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30 January 2004
When I first heard the report by Amnesty International on Singapore having the highest execution rate in the world, I was totally appalled.
As a Singaporean, I am ashamed to be associated with a Government that hypocritically prides itself as a developed regime, boasting of this and that economic achievement but yet operating at a primitive and barbaric level in terms of punitive legal action. Like most 20-something Singaporeans, I have gradually become disillusioned with the PAP regime and feel an extreme frustration at their ability to perpetuate power while at the same time offering chimeras of democracy. But like many my age, the ballot has been forcibly removed from our hands through the gerrymandering machinations of the ruling regime.
As the villified Opposition which time and again operate with the entire repressive Government and legal machinery against you, I understand the constraints faced by you. But yet, let me encourage you not to lose hope, especially in today’s world that relies on the Internet. Me and my friends have been empowered by the information fed through the Net and have come to a political awareness that change is necessary. I hereby urge the SDP to make use of the opportunity availed by the Amnesty report to challenge the Government and force a change in policy now.
The silent majority is with you and we cannot always wait every four years before we see the Opposition in action. Winning the hearts and minds of Singaporeans has to begin now and the death penalty issue is one such opportunity. I call upon Dr Chee, the Defender of Democracy, to lead this charge, set up an e-petition and through this mobilisation of numbers, show the Government that they cannot trod all over the people of Singapore when it is not an election year and subsequently bribe us with money and shares when balloting comes round.
The masses await the catalyst. I sincerely hope that Dr Chee will heed this call and make a stronger stand on this issue. Thank you.