City of Possibilities or City of Hypocrisy?

 

The arbitrary application of laws in Singapore has reared its ugly head yet again.

In a Channel News Asia report titled “US expert on how S’pore can enhance its global reputation”, it quotes the “US expert”, Mr Peter Schwartz, as saying:

“Singaporeans were, he observed, more tolerant of gays than what the law allows and the reputation of the country would be hugely enhanced if there was, for example, more room for dissent.”

Now, my oh my, isn’t that a direct commentary and interference in our domestic affairs? Not convinced? See what our dear Minister of Home Affairs Ho Peng Kee said in Parliament just last month, as reported by the Straits Times here, when he was explaining why the police rejected a permit for Douglas Sanders to speak at a forum organized by Alex Au:

“Our laws are a reflection of the values of our society and any public discourse in Singapore on such matters should be reserved for Singaporeans. Foreigners will not be alllowed to interfere in our domestic political scene whether in support of the gay cause or against it.”

So, what’s the difference between Douglas Sanders and Peter Schwartz? Both are foreigners, both commented or were to comment on Singapore’s treatment of gays. Both are “experts” in their fields.

The only difference, as far as I can see, is that Mr Schwartz was invited here by the Singapore International Foundation (SIF) under its Distinguished Visitors Programme (DVP).

That is to say, Mr Schwartz is officially approved by the Singapore govt while Mr Sanders was well, not approved.

The reason which Ho Peng Kee gave, regarding Mr Sanders, is thus just a smokescreen. If foreigners were not allowed to interfere in our domestic affairs, as Ho Peng Kee said, then wouldn’t it follow that Mr Schwartz should not have been allowed into Singapore as well?

The arbitrary, subjective, selective and discretionary decisions to allow or not allow anyone into Singapore again has raised its ugly head.

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6 Responses

  1. […] Transparency and Good Governance to Satisfy Singaporeans and Retain Talents – Looking for LaLaLand: City of Possibilities or City of Hypocrisy? – This lush garden within: Singapore is a stepping stone for foreign students – e pur si muove: […]

  2. Hi Lalaland, your post has been featured in The Singapore Daily. Keep blogging!

  3. are we really surprised?

  4. LHL & his team seems to pay lip service to the his earlier pledge for an open and inclusive society for Singapore.

    I would like to pose this question to our PM :-

    Is this what he wants us SINGAPOREANS and the whole world to remember him for : Singapore’s most infamous Leader of Empty Words and Promises just like Chen Shui Bian will be remembered as the most Corrupt Leader in Taiwan’s history.

    With its current notorious record of human rights abuse especially in the socio-political environment, I think the current PAP leaders has done a great disservice to all Singaporeans by inflicting inreparable damage to Singapore’s image, made worse by Temasek’s greedy thirst and hunger for other people’s riches.

    If the PAP leaders remain arrogant and unrependant and does not take adequate steps to grant us our basic human rights and freedom of speech, I think one of these days the PAP govt will follow the fate of Taiwan’s KMT party just like the impending fall of Taiwan’s DPP party in early 2008.

    It will just be a matter of time that history will repeat itself !

  5. Oh forgot, another name to remember :

    Leader of Hypocrites and Liars

  6. Their intentions are blatantly obvious, that is the reason they try so hard to dismiss the Internet as the source of non-biased political material. They are afraid, very afraid. Why would a decent government be afraid that demonstrations and online opinion would be bad? It’s because they have something to hide.

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