2008. 

Has there been any improvement since then?



4 Responses to “Singapore’s human rights: lame excuses?”

  1. […] Truth, Justice, and the Singapore Way – SpotlightOnSingapore: Singapore’s human rights: lame excuses? […]

  2. Why r you so shallow in looking at things. Look @ all other countries,even USA… freedom? But at what cost…

    • Errr what cost? You want to share? They are ahead of Singapore in terms of overall development.

    • Every country has both negative and positive sides.

      We must learn to broaden our minds by focusing on the positive aspects.

      It’s true America has many problems but so do other countries.

      If America is such an evil and undesirable country as you imply, why many still want to emigrate there, send their children to study in American universities or invest?

      The Singapore government has such great confidence in the American system that the largest portion of its overseas investment is in the US.

      If political freedoms are evil, then why are the people both young and old, from all walks of lives in the Middle East and North Africa sacrificing their lives and careers fighting for such freedoms?

      Hong Kong, S. Korea and Japan have greater political freedoms than Singapore but have their societies been ruined?

      Instead of clinging to a narrow outlook, it’s healthy to ask questions instead of accepting stock responses as the gospel truth. 

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