jump to navigation

Justice is Blind. January 27, 2007

Posted by The Truth in Im Allgemeinen.
9 comments

Have you seen a statue of the Lady Justitia at any court building around the world?

You know, the blindfolded woman, with the scales in one hand and a sword in the other? She looks a bit like this…

373px-berner_iustitia.jpg

So the Lady Justitia is blind. Her blindness is meant to symbolify the objective meting out of justice, with neither fear nor favour, regardless of the identity and status of the person brought to stand before her. In one hand, she carries a pair of perfectly balanced scales, which indicates that the pro and contra of the case has been evenly balanced. In the other, she bears a sword – not just a weapon, a sigil of power, but also to mean that the unjust will be punished.

A Nigerian youth was hung yesterday in Singapore on drug charges. The judge who condemned him to death submitted a report saying that there was reason to doubt that he didn’t know that he WAS carrying drugs. So, we have a reasonable doubt! But the Appeals Court threw out the appeal because he would be required to prove his doubt on a ‘balance of probabilities’ – tip the contra scales in his favour.

And once again, in spite of protests from Amnesty International (i bet the government and judiciary treats them as a joke) the UN and a personal appeal from Nigeria’s government, they still sent him to the gallows.

Actually, the principle of ‘innocent until proven guilty’ is, in my opinion, something used to allay the fears of criminals when they go into the dock. Basically, if you are hauled into court, you are already suspected of committing a crime – so is this ‘innocent until proven guilty?’ Nope. You are assumed to be guilty. Guilty until proven innocent. Your case file, if you ever have the misfortune of getting charged, has the details of your case transcribed from the everyday language to the juristical lingua. This text will probably not be understood correctly by you; it is, however, designed to highlight the details of what you did which could be criminal.

How does Law work? From what i have gleaned from what i’ve learned about juristische Sprache in Linguistik, there is a presumption of law. This presumption states that there are no ‘open questions’ when it comes to law. Law is a science, a positivist science, which relies on facts and evidence, and not doubt. Law talks about evidence. To be acquitted, one has to turn the balance of odds in his favour.

So, i would not say that the Law was wrong in executing Tochi. Because Law means, from the very word, something which has to be stringently adhered to. Yes, miscarraiges of justice occur, but that’s not a flaw in the law – it’s a flaw in the judge. What’s wrong lies always in the people.

Why didn’t anyone step in? The media have been keeping their collective mouths shut about the issue. Why haven’t they spoken up? Are they taking the stand of ‘Tochi’s execution will put Singapore in a bad light internationally so let’s not publish it in the States Times tomorrow’? There’s a reason why people are not reading the ST anymore. Why is it that only overseas publications have covered the execution which happened in Singapore, but NO ONE IN SINGAPORE IS COVERING IT EXCEPT THE ONLINE COMMUNITY?!

The judiciary. I don’t know if they allowed him a chance to defend himself, or if they just considered the ‘reasonable doubt’ and then threw it out because he was caught red-handed, and ignorance is not an excuse. If they denied it without hearing him, then i would say that this is a gross miscarraige of justice – where there is doubt, then i would say that forcing judgement without hearing the balance would not be justice at all – it would be cold-blooded murder just because the government is baying for his blood to stress their ‘strict anti-drug laws.’ This remains to be seen.

The Law Society. greg gan notes that lawyers were arrested under the ISA during the ‘Marxist scheme’ conspiracy. Is this why they are so cowed? But we have to face one reality – in Singapore, the fact is that Heroes Die First. Always is. No wonder they don’t show Rambo on TV anymore. Lawyers are supposed to be the conscience of society – i don’t see any conscience here. Why didn’t anyone stand up and say that the case was worth more delibration? And they are lawyers, people who have studied Law at an university and who are, perhaps, better-equipped to judge if the case was worth more debate or not. Maybe Tochi was a forgotten cause.

Law is a place without conscience. Lady Justitia is blinded because she does not want to see the reactions of people. Personally, i would prefer justice to look like this…

tarot-11-xi_justice.jpg
A Lady Justitia with eyes, and who can see. And, most importantly, she can SEE when a miscarraige of justice is being carried out, and has a soul, capable of thinking in adherance to and not blind obedience to what the law sets – for are not the eyes the window to the soul? Perhaps in thinking and reflecting about the framework of the law, Tochi might still be alive. Might be. I hope he is in a kinder world now.

