The Government is doing its darndest to show how hypocritical and discriminatory it can be. How else can you explain the fact that CASE (Consumers Association of Singapore) is allowed to hold its march while the SDP’s is banned?
Let’s take a closer look at the two events:
1. Both activities mark the World Consumer Rights Day,
2. Are held on the same weekend,
3. Will take place outside Parliament House (2007 for CASE),
4. Are open to the public,
5. Will carry signs and placards,
6. Have theme T-shirts.
Its hard to see that with all the similarities how the Government justifies its ban on one and permission for the other. Until, that is, you take a look at the differences:
1. SDP’s “Tak boleh tahan!” event is targeted against Government price hikes while CASE’s “Walk with CASE” wants to “stop the marketing of junk food to children.”
2. One involves opposition members and human rights activists while the other involves PAP MPs and the Minister for Health (guest-of-honour).
3. One fights for economic justice while the other promotes street wayang (Why can’t Mr Khaw Boon Wan simply pass guidelines on junk food advertising instead of this elaborate show?)
In modern societies, people draw up principles and laws specifically to prevent such kind of discrimination and arbitrary rule by governments. Its called the Constitution.
In ours, Article 12 states plainly: “All persons are equal before the law and entitled to the equal protection of the law” and that “there shall be no discrimination against citizens of Singapore.”
The contempt for the Constitution shown by the PAP will be made even starker for all to see this weekend.
The brazen-ness is more evidence of the Government’s desperation to tighten the lid on an increasingly restive society.