Singapore Media Watch

Friday, September 22, 2006

Activists allowed to protest - TODAY 21 Sept 06

In a reply by MFA to Asia Wall Street Journal, the PAP's resounding "MANDATE" in the recent GE was invoked again to justify Singapore's ban on "public demonstrations".

"Singapore's laws on public demonstration are for Singaporeans to decide".

1. Peaceful assembly is not the same as public demonstration. The right to peaceful assembly is enshrined in our Constitution.

2. When did Singaporeans even demonstrate their support for this law? Did they hold a referendum to find out?

"In the general election this year, voters gave the People's Action Party a clear mandate".

1. What was not written is that only 45% of Singaporeans are eligible to vote and out of which one third oppose its continued rule. What kind of "mandate" is this in the first place?

2. The election is hardly free and fair. The election commission, media and grassroot organizations are all under government control. Voters are threatened with not having their estates upgraded should the opposition win and state funds are "distributed" to citizens 5 days before the GE. How can one claim to have the people's mandate under such circumstances is hard to imagine.

3. Does returning a political party to power gives them wide-sweeping power to do whatever they wish? The NAZIs under Hitler won elections in Weimar Germary. Did the Germans give Hitler the mandate to start WWII? Similarly, did Singaporeans support the government's decision to deny upgrading to opposition wards, to increase public transport fares and to keep CPF's contribution at 13%? At least conduct a survey amongst Singaporeans before proclaiming we gave you the "mandate" to do this and that.


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