Stop harassing Mr Brown and let him speak freely

July 9, 2006
Singapore Democrats

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The worst of the PAP’s pubescent mind has surfaced yet again with the latest silencing of Mr Lee Kin Mun and the removal of his newspaper column. It is an act worthy of a regime insecure and untrusting of its own citizens.

It is confirmation, as if more is needed, that the PAP governs from a political fortress isolated and under siege. It dictates that criticism and dissenting views are unwelcome, and moves swiftly to eradicate them. The arbitrariness and top-down-we-couldn’t-care-less-how-the-people-feel approach is wielded with increasing frequency.

The treatment of Mr Lee aka Mr Brown is not unlike that of Dr Catherine Lim in years past. This is testimony to the fact that under the PAP – whether it is Mr Lee Kuan Yew or Mr Goh Chok Tong or Mr Lee Hsien Loong as prime minister – the wrapper may change but the package remains decidedly antiquated.

Dr Vivian Balakrishman then fans the flame by saying that “if someone says something which we disagree with, we will say so. If someone says something which is unhelpful we have a right to say it is unhelpful.” The minister ignores the fact that citizens, in whatever capacities, have just as much right to tell the Government what we disagree with and find unhelpful about policies that affect our lives.

Such disagreements between the governors and those governed are bound to exist. The attendant debate and their resolutions must, however, be carried out in an open manner through the mass media – not shut down with Communist-like excuses that no one understands, much less believes.

The Singapore Democrats call on the Government to stop harassing Mr Lee Kin Mun and to restore his rights as a citizen to freely express his views. It goes without saying that this can only be done if the PAP desists in its unconstitutional control of the media.

The PAP needs to catch up in its development with the rest of the Singapore.

Chee Soon Juan
Secretary-General
Singapore Democratic Party