Friday, November 6, 2009

"Exceptionalism" is to Ignore, Rebut or Engage?

Chua Mui Hoong, Senior Writer of Straits Times wrote this in "In defence of Singapore exceptionalism" on Friday, 6 Nov 2009.

"THERE are three ways to respond to critics: ignore them, rebut them or engage them.

For a long time, the Singapore Government's preferred response to criticisms levelled at the Republic's civil-political milieu has been to ignore them. Some ministers with a more combative nature - notably Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew - have chosen to rebut them robustly. Few have done the critics the honour of actually looking at their views and engaging them publicly.

Law Minister and Second Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam did so, as did Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong, during the recent meeting of the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) International Section in Singapore."

Law is law and we should respect the law of the land.

I have always respected Singapore Law until I read of how the Attorney General of Singapore in 1997, Chan Sek Keong wrote a letter to the then Law Minister of how law can be so cleverly interpreted. The issue was The Workers Party had complained to the police that Goh Chok Tong, Lee Hsien Loong and Tony Tan had been inside a Cheng San GRC polling station on Polling Day. [Link] After reading this story way back then, I have come to conclude that we have laws in Singapore that can be quite weird. It depends on who is interpreting it.

I wonder why Shanmugum, the current Law Mintster did not do the honour of engaging the IBA on this [Link] - International Bar Association Human Rights Report July 2008 on Singapore. To engage Reporters Sans Frontiers (which ranked Singapore's press freedom at 133) but to ignore IBA is "exceptional" indeed.

Ignore, rebut or engage? What the difference?

In trying to make Singapore 'unique' we now have the new term, 'exceptional'!

What is "Exceptionalism"?

  • When Chan Sek Keong wrote in 1997, "There is a consistency in the rationales of the regulatory schemes governing activities inside and those outside polling stations on election day. Waiting outside a polling station is made an offence because it gives rise to opportunities to influence or intimidate voters: see paragraph 99 of the Elias Report. Hence, the Act has provided a safety zone which stretches outwards for 200 metres from the polling station. In contrast, the possibility of a person inside a polling station influencing or intimidating voters in the presence of the presiding officer and his officials, the polling agents etc was considered so remote that it was discounted by the Act." That's "Exceptionalism". I think a person may not be intimidating but to have the current SM, PM and former DPM in the same room where you put your cross on a voting slip can be quite "exceptional"!
  • When MM said that the 'National Pledge' is just a high falutin' 'Aspiration', that's "Exceptionalism"!
  • When Shanmugum said Singapore is not a Country but a mere City in defending government's restriction on press and other freedom, that's "Exceptionalism"!
Rule of law?
Rule by law?
Ruler's law? or
Lawyers rule?

In SinCity, who knows?



At November 7, 2009 at 4:14 AM , Anonymous c-p-k said...

Chua Mui Hoong is practicing what can best be described as


At November 7, 2009 at 11:15 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Spinster Chua should read the netizen's responses before she write about CJ Chan and Shamugaum.

CJ Chan's response to Sg's judicury's "rule of law" has been completely shredded by Dr Chee. Shamugum's "city" Singapore is an illogical sham and insult to those who did NS to protect COUNTRY Singapore.

Needless to say, Spinster Chua's one-sided journalism has continued to bring the ST rankings to new lows.

To Ignore, Rebut, oor Engage is one thing;

To be SHAMELESS, BIAS, and TRULY UNPROFFESSIONAL, sitting in the top position WITHOUT any journalism degree nor experiance is another.

At November 7, 2009 at 12:56 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

"notably Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew - have chosen to rebut them robustly. "

A lackey dog is always a lackey dog just like a leopard never change its spot.

have chosen to rebut them robustly" in what ways ? The emperor always have the final word and gospel truth because all other official afraid to speak out against his final verdict for fear of prosecution reprimand and demotion. How robust is old fart's argument when he said that "pledge is just a aspiration" ?

Even better, he is so robust that he is speechless against Francis Seow's debate and end up controlling the law society to that of lawless society/Lee society ?

Old fart and lackey Chua, wake up your high falutin nonsense.

At November 7, 2009 at 11:57 PM , Anonymous Ah Cow said...

"notably Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew - have chosen to rebut them robustly."

I wouldn't say that he was notably robust when he was up against Francis Seow. Quite the opposite, to put it

At November 8, 2009 at 1:22 AM , Anonymous absolutely shameless said...

typical strategy of LKY and his PAP stooges.

to ignore when no threat,

to rebut when truth hurts,

to engage when all of the above fails using ISD persecution and Kangaroo prosecution.

At November 8, 2009 at 10:47 AM , Anonymous xingrencha said...

Mayb all of u will do better as fish n chips.... kkkkkkk

At November 8, 2009 at 6:21 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Feed,

I learnt a lot from ur blog same from lucky tan's. Do you like to watch Nat Geo? I learnt a lot since my uni days from watching it. I like to share with u something that u might already know.

I watched one episode about the achievements of the mayans that cannot be replicated even now.

1. Clapping your hands in the temple plaza and its sounds the same as the bird that they worshiped.

2. Talking to one corner in an open air sports theater can be heard at another corner of the theater.

You can say that the mayan priest/architects are genius because modern engineers CAN NOT do what they did hundreds of years ago.

So what happen to the mayan average people? the average mayan had NO choice but to listen to the priest because the priest can communicate with the god bird. So what did the mayan priest do to the average mayan? human sacrifice when crop yields are down. I'm sure at that time some average mayan was against human sacrifice.

So my thoughts: Were the priests really geniuses? 2 answers, Yes and No.Yes, in structural engineering. No, when the spanish armada came.

30 yrs ago in Singapore: a man was worshiped by singaporeans because 1) he studied in a prestigious overseas uni 2) he promised progress that everyone can see.

Hence, Singaporeans have NO choice but to worship him. Some singaporeans believed he was GOD incarnate, able to wake up from the grave if singapore is in trouble.
So what did this GOD do? he told singaporeans to stop producing babies at 2. he told singaporeans to accept that the poor will be poorer and the rich will get richer due to globalisation and it is all INEVITABLE. at the same time, he told us that miniSTARS must be paid in the millions highest in the world if not they can get corrupted or they feel shortchanged compared to working in private sectors.

Anyway feed: the mayan priests are long dead. The singapore GOD is just waiting for his time now. human tragedies just cant be avoided because the average people are easily persuaded. I'm sure somewhere around the world in africa, latin america or central asia - millions of people are under the spell (i.e suffering) of another genius, another priest, another politician, another GOD.

Like you said: for every life a little rain must fall.


Economists with a heart

At November 9, 2009 at 12:31 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It may be history but the Mayan priests may have been reincarnated into our current statesmen as you have noted the latter, who believe they have obtained enlightenment to become demi-god and god from priesthood, have spoken bird language to lesser mortals at every opportunity, showing that God Bird still live on to this age.

NOw instead of human sacrifice of life to those God in old time, it is been replace by human sacrifice of money to appease the God.

At November 9, 2009 at 7:59 PM , Blogger Kaffein said...

Should try playing Black and White. It's a game about being a god.

Or you can just read this blogpost before the Higher Mortal syndrome came about.

Highfaluting indeed!


At November 9, 2009 at 8:00 PM , Blogger Kaffein said...

Link here btw

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