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Over-Reliance April 24, 2008

Posted by The Truth in Im Allgemeinen.
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So the results of the COI board is out.  And despite hoping against the odds, what we expected happened – the heads of some small fry are about to roll.  I mean, we really should have seen it coming.  Where is the ‘responsiblity’?  Obviously not with the political leadership, because our leaders are infallible, or even if they aren’t, they must be given a chance.  Come on, Singapore, give Can’t Sing a chance.  Maybe he will sing better next time.

Still, this doesn’t do an iota towards helping us quell a huge source of disquiet – that of governmental responsiblity.  Instead, the Straits Times has very lovingly heaped blame on the blogosphere with their angry rants about this and that, about the bloodthirsty masses in the dangerous realm of Online Land.  So, dear readers, please read the Straits Times, and be happy that we have such an infallible government that they will fix the incompetent!

The Great Escape of Mas Selamat, however, is not really about whose heads should roll anymore.  Let’s look beyond the pure reactionary movement and consider the bigger picture.

This is reflective of the Government’s over-reliance on the system of filtration and grooming our so-called ‘future talents.’  Granted, it probably should work, but is it working now?  The helicoptering of ex-military generals into important leading positions also isn’t particularly reflective of a system which can breed confidence in the people.  Your aspiring minister probably has a PSC scholarship (let’s not talk about the other scholarship boards – chances are that you will go somewhat far, but not all the way anyway), has studied at some atas UK or US university, and probably will be idealistic, young and bright-eyed in the beginning, but perhaps frustrated at every attempt and then, jaded.  Success is redefined from achieving your ideals and realising yourself to getting as much money as possible, everyone else be damned, live a comfortable life, and worry about the rest later.

To do that, you have to keep to the party line.  Gahmen will take care of you after that, and you’ll be able to work in many fields (or, suborgans) in what is called Singapore, Inc.  Why does the Gahmen take care of you?  Because you have 4 A’s, which says something, but not everything about your aptitude and attitude, went to a good school, blah, blah.  So theoretically speaking, you have passed Uncle Lee’s ‘test’.  Well done.  But is it wise to invest such unwavering faith in your infallability?

Yes, the angry scholar would say, because i am in control of myself and i am a person with integrity.  But are you?  Will you even make just a formal attempt at resignation when something goes wrong?  No, you won’t.  Habit changes in the most insidious of ways.  And to make sure that the angry masses have as little ammunition to use against you as possible, you handle the investigation and case behind closed doors, release information sporadically, and all.  You’d rather be blamed for releasing the information late, because the whole truth on how he escaped would probably be your downfall.

After all, the mouthpiece of your party are all wandering around writing things jealously protective of your ass, so just call your old scholar friend and ask him to write something in your defence!  At the same time, they’re established, so use them to demonise the online community who are baying for your blood!  After awhile, it pays to ask the question: are you, or are the political leaders actually interested in continuing the survival of their party, the survival of their government, or are they actually just interested in their own tenancy?  Get paid, and get lost.  Have a one-page obituary when you die.

In keeping the system closed and being over-reliant on a selective mechanism, and then protecting the Chosen Ones fiercely by protecting them from public cricicism, i.e. by not giving others room for expression at all by simply ignoring them, i wonder: is the Gahmen plotting its own downfall?  Many of these so-called politicians have never been through a political campaign.  Are they politicians, or do they walk around every 5 years shaking hands and saying ‘here’s to another 5 years!’?  Politics is to them perhaps just another job – Work hard, but more importantly, work in your own interests.

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Meditatio de Religione April 19, 2008

Posted by The Truth in Im Allgemeinen.
12 comments

So lately in Singapore there’s been a case of a couple getting charged under the Sedition Act for spreading an Evangelical publication, The Little Bride, in Singapore. You’re not getting the link to this, because if you do and somehow get offended enough to want to see me in court, then i’m going to be in trouble. However, here’s the States Times version of it, for your perusal:

ST April 15, 2008
Couple charged under Sedition Act
By Elena Chong

A COUPLE were charged on Tuesday with distributing a seditious publication to two others.

Ong Kian Cheong, 49, and Dorothy Chan Hien Leng, 44, are alleged to have distributed The Little Bride, an evangelistic material, to Sembawang resident Irwan Ariffin last Oct 19.

They are also said to have distributed the same publication to one Madam Farharti Ahmad at her home in Woodlands on March 6 last year .

It is not clear why they face the Sedition Act and the Undesirable Publication Act when the publication is the same.

Ong, who works in a telecommunications company, and his wife, a bank employee, were represented by Mr Selva K. Naidu.

The police prosecutor sought an adjournment of the case pending a Health Sciences Authority on handwriting specimen.

The couple were freed on $10,000 bail each. Their passports were impounded.

The case will be mentioned on April 29.

Under the Sedition Act, the maximum penalty is a $5,000 fine and/or a jail term of up to three years.

The maximum penalty under the Undesirable Publication Act is a fine of up to $5,000 and/or up to 12 months.

I have no sympathy for these two people, despite the convictions they carry in spreading the faith courageously. For ‘though i walk the valley in the shadow of death, i shall fear no evil, for Thou art with me.’ I have no sympathy for them, though, because they seem to be so believing that they have effectively decried all other religions as fake and evil. At the bottom of every pamphlet of The Little Bride, there is a little box saying how “The Bible says there’s only One Way to Heaven’, and so on, and so forth. I read an issue dealing with Islam, and Islam was portrayed as a religion full of false prophets.