Advertisements

I am Singaporean XV – Singapore’s DA BOMB! January 27, 2007

Posted by The Truth in I am Singaporean, Vol. I.
add a comment

I was reading a friend’s math assignment from NUS…and a question about differential equations looks like this:

…This is the shape seen in electricity cables suspended between poles, in countries less advanced than Singapore, such as Japan and the US. …

GOODNESS, i almost laughed my eyes out. Japan and the USA are LESS ADVANCED THAN SINGAPORE?! You’ve got to be fuckin’ yanking my crank. HAHA. HAHAHAHAHAHA!!

Yes, yes. Actually, i wanted to launch into an angry tirade, but then i heard that the prof is not Singaporean.

THAT’S a sense of humour!

Chai or Car? January 22, 2007

Posted by The Truth in Im Allgemeinen.
add a comment

Okay okay today’s a bumper issue. Won’t happen again.

I was also reading takchek’s site…and he mentioned something which made him quite du lan.

This morning I was overtaken on the Interstate by an Asian babe driving a hot new car (BMW 3-series convertible; the roof was down). This happened despite me already hitting 100 mph.

and:

Hot chicks are supposed to be chauffeured, not to take behind the wheel! And leave us men behind in the dust. I ended up trying to decide between drooling at her or her car.

Takchek, don’t buay song lah. Then again, i don’t know what car he was driving, but it does teach me one thing…want to drive on freeways/autobahns, must have a car which can pio one. Even better if got zhng. Make sure your car is sent to Johnny’s Zhng My Car, install DOHC (Damn On and Hiong Charger), turbocharge, and the exhaust system which can put a head inside. Like that then fierce, can fight with such femme fatales what!

And coming back to drooling…wah lao…drive and drool…since you are sitting down you will have a wet patch on your pants…and people will think you wet yourself…or even worse, had a wet fantasy while driving. Tsk, tsk. If i were you, takchek, i would drive faster so i can drool at her. Drool enough, maybe get distracted enough, can buang her car. Then she will stop her car, and you will stop yours. You get out. Stare at the car and drool. Then you stare at her, and drool. That’s the best situation what! Like this can drool at BOTH objects until the cows come home.

So it’s not a question of Chai or Car. Methinks it’s more a question of how to get Chai and Car…

I am Singaporean XIV – Enemy of the State. January 22, 2007

Posted by The Truth in I am Singaporean, Vol. I.
add a comment

I was dropping by singabloodypore when i came across an article about the Simon Shorvon shenanigan.

So, he’s an Enemy of the State now, huh? Okay, okay, since it has faded out of most of our memories, i shall try to explain it to you in a short story.

Gahmen predicts that biomedical sciences (a.k.a. Life Sciences ooooo) is the Next Big Thing. Gahmen pours money into building infrastructure, attracting foreign talent. Simon Shorvon attracted and recruited for research into Parkinson’s. Working with Uncle Lee’s daughter, the research project was said to be the biggest in Singapore at that time. But, it collapsed. In 2002, when Uncle Lee’s daughter brought on charges (or should we say instigated?) of bad ethical conduct by Dr. Shorvon, in recruiting patients to take part in experimental drug tests without their prior consent. And so he received a report (which, of course, condemned him of his lacking ethical background and all) which he was ‘forced to sign under duress.’ Oh, guess who succeeded him. That’s right. Uncle Lee’s daughter!

That’s not all. After that, in following with its Enemy of the State policy, decided to try to get him struck off the list of practitioners in the UK by applying to the General Medical Committee over there, as well as demanding a fine, which Dr. Shorvon paid, anyway. The Committee then referred the case to a professional conduct committee, which declared that Dr. Shorvon had did nothing which was explicit proof of misconduct.

But Singapore wasn’t done with him yet…they pursued him to the high court! I don’t know why the need to perform a coup d’êtat is so important, but anyway, the High Court just turned them away not long ago. And they are considering an appeal!

