Dear SDP and PAP,
I have always wondered the true motives of a free and truly liberal press. Some of our learned members of the PAP have argued that the press needs to be a socially responsible press. I think, besides seditious tendencies, I agree with the PAP’s (and therefore the government) point that religious sensitivities of our multi racial country need to be taken into account and therefore need to be censored, if necessary.
Will the SDP make the same concessions for a free press in light of local religious sensitivities? Remember with great power (the pluralistic media that the SDP is envisioning) comes great responsibility! Can you (SDP) handle this power and the responsibility that comes with it? Does it mean with fancy new technologies like podcasting we don’t need to be careful of the religious differences in Singapore?
Waiting to be answered.
SIMRANPAL SINGH SANDHU
SDP: Dear Mr Singh Sandhu,
It is the tactic of all dictatorial regimes to scare people into agreement or submission. Park Chung Hee, the South Korean dictator who ruled in the 1960s, repeatedly warned his citizens that democracy will weaken the country and invite the North Koreans to invade. Today South Korea is democratic and much stronger politically, economically, socially, and even militarily than it northern neighbour. Apartheid rulers warned white South Africans that if black South Africans ever came to power, there would be reverse discrimination and persecution of whites. No such thing has happened. Ferdinand Marcos said that if there was democracy, the communist rebels in the Philippines would take over the country.
In the same way just because there is a free and pluralistic press in Singapore does not mean that extremists will take over and chaos will reign. It is such thinking that will firmly put Singapore into a hole that will make us unable to compete in the international arena.
You make it sound as though Singapore is the only country with more than one race. One quick look will show that Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand, the UK, US all have multi-cultural, multi-racial societies. With the free press that they have, these countries would have, according to yours and the PAP’s thinking, already been burned to a crisp. You really need to get out of the mind-cast that the PAP has put you in.