berthahenson

Cows to the slaughter

In News Reports, Politics, Society on August 10, 2012 at 1:08 am

Gosh! I wonder if Minister Heng Swee Keat knows what he’s getting into when he says there are no scared cows in the coming national conversation on what sort of Singapore we want to live in  I mean, there are plenty of sacred or near-sacred cows. Like the Internal Security Act and the power to detain people without trial. Like  the death penalty never mind if it’s now more restricted. Like singles not being allowed apply to the HDB for their first flat. Like removing the need for annual licensing of newspapers. Like criminalisation of homosexual acts.

I can justify every policy above under “fundamental” values that the country should have – which should therefore lead to a change in approaches and policies like the above. Like treating all citizens equally, whether they belong to a family unit, are singles or homosexuals. Like acknowledging that the citizenry doesn’t need nannying. Like guarding against inappropriate use of detention laws …Alternatively, I can argue the reverse – the need for tough laws to maintain law and order, maintaining the family unit because that’s what the majority of citizens want, guarding against outside influences on the media.

It’s gonna look kinda messy and we risk a chaotic conversation that would be more controversial and consensus-seeking. Better to have a framework than let it all hang out??? Anyway, that’s my two cents worth.

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  1. Eh you used the word framework.

  2. With due respect I think your approach is nonsensical. If you take off the table the topics you listed as being ‘fundamental’ then why bother having the debate in the first place because you have predetermined a lot on important possible outcomes.

    Do you really think the Singapore of 2012 is the same as 1965 when many of these so called sacred cows were implemented? I think this post shows very clearly your thinking is locked into a by-gone age, although I freely admit you would also have a good idea of what the G would ever allow.

    Of course, it’s now possible to imagine a G of a different colour coming to power, and wouldn’t that perhaps lead to some long overdue fundamental changes.

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