Impressed with SDP participants at conference

January 12, 2006
Singapore Democrats

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Your observations suggesting
world-trotting Singaporeans familiar to snow but ‘alien’ to other aspects is quite touching. As fellow participants at a seminar on freedom of speech in Sarajevo recently, we were impressed by our friends from the Singapore Democrats.

Everywhere in the world there are similar activists but I wondered out loud what the expectations were for Singapore where the need to speak out is not even there, given the full trust, it seems, of the public in their government which appears to deliver its promises, thus raising no need to demand accountability let alone raise protests.

When asked what his expectations were by joining the ‘opposition’, Warren Eswaran said, “I’m just following my calling.” I asked Chee Siok Chin on whether it would be easy to see a similar number of activists in Singapore like those at the gathering we were attending. She said maybe, but that would be about the total for the whole country.

From Indonesia I sincerely hope that many more will follow the few with critical minds in Singapore, supposedly the most advanced nation in our region.

ATI NURBAITI

Alliance of Independent Journalists

Jakarta, Indonesia

PS. Are you sending your articles to malaysia.kini or other fora?

SDP: Dear Ati Nurbaiti,

Through the years of repression holding protests is still very much taboo in Singapore. Nevertheless, the Singapore Democrats are determined to help empower Singaporeans by winning back for them their right to freedom of assembly as guaranteed in our Constitution.The SDP sends on regular e-newsletters. Among our recipients are online newspapers and forums.