Letters on the protest

September 25, 2006
Singapore Democrats

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Dear everyone,

I am very proud of you guys. I would have joined you if I were still in Singapore. You will succeed eventually. All the best!!!

TERENCE C

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Hi,

I like to draw your attention to the “comments” left behind at the following popular blog: http://commentarysingapore.blogspot.com/2006/09/just-another-day-in-singapore.html I thought those “comments” reflect the increasing popularity of SDP with Singaporeans!

Congratulations, and do keep up the great work!!

PAT (An Admirer)

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Dear Dr Chee, Ms Chee and Democracy supporters,

My heart goes out to you. You put in a lot of effort and make huge sacrifices knowing that every BIG sacrifice is just a very small step at making any difference, in no small part contributed by the apathy of Singaporeans who stay in the cocoon of familiarity and comfort, happy to grouse in the coffee shops but will not express with their vote.

I am a Singaporean living overseas with my family. As much as I love Singapore, I find it stifling to my creativity, my aspirations and my freedom. I dread to think my children will have to struggle to make a living in a country that is their own, and never making the grade.

When I get my citizenship, I will, sadly, be giving up my Singapore one, all because I would like to access my CPF funds to give me a chance at achieving my aspirations and making life better for my children and family.

I dread to think that all that hard-earned money that belongs to me can one day be completely wiped out through no fault of mine, but mindless “investments” made by the government on the pretext of protecting and growing our money.

I am no risk taker. If I have my hands on my CPF funds, they would be sitting in a fixed deposit in a bank than being invested. These investments are made with my money with no consultation with me. What happens if the investments collapse (as many are so prone in today’s volatile economy)?

What happens if there are more coups in countries where the PAP has invested billions of our CPF money in (like the recent Thaksin / Thailand one)? Has the government given us any guarantee that our CPF money are definiely safe and that we will get our hands on our own money one day when we are old and truly need the funds? All they will do is keep pushing back the age for withdrawal. I want certainty with my own money.

I love Singapore, but I would like to have some freedom, freedom to use my money as I, a mature person, deem fit. After all, it is mine. I would like to have transparency so I know when I can get my money for sure (than have ages pushes back again and again whenever PAP deems fit). I would like fairness – fair treatment in my own country, the country I work hard in, raise my family in, pay taxes to, fight for. I would like to be heard and not be afraid of unfair lawsuits and misrepresentation in the media and in the courts.

It was a very difficult decision to uproot the whole family and leave family, friends and all that we are familiar with to go to unfamiliar grounds where we may be treated as second class citizens After weighing all our costs, move we did. We have never been happier, more free and more fairly treated than in our own land. Yet, I am sad… I wish it was like this in my own birth country, that would have been an ideal world.

DC

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Hello Big Mouth,

Like you, I’m a Singapore-born citizen and I believe we are around the same age group. I really feel sad for you because you are unable to tarnish the good image of Singapore. Your relentless efforts to bring down the PAP-govt has so far come to nothing. You are just a slave of the foreign media who are too happy to see Singapore go bust. I can assure you that so long I’m still alive I will never allow you to succeed in trying to bring this tiny red dot into a state of anarchy. You are just a disgrace to majority Singaporeans who wanted to enjoy a state of peace and normalcy.

LONG LIVE PAP

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Dear Dr Chee,

I want to let you know that I support you and your team’s movement and the protest you staged. I have also included a photo on Ms Chee being surrounded by police and a contrasting one I took at in Taipei where Taiwanese from all walks of live protesting freely in my blog, I apologize for not turning up at Hong Lim to support your team.

Please keep up the good work and a big “Thank You” to you and your team.

RICHARD L

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To Dr Chee, Ms Chee, Mr Francis and to other brave protesters who took part in the rally from the 19th,

Due the fact that I’m in Melbourne, I wasn’t able to go to where you are/were to show my support and stand up for what we believe in.

I’ll like to express my concern over the health of the protesters especially Ms Chee, I understand that you had been exposing yourself in the open without shelter from the elements. Toll from the lack of shelter is known to kill faster than the lack of food and water.

Please do take good care of your bodies, though I know that the forces that backs up all your determination is the towering faith you have in our fellow Singaporeans. There is a limit to what the body can take.

And thank you for standing up once again for our freedom. I know many Singaporeans’ attitude towards your struggle can be very disheartening. I cannot truly feel the anguish and frustration of people whose hopes are smashed into pieces again and again.

I just want you to know that there are people like me who know with certainty that without your efforts all our fragile lives would had been much more desperate. All I hope for is that your hearts would never be dried out. Thank you.

ANDY

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Hi,

There will be a demonstration outside the Singapore consulate in Toronto, Canada with regards to the Singapore govt decision to not allow the march organised by SDP. I will be outside the consulate with banners and a letter to the Singapore Ambassador to Canada.

WARREN

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Maybe Dr Gandhi Chee should go on a hunger strike for the sake of freedom of speech (but please ensure that he does not sip glucose when nobody is looking!!!).

DORASON TAN

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Hi,

I salute you, your sister and your colleagues for the courage of standing up for your convictions – for truth, justice and democracy. May God be with you and guide you to achieve this against all odds. I am sorry that we Singaporeans don’t measure up as a nation with character and sound principles.