Well, okay. so much for story-telling. Uncle Wong is not much of a story-teller. He’s more of a thinker. First and foremost, i suppose the whole shenanigan has worked against Singapore’s favour in this area of research. While Dr. Shorvon has been acquitted, this Enemy of the State policy the government is following is, i think, going to deter more researchers from coming to Singapore, in the fear of getting into such trouble for maybe the smallest of things. I mean, come on. I think it’s absurd to pursue someone to the corners of the Earth just to destroy him totally. More bright minds are going to have to think twice about coming to Singapore, i suppose.

Second, the British High Court has finally proven a point to the Government and the FamiLee: that their perception of right and wrong is not THE perception of right and wrong. Let’s face it – our PAP politicians have had 100% success in defamatory lawsuits in Singapore courts (Uncle Wong can’t even get 100% success when he plays PangYa.) so i suppose this must have led them to the misconception that having power = omnipotence. While that is true in Singapore, it’s not true for the whole world. No way, José. And the fact that they are going to try and destroy him by taking away his income, taking away his license to practise…sounds like Mr. SDP, doesn’t it? After all, Mr. SDP lost his NUS professorship, lost his right to run for elections, paid tons of money, has been declared bankrupt, and, of course, has spent some good time in the slammer.

Like i said just now, omnipotence in Singapore doesn’t mean omnipotence around the world. I mean…for crying out loud, why must the FamiLee have this vendetta against this man? And for allegations which were ‘so minor they couldn’t be bothered with!’ For THAT, you have to destroy someone?! Oh…yes…Enemy of the State. They Must Be Destroyed, no matter what the cost.

The next part is the conspiracy hemisphere of my brain thinking. As we all know now, the person who brought up the charges and subsequently replaced Shorvon was none other than Uncle Lee’s daughter. So, was this politically motivated? Getting rid of a pawn which was blocking the way? And at the same time, was it by ‘chance’ that she managed to come across his sins, and by a ‘strong sense of moral values and commitment to the society,’ decided to speak up and try to destroy this pawn? I don’t know, and i can only speculate. Either way, even if one aim was not achieved, they’ve achieved the other – yet another FamiLee member in a top spot in Singaporean society. And in biological research some more! If the FamiLee wanted to start research into eugenics now, it would be a good time. IF. I’m not insinuating that they do.

What can be done? I don’t know. I think the FamiLee is too deep to withdraw without losing face (and given all the defamation lawsuits they’ve issued over a few words, face is something they cannot afford to lose) so i really wonder what this will look like in…another few years? It’s strange. When i saw ‘Simon Shorvon’ again i vaguely remembered his name. I was less cynical then, and actually believed everything the States…STRAITS Times told me.

I know better now. I take everything with a pinch of salt.

It’s Auseinandersetzung Time! January 16, 2007

Posted by The Truth in Im Allgemeinen.
2 comments

Time for another Auseinandersetzung with a letter sent to the States Times.

So someone wrote in saying that certain American universities accept entrance with an ‘O’ Levels cert. As such, this reader says, it’s time to re-think the JC syllabus, because the ‘A’ Levels are effectively made useless with this move.

Let’s see…

I think it’ll be difficult to phase out the GCE ‘A’ Levels, given that many institutions (like the integrated programme schools for example) have phased out the ‘O’ levels. They don’t want their students to graduate ‘ordinary’ but ‘advanced.’ Heh. Well, okay, first things first.

The author of the letter is right in saying that in the Singaporean context, a GCE ‘A’ Level is practically useless. It is only a way to get into university. That is very true. The GCE ‘A’ Levels are not recognised by most employers because they are very…theoriebezogen? That’s to say, it’s a lot of theoretical knowledge with little practical knowledge. That’s why poly graduates can go out and find a job without going to university. But then again, in the social context of most Asian countries (and this affects the employers too,) university is seen as the only way to make it good (or even reasonably comfortable) life, so the GCE ‘A’ Levels are still considered to be the top qualification.

I mean, dear Author, i think at some point of life you must have thought of ‘O’ Level graduates as having no definite future before them right? In Singapore no future lah. But now can go to a atas US university…got future already!

I think that you can’t get rid of the ‘A’s that easily because in Singapore the ‘A’s carry a certain social prestige (read: university education) and it clicks well with most parents’ impressions that their sons/daughters will be studying at a university soon and have a good future in the future. GCE ‘O’ Levels? Practically, yes, they can go on to a university education, but for a certain period of time, there will be a social stigma attached to them because people always think of them as underqualified. I mean, what would you feel?

