The Power of Courage (2005)


The Power of Courage:
Effecting Political Change in Singapore through Nonviolence

Author: Chee Soon Juan
135 pp
ISBN: 981-05-3787-5
Available from: [email protected], Select Books, Kinokumiya Books

Book Review: The Power of Courage
DeepGeek’s Film and Music Review
11 Jul 05

Unlike other books that simply analyze or comment on the political climate in Singapore, Dr Chee argues with compelling reasons in “The Power of Courage”, why it is necessary for Singaporeans to no longer sit on their laurels but instead start acting.

He did this by opening the chapter with “Empowering the Mind” reminding the average Singaporean that they are not helpless as they might have thought themselves to be before proceeding to explain what non-violence is; and why it is essential in promoting democracy in Singapore.

Jargon free and easy to read, the book contains a concise ideology of what non-violence is; published statistics and surveys to support the need for it; as well as successful examples of non-violent movements that has brought about social changes including but not limited to the civil rights movement in the United States best exemplified by Martin Luther King; and Ghandi’s crusade against the British colonialists.

However, it is the section, “Unjust Laws in Singapore” and Appendix C with its listing of various measures used by PAP since 1993 to stifle democracy in Singapore; that is most disturbing. Both non-exhaustive chapters educate the average and uninformed reader on how the PAP silences its critics by passing unjust laws, interpreting and acting on them.

Aptly titled, The Power of Courage will hopefully persuade its readers to believe that they have the ability to bring about social changes through non-violence.

To lift a quote from the book, “Non–violence challenges us to confront our fears and dispel the notion that we are not capable, competent, or courageous enough to act on our convictions. Non-violence empowers us.”

Chee Soon Juan’s previous books:
Your Future, My Faith, Our Freedom: A democratic blueprint for Singapore (2001)
To Be Free: Stories from Asia’s struggle against oppression (1998)
Singapore, My Home Too (1995)
Dare to Change: An alternative vision for Singapore (1994)

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