March 30, 2005
Singapore Democrats

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The Rhetoric

“…the ministry (MITA) aims to cultivate a more creative and adventurous spirit among Singaporeans through the arts.”
– Straits Times, Mar 29, 2002

The Reality

“…everything in society is reduced to a technocratic problem … ‘creativity’, too, became a government project, when it was suggested that Singaporean students were dull. Committees of PAP cadres drew up plans to make them more “creative”. The plans, which do not allow for non-conformity, have yet to bear fruit. No wonder Lee (Kuan Yew) once spoke of his citizens as ‘digits’. And the digits are perfectly comfortable, until one of them decides to be less dull and question the authorities; then, like the proverbial nail that sticks out, it will be hammered down with great force.”
– Ian Buruma, author of Bad Elements: Chinese Rebels from Los Angeles to Beijing.