‘As a first-year undergraduate, I find that most of the material covered during the first year is actually JC work. It is akin to a revision, only that the material is covered quite in depth. I see no problem with our students heading straight to university after their O Levels.’

It’s true that most of the material covered in first year is ‘A’ Level material. So, in a sense, you are lucky. Have you thought about the overseas students? They have to come over with an educational background which may not be the equivalent of the GCE ‘A’ Levels (surprise, surprise! There’s a WORLD outside Singapore. Jeez.) and they have to pick up what they don’t have.

Conversely, the repercussions of doing away with the ‘A’ Levels is that a lot of opportunities for overseas education will disappear. Look, you narrow minded maggot, students need the ‘A’ Levels to apply for entrance to a UK university. The ‘A’ Levels are equivalent to the German Reifezeugnis, which allows someone to study at a german university. If you think these institutions are going to change their entrance requirements because we’re changing, then surprise, surprise again!

What’s more, have you checked out what’s going on at SIM? Which US university is this? Have you even heard of it? I’m not saying that brand-naming is important. But you should check the quality of education there before jumping to such conclusions. But then again, you may be right. Because once you get your degree, it’s all gleichgültig anyway. So in that manner of thinking, perhaps you are right.

But then again, it’s only an American university. It’s not ALL American universities. That would already be cause for concern: is this particular university reducing its standards to up its profile?

I have a rather odd view of having a broad access to tertiary education, because i tend to find myself in two worlds…Heh…Okay, so it makes sure i have free education in Germany. Well and good. But in a small country like Singapore which is very human-resource based, institutions like SIM and all, in giving degree courses from ‘recognised overseas institutes’ with the comfort of studying in Singapore (the so-called Fernstudium), what’s going to happen when everyone has a university degree and finds themselves at square one? Actually, it’s happened. (The Test-Tube Washers.) Larger countries can afford to have such a system, even making education a basic human right, because there will always be others to form the base.

Yes, it is highly ELITIST. But i think this view of elitism can never be purged from any country – look, elitism in larger countries consists of not everyone having a chance to study at a university. However, i believe that most people who are willing to work CAN find jobs, simply because there is a demand. But what does elitism in a small country like Singapore look like?

I fancy it’s some people (like a certain Wee) getting a good comfy job because Daddy was a minister of parliament (albeit disgraced.) After all, when the playing field is levelled again, it’s back to the good ol’ days of dog-eat-dog, because, since humans are our only resource (yes, uncomfortable revelation: we are treated as mineral resources!) and everyone has a university degree, the limited demand, which can only cater to so much, becomes saturated. So there’s going to be a lot of string-pulling, and all, because jobs are of such value now. Either that, or better qualify yourself. Get a Master’s, man.

Anyway, to come back to topic. ‘A’ Levels or no ‘A’ Levels? I think that it’s here to stay. Our Dear First-Year Student should ask him/herself these questions:

  1. Has he/she studied at an overseas university? Can he/she confirm that university syllabus is just ‘akin to revision’?
  2. Has he/she encountered foreign students who find themselves having problems because their educational background was not the ‘A’ Levels? (In spite of this statement – i’m just describing the many difficulties foreign students can and will face overseas – i still think more NUS/NTU scholarships should go to Singaporeans. Quit the ‘foreign talent’ thang already!)
  3. What has ‘irrelevance’ got to do with Uni education? ‘A’ Level subjects are about OPENING CHOICES FOR UNIVERSITY. What a dumbfuck person! I mean, SURE, if you were like hell-bent on studying a particular subject, then of course it may appear to be ‘irrelevant.’ But i’m sure the majority of people were undecided when it came to choosing their university subjects. Some even study something which are totally different from what they did for their ‘A’s. Irrelevance has a new meaning for them – so the ‘A’s are also an opportunity for YOU to find out what YOU can study and what YOU probably cannot.
  4. Continuing from 3, haven’t you heard of the word interdisciplinary?
  5. How big is your world? I hope it’s not 640 square kilometres big, with the west end known as Tuas and the east one Changi.

wah lan… January 16, 2007

Posted by The Truth in Im Allgemeinen.
add a comment

I got something from O2 today!

