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I am Singaporean XIX – Strongmen with Fragile Egos. February 25, 2007

Posted by The Truth in Im Allgemeinen.

I just read that FEER’s petition to move the defamation lawsuit against them was thrown out by the Singaporean courts.

So in terms of the defamation score, it’s PAP n (where n is a reasonably large number), the World 0.

Sometimes, i find it quite ironic how a strongman who has built up Singapore from scratch actually has such a fragile ego. I mean, look. For every thing which happens even to have a whiff of something with relation to the words nepotism or anything about the judiciary and a link to politics constitutes a possible defamatory lawsuit. I bet that if some politician or some internal security department yuppie looked at sammyboy’s, there’d be another wave of arrests under the ISA.

So what’s with the fragile ego? Are the statements truly defamatory?

I shall attempt to discuss these views briefly in this post, and all readers should take note that this is not, repeat NOT an attempt to influence the public peace.

Well, what is, then, ‘truly defamatory’? It seems from FEER’s case that the defamatory statements were inferred from the article itself. So, it is a problem of interpretation. I learned that in all text analysis, interpretation consists of observation, potential meanings, and evaluation. Firstly, one has to observe what’s in the text and deduce various potential meanings, and then evaluate it.

In the case of the Defamation Lawsuit, one would have to observe what was said, deduce the meanings of words used/terminology, and from there, evaluate the statement as being defamatory or not. The problematic part of this is that no interpretation is fully correct, nor is any interpretation totally wrong. So, we are down to just a lot of guesswork. The groundings of a defamatory lawsuit, in this manner, comes onto shaky ground, as long as no direct attacks were made, since we can’t read minds. The question now is, thus: is it even correct to base a defamatory lawsuit on guesswork and implied meanings? See the entry on Justice for a clarification of judicial language. If justice is a positivist science, why and how can it be based on implied meanings?

I have nothing against slapping people who directly attack someone with a defamation lawsuit. But the defamation lawsuit has been used in cases where you have multiple definitions and meanings. Is this what the defamation lawsuit is all about? Do we have, then, to watch our words every time we open our mouth because someone may be listening?

I mean, sure, perhaps our Strongmen have fragile egos because they know that they are in the public eye, and they can’t afford to lose face, because they fear that then, their public image will go down and they may lose the next GE. But is this necessarily true? The PAP seems to be using a form of prophylaxis here…whereby they take measures to counter the perceived threat, even if the threat may not be there. Perhaps that is a reason why political films (i mean, films concerning the other political parties especially Mr. SDP’s party) are forbidden, because the other political parties may be (and i stress on the word may) poisoning the minds of our poor countrymen. Singapore Rebel got banned…i mean, the producer got an appointment with the police for tea and biscuits, and FEER got sued mainly for writing an article about Mr. SDP.

So is this fragile ego thing actually insecurity on their side? I mean, everyone in power is always worried of losing it the next turn. It’s natural – if you have something good, you would be worried of losing it, unless it was for something better. Our Gahmen, which can only go higher by perhaps dominating the world, or maybe ASEAN for starters, probably don’t have that ‘something better.’ Thus, all the more the fear about losing the power they have, which is, in my humble opinion, quite absolute.

After all, it’s not as if they can’t afford a defamation lawsuit! And even if our Strongmen tend to be relatively indifferent to humour and parody, their subordinates are not…

So we have an administrative system which tends to be over-sensitive, maybe allergic to any criticism of them, whilst not being that much sensitive to the people’s needs and wants. Too bad for us, i suppose, because most of us are thick-skinned…our egos are not so fragile as theirs. Heh. Even if our egos were fragile at first, we’ve been conditioned to make them harder – only the elite are allowed to have fragile egos. It shows they are sensitive people.

I mean, selectively sensitive!



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