MARGARET

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Dr Chee,

All good things are difficult to achieve. You have made a start now. With time, the other opposition parties will see that your plan has the best chances of long term success. I think they will slowly turn around and follow your style.

You have to reach a situation where the govt cannot arrest you anymore because you will not submit. At that time, the govt will have to either arrest you and put you away, which would mean their position being damaged internationally and locally. Not being able to arrest you, they would then be impotent. Then others will be emboldened to do the same. That should be the aim.

GOPALAN NAIR

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Dear all brave protesters,

I used to not understand why my brother joined the Young Democrats. But slowly over years, I began to see the truth though you need to really read between lines of our newspaper and dig into foreign media for news not broadcast in Singapore and of cos.

I slowly but surely have felt the effects of “democracy” as a Singaporean. I am now very proud of my brother’s insight and depth of understanding of the political situation in Singapore and, of cos, his bravery to join despite the usual protests from family.

I just like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to all you guys for standing up for Singaporean despite majority of us are ignorant of your efforts. And like my brother, I ask for good health for all of you as I know the last few days must have taken toil of your bodies. Take care.

I see friends, like me, are slowly getting more aware of the situation in Singapore. Most are passive but some are actively seeking truth and I believe the number will grow. Please be heartened as your moves definitely touched many of our hearts. Though I must say, the fear in us is still very much prevalent.  But I do remember Dr Chee always say, there should be no fear in the first place. 🙂 Thank you.

LYNN

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Hey,

I’ve finished reading ‘The Power of Courage’ and your other book ‘Your Future, My Faith, Our Freedom,’ which i bought in Kinokuniya. I’m surprised that your books are being sold in a public bookstore. But it’s great and I’ve been encouraging my friends to read them too.

I feel the same too about a lot of things that happen in Singapore.

Yesterday I read the news about a man who got put into jail for trying to steal money for his university tuition fees. He’s obviously trapped by his circumstances but he was portrayed as a recalcitrant offender. I feel really sad for him and sad too that the system in Singapore tends to alienate and push people like him into a downward spiral.

Yes, he broke the law, but there are attenuating reasons to his case and these should be properly considered and dealt with. Instead, he has been summarily thrown into jail for another 7.5 years!

It’s really tough for the poorer people here in Singapore as there is almost zero welfare. I know lots of other people in the world have it tough, but I think Singapore has reached the level of economic development to change its attitude, especially to those who are struggling within the system.

Apart from this, I feel strongly about the lack of freedom of press, freedom of assembly and general lack of freedom and intellectual debate and dialogue…..it seems that the concerns which preoccupy most Singaporeans are ‘what am I going to eat tomorrow,’ ‘where am I going for my weekend holiday,’ ‘how much is this/that…?’ Yes, money and enjoying life is important but it is not everything.

I’d really like for more Singaporeans to be politically engaged and socially and environmentally aware, and also to realize that they can effect changes in their own country if they really bothered.

Having said that, I’m writing to you now because I just wanted to get in touch, as your book, ‘the power of courage’ was encouraging its readers to do so.

I’ve just graduated from NUS from the Southeast Asian Studies department in the faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Right now, I and am thinking of pursuing a career in music, either that or going for further studies, but am willing to explore how i can help to effect some changes in Singapore.

I’d like to state plainly though, that I’m not prepared to go into jail just yet… there are other things I’d like to pursue before being blackmarked forever by the Singaporean system.

Other than that, I’d be happy to help out where I can. Do let me know how.

DEBORAH

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Dear Sir,

I applaud your unwavering determination, strength, and above everyone else, your COURAGE in standing up for so many of us whose voices are silenced with fear. And I wish to sincerely THANK YOU, for sacrificing SO MUCH for doing this for us. When I say ‘us’, I meant all of us who can understand and can see what you are doing. I wish you all the best in all your future endeavours, and over the past 3 days, I hope you get some much needed rest and refreshments.

And send my regards to your sister, I wish all the best too.

CJ

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Dear Dr Chee, Ms Chee and the other “nameless” activists who went through the 72 hour sit-in at Hong Lim Park this week:

I know it is highly hypocritical of me to hide behind the veil of an email to send you this personal message. But I am not a political person, and don’t intend to be. what I aim to do, at least, is to tell you that even an ordinary Singaporean like me is aware of the protest that you have made, and the things that you are doing.

You guys have done what most Singaporeans, myself included, would never have dreamed of doing, would never have dared to do, and certainly would never have done in the circumstances, in order to put forth your beliefs and ideals in democracy and human rights.

I salute you, all of you, for your courage and determination, and in believing as you do. You have proven to all, through your ordeal, that your actions are borne out of the best intentions. And your rightful place in the Singapore Story should be well deserved.

I wish all of you well.

EDWIN

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Dear SDP,

Dun let the Police abuse their power on you! Take this chance and let the world know what Singapore govt does. I copy and pasted your email in Young Pap Forum under Political issue!

Your supporter,

MARK C

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Dear SDP,

Incredible and wonderful, thanks for the latest news. Please give CSJ and the rest my very best.

CHRISTOPHER M