A 100 FUCKING EURO PHONE BILL!

jit pai hong kan liao…well some lessons are better learnt the hard way.

I am Singaporean XIII – Thoughtcrime January 10, 2007

Posted by The Truth in I am Singaporean, Vol. I.
6 comments

Having read Orwell’s 1984, and referencing to things which have happened in the past year, in addition to material i have read on the Net, and looking back at Singapore, i can say one thing.

Thoughtcrime is going to be a crime soon in Singapore. Especially in the areas of politics or the authority of the government.

Thoughtcrime is going to be a crime, because up til the 2006 GE, we’ve had a pretty much thought-homogenous society. Well, not thought-homogenous (although the Government does its darndest) but i guess many people have just given up thinking about making their home a better place and decide to dedicate their energies to chasing the Jade Rice Bowl. But those who have attempted to show a different mindset have been detained, locked up in mental institutions, or deemed a ‘threat to civil order and peace’ (read: Enemy of the State) and been detained for long periods of time – months, years even – without facing trial.

With such silencing, anyone who thinks differently can be expected to be ridiculed and even persecuted. What makes this ridicule and persecute movement even more effective is that due to the homogeneity of thought (‘I would like to thank the PAP for making Singapore what it is and i think a statue of Kuan-Yew should be worshipped next to that of Kuan-Yin’ or ‘you can’t change it, so join it’) these people stand out like a sore thumb. The Government is being pretty smug on this, dismissing people who are low-profile, average guy-next-door types as suffering from bouts of temporary insanity. But as profile goes up (mrbrown is a very obvious example) the risk of thoughtcrime becomes a real, material one.

Normally, the Government doesn’t even have to step in (with those Really Nasty Things called Defamation Lawsuits) because in almost every area of Singaporean society, self-regulatory measures are in place – well, in the public sector at least. Senior officials in the internal security department are transferred to be senior editors in the media. Education is standardised – kids learn once they start studying social studies that the PAP saved Singapore from almost certain doom and made it into the glitzy metropolis that it is today. By making everything homogenous already implies that the end-product of thinking differently will leave you branded as a thought-criminal. The Government latches onto the Asian (predominantly Chinese) school of thought that if you express something which your dad was against, you’re being an ingrate. And ingrates deserve to be punished, don’t they?

Yes, we are still being nannied. Isn’t it a wonderful feeling?

Of course, you could say that thoughtcrime exists everywhere. Hate laws are in effect in the Land of the Free, namely, Uncle Sam. But what about getting charged for posting something which, say, may be interpreted to have the slightest bit of racism in it? Happens in Singapore! Because in the eyes of the local government, homogenous thought involves everyone thinking about the same goal and striving towards it. Any sign of dispute or unrest which can be traced back to an origin brands the origin as a centre of thoughtcrime which has to be stamped out.

Thus, you have people being charged under the Sedition Act, and our Dear Leaders have began to widen the scope of the Sedition Act even further. It seems that control is the key to Singapore’s success, and that means an iron-hold on everything, including citizens.

What of the ‘open society’ promise? Oh, yes…it’s going to take 20 years. Sorry for being so forgetful. I hope you’re not as forgetful as me.

We’re not the kids you are used to having anymore. We are THINKING, EDUCATED, PEOPLE. And if we have to censor what we think because it’s perceived to be not going to be good for the State or for someone’s blood pressure…then we are nothing more than just AUTOMATONS. Well, if you’d rather have automatons, go and start building robots. I’m sure they’ll be more able to obey protocols and not think. After all, we’re not paid to think. We’re paid to give the guys upstairs more money so they can think for us.

Why Philosophy? January 9, 2007

Posted by The Truth in Im Allgemeinen.
3 comments

I was sitting in Delfosse’ Proseminar for Gottlob Frege’s Funktion, Begriff, Bedeutung today.

And Delfosse reminded us that he knows nuts about him. Well, he said it during the 1st Sitzung already.

So why am i still in his Proseminar?

Basically, i decided long ago that Uni would not be just about learning content and content. If i did decide so, i would’ve obeyed my parents and gone to study some science subject. I decided that there’s got to be more to life than just knowledge and facts. I wanted to learn about myself. And learn about living.

