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I am Singaporean XIII – Siege Mentality February 23, 2009

Posted by The Truth in I am Singaporean, Vol. II.

Singapore is under siege.

At least, that’s what the Gahmen would have you think.  At first, it was the Japanese, then the Communists, then there was terrorism, global economic forces, and now the Net community.  Sometimes, the Gahmen feels besieged by the people too.  Singapore’s small size and multiraciality have always been used as reasons for our fragility and for our siege mentality, because we are easily overrun.  This explains the huge defense budget each year, and the same old threats (and ironically, some self-fulfilling prophecies like the bad governance prophecy) made by our Dear Leaders.

The latest one was that anonymity on the Internet is a farce.  They will hunt us down and we should know it.  It is a veiled threat for the Internet community for regulation, after a certain RADM Lui showed how disappointed he was.  But why is there a need for such a siege mentality?  Why is there a need to demonise everything which may not toe the Gahmen line?  Some examples for you…

  1. The blogosphere is always demonised by the mainstream media for its perceived lack of objectivity and lawlessness (ironically, for a prime example, see STOMP)
  2. When the people become unhappy, an octagenarian will raise his lightning bolt and threaten you to silence (siege mentality against the people)
  3. Uncomfortable questions in Parliament deserve an uncomfortable answer, like if people want to have three meals in a hawker centre or a restaurant, or if Can’t Sing should resign now for Mas’ Great Escape
  4. Blaming global economical forces out of the Gahmen’s hands when a recession hits, instead of looking at their own household first (perhaps shutting up would have been better in this case)

And much more!  But still why? Maybe the siege mentality is supposed to work because like in the military, you are supposed to obey whatever your superior tells you, because technically he is supposed to know what he’s doing.  So transferred onto Singapore, the siege mentality ensures that the people do what the Government says.  And since the siege will pass on, the Gahmen has the opportunity to pride themselves (much like senior commanding officers get promoted after a large battle and not Privates Tom, Dick, or Harry.)

The latest example of the siege mentality against the blogosphere is just one example.  For example, the ST saying ‘Moderate so the Government can de-regulate.’  If moderation takes place, it will be a Pyhrric victory for the blogosphere, because aren’t we moderating according to the Gahmen’s guidelines, if moderation is to keep bloggers out of trouble?  Then we just have an(other) online MSM.  For what?  As long as the Gahmen continues to feel besieged and tries to fight a siege which isn’t there, we don’t have to hope for a calming of relations between the MSM and the blogosphere, for no sensible dialogue can exist as long as the siege mentality remains.

What Andrew Loh says at TOC is that instead of trying to regulate the blogosphere, we should focus on education to teach children the pitfalls of the Internet.  Even if it is a step in the right direction, it does not remove the general distrust and/or disdain of what is published on the Net.  The siege mentality remains, and you can be damn sure that the Gahmen will do its best to demonise all blogs as subjective and partisan except a few chosen ‘credible’ blogs.  As long as this mentality remains fixed, we can all go fly kite, understand??



1. bacteria - March 25, 2009

Looks like your reader Mr Lucky Tan has been shut down.

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