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By banning Martyn See’s film, Singapore Rebel, from the Singapore Film Festival, the PAP thought that it could prevent the documentary from being seen by Singaporeans and the international community. The plan backfired – and in spectacular fashion. The ban has created a firestorm outside of Singapore where the documentary has been screened in Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Sweden, the US, and now in the European Parliament (below)!
With the advent and the advancement of the Internet as a communication tool, the Singapore Government is foolish to try to stop the spread of information about its dictatorial ways. If it is wise (unfortunately authoritarian regimes are too intoxicated with wealth and power to know the folly of their ways), it will begin to reform the political system. Now that the world has seen the PAP in live action and full technicolor, let’s see whether it will continue to persecute a hapless filmmaker, and harass Mr Jacob George and Ms Tan Pin Pin.
The more the PAP harasses See and others who are beginning to speak up in Singapore, the more the world will come to know of the PAP’s true colours (and its not just red and blue). The SDP will see to this as we give a play by play commentary with instant replays and slow-mos to boot. Lesson for the new PM: When in a hole, stop digging.
The matter will get even more excruciating for the ruling party when further action is taken on Mr Yap Keng Ho’s police complaint about MediaCorp’s broadcasting the Success Story about Lee Kuan Yew and Up Close about Lee Hsien Loong and other PAP minister’s. The hypocrisy and blatant manipulation of the law by the rulers will be further exposed.
The courts will also soon be deciding whether four or less people gathered to protest is legal or not. The Constitution clearly states that only five or more persons gathered in a public place to protest is illegal. The date is 21 October 2005 at 10 am at the Supreme Court. Singaporeans should make it a point to go to the court and hear for themselves what the protesters’ counsel, Mr M Ravi, the Attorney-General and, most importantly, what the judge have to say.
(By the way, the Sunday Times’ report on the case about the protesters’ court challenge on 2 Oct 05 could not resist taking another cheap shot at lawyer Ravi. In one of the paragraphs, the report mentioned that Mr Ravi had been criticised for raising the hopes of the executed Mr Shanmugam’s family members. One, what does Mr Ravi’s defence of the late Mr Shanmugam have anything to do with this case? Two, those Straits Times journalists should visit Mdm Letchumi [Mr Shanmugam’s mother] who told the Singapore Democrats that Mr Ravi is her hero – after her son was executed. By the way, Mdm Letchumi is holding up well and cooks a mean nasi briyani for her favourite lawyer whenever he visits her.)
The Singapore Democrats will continue to spread the word about the PAP’s undemocratic ways. The only way to address rice-and-soy-sauce issues are for Singaporeans to have the freedom to speak, protest, and vote for the whomever they want. Not the kind of elections presently conducted by the PAP.
Singaporeans are coming alive and this bodes well for our future. The PAP cannot continue to run Singapore like it has for the past 40 years with secrecy, intimidation, and force. Singaporeans demand and deserve transparency, the freedom to protest, and democratic elections.