That’s something which kept me in Delfosse’ Proseminar. Instead of going into content, which is what one would expect (i mean, come on, this happens almost everywhere – the other philo profs like Müller and Fröhlich are prime examples of people who DO know tons and tons and teach it – and they CAN teach well) he goes into methodical approaches to the text, with a very heavy emphasis on Selbstbezug.

He asks, for example, ‘with what expectations did YOU begin reading this text?’ ‘what would YOU do?’ and so on, and so forth.

And today, when some of us remarked that we were missing the content point of the Proseminar, Delfosse remarked: ‘as i already warned you, i’m not the person for Frege. If you wish, go to Mr. Müller or someone else who does.’ Basically, his point of view when it comes to philosophy is that he’s not about content. Rather, he’s about trying to open a door for us to understand and learn about ourselves. As far as he’s concerned, if we want to learn about Frege, we can do it ourselves.

Rather extreme and unbefitting of a university professor, don’t you think?

I beg to differ. Well, it’s true that Philosophie an der Uni Trier will go down if all the profs were Delfosses. But this offers me a very different viewpoint, one which i would not have thought possible in Singapore, or for such a treasure trove like philosophy. He touches on practical philosophy, which deals with our lives. Some come to the conclusion after years of study that they know nothing (as epitomised by Goethe’s Faust) while others understand and change their lives. And that is perhaps the most important thing about university life, from my perspective.

Why did i study philosophy? Everyone says that philosophy is a useless subject which won’t earn you big bucks on the job market. But there IS MORE TO LIFE THAN THAT. Sure, no money will die. But do you just spend your life, or do you live it? Do you spend your life chasing money, never getting satisfied? Do you spend your life chasing power? Or do you choose to live your life?

I choose to live.

I am starting to see that i can learn a lot…a lot from philosophy. And in learning more, in reading how others lived and thought, i believe i can make my life better. I don’t want to swim in money. I just want to live the best life i know i can live.

So are we, ultimately, free to live the lives we decide we wish to live? Or do we listen to someone who says that he knows the ultimate truth and that we should all live according to his codex of life (as in many religions?) Do we believe in what we wish to believe or do we believe in The One and Only Almighty, condemning everyone else to burn in Hell?

My life is mine to create, to nourish, and to live. And i want to know, when Death comes to me and whispers that it’s time to say goodbye, that from all i’ve learned, from all that i’ve understood, i’ve made the best out of it.

This is the beginning of my love affair with knowledge. To know and to understand, in order to live.

I am Singaporean XII – Shame or Education? January 8, 2007

Posted by The Truth in I am Singaporean, Vol. I.
add a comment

Being always interested in what’s (not) going on in Singapore, i have been making use of my free (yes free!) online States…erm…Straits Times subscription to find out what’s been going on.

No political content lately, but this has come to my attention lately…it seems that in relation to people complaining about ungracious behaviour on MRT trains, there have been 2 letters to the States Times, with the following contents:

  1. Take pictures of ungracious behaviour and send them to STOMP so that they can correct such errant behaviour through public shame and pressure.
  2. Take pictures of such behaviour but blur bzw. pixellate things which lead to identification, like number plates, faces, etc. What must be clear is that what this person is doing is just wrong. This should serve to educate the public.

And so the exchange goes on. I think shaming has, to a large extent, been used so far. For example, shame is always used by the ruling party (or should i say THE ONLY party) during elections in a bid to discredit the opposition. Shaming is, however, very much of a power problem in Singapore.

Especially if the people who perceive that they have been shamed (and given that their egos/sense of humour are terribly fragile, or their censors tend to be over-sensitive) tend to be powerful politicians. Then you will face Something Really Bad known as a defamation lawsuit. Can go bankrupt one! Also cannot run for elections. Just ask Mr. SDP, the Gahmen’s mole.

Anyway, before i get carried away, Shame or Education?

I think the Shame campaign would be wildly successful, considering how mian zi is of utmost importance in an Asian society. After all, having your name plastered on STOMP with the ‘Ungracious’ stamp on it is bound to make you change your ways especially when you start getting weird looks from people.

