Selling Singapore

January 7, 2005
Singapore Democrats

This post is at least a year old. Some of the links in this post may no longer work correctly.

The piece below was posted in the website of Ratifiers of Democracy (http://www.ratifiersfordemocracy.org/). The website does not say who it represents or what its objectives are but they tend to post articles mainly on American politics. Yet, it knew enough about the PAPs ways…

FOR THE ASIA PACIFIC AND BEYOND SINGAPORE, WHERE NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE (picture and slogan of advertisement)

EXCEPT DEMOCRACY (title of the article)

The ad above is run by the Singapore government as part of their campaign to attract business and foreign capital to Singapore.

An international marketing campaign is presently underway to sell Singapore as the biotech capital of Asia. The main pull is the most complete data base of the populace of any place in the world, all owned by the government, which prides itself on the extent of data it maintains as well as the reach of its surveillance.

The sales pitch goes like this:

For sale: “untapped pool of genomic data from a diverse population living inside a biomedical system with some of the best record keeping in the world.”

“The fact that the country has a single patient identifier – all computerized government records identify an individual by the same type of number – creates “a unified data structure that population geneticists are very happy with.” – Edison Lui, head of the Singapore Economic Development Board

One scientist wrote, commenting on an article describing these plans, “The advantage of a patient database (exactly what today is impossible in most developed countries) seems to be one great (only?) advantage.” – The HMS Beagle:BioMedNet, letters

If you click on the ad above, you can read the attractions of this peaceful city-state as sold by its rulers.

One of the reasons it is peaceful is that dissent is not allowed.

One of its selling points is “Consensus, not conflict” – a beautiful attraction to those looking for a peaceful place to live, where there is no diversity of opinions tolerated, no real choice of other views and representatives as a democracy has, and the state controls everything down to the right of the citizen to chew gum.

But freedom is not being sold, because freedom does not exist. Democracy is not being sold, because it is a cosmetic democracy.

For the sake of Singaporeans and all other people in the world who live in cosmetic democracies, this page is dedicated.

Because “consensus” without free speech is dictatorship.