I won’t say that this is controversial. I’m going to say that it’s downright fundamentalist. Everything is based word-for-word and then mangled to fit the Christian view that their religion is the only religion which can give Salvation. For did not Jesus die on the cross for our sins? But it is a refusal to interpret, the fear of going off by interpreting wrongly, which leads these fundamentalists to commit the very error they profess not to make. They mangle other texts to fit their only interpretation. And that is the very reason why this can be seditious. Why this can be dangerous.

I mean, probably there isn’t another way to do it for these people. Yet, Christianity is based on a systematic way of closing out the gentiles, as St. Thomas Aquinas describes these people. For faith is based on a choice – the choice whether you accept God into your life, or not. And for those who choose to accept, they can and will be saved at Judgement Day before the Apocalypse. But how can God be ultimately good, if he only chooses to save those who have decided to accept him in a way which is hardly divine – through a human religious organisation which claims to have the divine mandate? Does not God love his creation in its entirety, even if he does not have to?

And it is said that love only works both ways. Which is true. But then now, wouldn’t a better explanation be that God loves universally, and we love God in our own ways? I am not a Christian. Nor am i a Muslim. But i believe in a God, where it is insignificant, if he loves or not. The issue is this: how can you say that God loves us and not you, and you are evil and will be punished, because God hates you? Do you even have the right to give God human emotions and characteristics?

If God loves, man kills. For a religious person can love, and out of love, he tries to spread the word and tries to save others as well. But isn’t there the intrinsic, subtle belief or precondition here that this religion is superior to that religion, and thus my God must be superior to yours? God is dead, because another God has killed it. But there probably isn’t a theological war amongst the Gods – it is Man who has killed all other Gods in the name of one.

And why? Because the Bible says so. But then again, belief is a choice – do people have the right, then, to force others to adopt their choice? No, they don’t have the right to, because they have a fundamental choice to make. Perhaps the key to finding God is, firstly, recognising that there are many ways to the same end, perhaps an end which makes all religions unnecessary, because it is an end beyond religion.

Stomp STOMP. April 7, 2008

Posted by The Truth in Im Allgemeinen.
2 comments

Take a look at this!

So this is what not being complacent is about…it is good to see that some STOMPER is all about following up on MM’s message about not being complacent! After all, if we don’t care, there may be soldiers drawing rifles and running all around Singapore. Then jialat. Confirm cannot catch all of them…what’s more they have rifles, not like Mas Selamat, who had nothing.

At the same time, it’s a nice way of smearing the online community for being nothing more than places where Singaporeans sabotage each other and get each other into trouble. Yes, even those who are out hunting for our escaped friend! Also, it’s a nice way of portraying how some people who post messages to STOMP have no brains, thus, following the slippery slope logic of many, most Internet bloggers have no brains/are incapable of common sense and thus they are unreliable! The State’s Times is the only Bible we can rely on! What’s more, your friendster picture could come up on STOMP and then you’re royally fucked…then how?

I mean, come on. I’m sure you can draw your SAR 21 and go out. I mean, if you’re mentally unstable and want to show your rifle to the pleasures of civvy life (how’s a date at Cineleisure?), that is…i’m also pretty sure that if the STOMPer was right, then SAF posters should be like, banned, because they all have rifles and are all in camouflage! What’s more, they’re at the airport! Here’s a taste for y’all…

STOMP this! Pah. What a numbskull.

National Education: On Complacency April 5, 2008

Posted by The Truth in Im Allgemeinen.
8 comments

So in the aftermath of Mas Selamat’s Great Escape, the blood the online community has been baying for has not been spilled. Nor has there been any assumption of responsibility. Instead, as we are all used to in sunny Singapore, the blame for his escape has been converted into yet another National Education lesson.

I disagree with theonlinecitizen’s point that the blame has been shifted. Indeed, at a point of time where finger-pointing would have been most rampant, the major politicians of our country have decided to clam up in the face of all the flak. By doing so, the government refrained from placing the blame on anyone in particular, namely, the DPM, Can’t Sing. I mean, sure, probably his ears have been pulled by MM already. But there is no public admission of guilt, no assumption of responsibility which our government has been attempting time and time again to inculcate in Singaporeans.

Instead of having someone assume responsibility, the government has managed to make a National Education lesson out of it. And what better person to dish out wisdom than the country’s founding father, MM Lee? Singapore is not infallible, he says on the March 7 edition of the States Times. Thus, it’s a lesson for all of us to work hard because we’re not infallible! Yes, let’s all stop being complacent!

Hmm. But then again, Can’t Sing hasn’t been punished. Perhaps he’s not infallible as well, so give him another chance lor. Must make sure to twist his ears this time. Or cut his bonus. But the fact that there is no punishment reflects one thing: The Government will have to eat its words soon.

And then, MM Lee strikes again by creating blame. He says that Singapore grew complacent because we’ve grown used to success. And then, he goes on to say that Singaporeans who believe that nothing can go wrong in Singapore are living in a World of Make-Believe! Well…let’s see. the States Times is always trying to paint such a picture, anyway. I mean, if MM Lee wants Singaporeans not to be complacent by showing them that Singapore is not infallible, how about telling us that the GIC investments have gone up in smoke?

More importantly, the blame wasn’t shifted. It was created and placed on us. So now we’re complacent for complaining. So we shouldn’t complain and be dependent on the government when things go wrong, but we should depend on them, our Infallible Leaders, when it comes to the elections? Poor us. We should stop whining and get out of their elite, uncaring faces, because they don’t care at all. They only care when their votes are on the line.

And out of all this, we’re supposed to make a National Education lesson out of it?! Do not be complacent, work hard, and quit whining, so it goes. It’s our fault, not that Mas Selamat escaped, but it’s our fault for giving a damn! You know why? Because the government is not taking responsibility, therefore WE HAVE TO!