But if you don’t read the States Times…(i only read World, Prime News and the Forum because the Local part is…well unprofessional in a sense) then you can carry on! Give those people the ‘what-the-fuck-are-you-looking-at-before-i-gouge-out-your-eyes’ look! Soon you will be a celebrity and maybe a TV show will send a hot chaiful mom (diana ser – man. my definition of MILF.) to interview you.

Let’s face it. Shame will be successful at stopping the phenomenon, but will it build the foundations of gracious education? It’s just another fear tactic…one of many which are used and abused in Singapore. For example…

  1. You can’t blog racist stuff on your blog because you fear prosecution under the Sedition Act. That’s useful for maintaining racial harmony, but some view it as abuse because it goes against what the Internet is about, namely, freedom of expression.
  2. You can’t shoot your mouth off about politicians for fear of injuring their oh-so-fragile egos. Even if what they’re doing may not be very correct. This is also applicable to accusations saying that the judiciary is influenced by politicians (seeing the political-related lawsuits, one comes to a causal link very quickly) because you can get sued for defamation and lose all your money. Thus, people keep their suspicions and thoughts to themselves. Use or abuse?

I believe the Shame campaign to be well…expanding this environment of fear from the microcosm of politics to the macrocosm of everyday life. Now you got to watch yourself and all because you’re afraid of your face getting on STOMP. Is this the way to cultivate gracious behaviour? No one believes in gracious behavious anymore because it’s just imposed by fear.

Therefore, i believe EDUCATION to be the way. Look, through education (and seeing how the State has a monopoly on it), if the State really saw the need to be gracious, they would have put it into the syllabus loong loong ago. Heh. Education for such behaviour should be prescriptive, id est, something which educates people on what they should and should not do. Start at school la! You don’t even have to set aside moral education classes (which personally i had a good hoot at in school hawhaw) but it can and should be inculcated into everyday school life.

And education about such behaviour goes beyond that! It must happen at home as well. Kids don’t see their parents saying please and thank you, they don’t see their parents smiling at neighbours, so why should they say please and thank you, and why should they act in consideration to others? (In this respect, Europeans are much better.) At least they know what is gracious and what is everyday. But if you smile at someone on the bus in Singapore, he/she will think you a queer. If you say please and thank you at say, NTUC, the cashier probably will not know how to respond.

Let’s face it. We’re not so gracious as we think ourselves to be. Maybe 60% gracious lah.

So why has nothing been done about it? Why does ‘gracious living’ appear in National Day Speeches as pure words? Politicians also can NATO one. Before i get branded as someone who goes running to the government on every little thing, let me say this: The government made us so. The government has educated us to be sheep, not daring to take big steps where society is concerned. I don’t think the government wants us to dare to also.

After all, the government has condemned fully Western-style ideals and culture because it will lead to true democracy which will cause Singapore to sink into the South China Sea. And well, the idea of graciousness is the Western ideal of it…so…we are stuck in this LPPL situation. Oh, well.

Maybe it’s simply because graciousness is something we won’t die without. No graciousness won’t die what! No money then will die. Especially if politicians got no money. That one confirm guarantee chop & 3 months warranty will die.

All Good Things. January 2, 2007

Posted by The Truth in Im Allgemeinen.
add a comment

This is a post to let you know that i am still alive.

Nah. It’s because i haven’t had a Internetzugang lately. I’ve been around and done a lot…and had some interesting run-ins with people. Heh. I think i should blog about them later…because it’s a bit paiseh when i’m on someone else’s lappie.

Anyway…these past few days i’ve been rather emo. It seems like the past 10 days have been a rather semi-charmed kind of life…i mean…okay, so i haven’t seen a lot of stuff. But i’ve spent time with a lot of people – people who are now a little family in London. And so now i’m looking back and thinking and getting emotional ohmygoodnessihatethesefeelings and so on and so forth.

And then again, there are people who i’ve perceived i’ve drifted away from – people i can’t really talk to anymore.

I want to stay in London.

But home is Trier.

No, wait…home is Singapore right?

NOT!

SIGH!

travelling i only stop at exits
wondering if we’ll stay
young and restless
living this way i stress less
i want to pull away when the dream dies
the pain sets in and i don’t cry
i only feel gravity and i wonder why…

Flames to dust, lovers to friends…
why do all good things come to an end?