The Prime Minister said many things at the IPS Perspective Conference but somehow the MSM didn’t pick up the stuff that would have interested the online community. Okay, I have to be fair…I am talking about the ST.
Today picked up his point about Section 377a and how he seems to be leaning towards maintaining the status quo, that is, homosexual sex remains criminalised. I wonder why this wasn’t published in ST? Because the PM might have run foul of subjudice rules that the Attorney-General’s Chambers had just reminded everyone of? A protective measure? If so, Today didn’t get the message.
The PM didn’t unilaterally raise the topic, but was answering two questions that were very finely crafted in my opinion. First, was how a secular state could reconcile itself with having an old archaic law that discriminates against a group of people. The second, by NMP Janice Koh, was whether Singapore had the space to discuss issues that were potentially polarising. Looks like Section 377a is on the PM’s mind since he didn’t side-step the issue.
But, hey, I certainly hope the Judiciary will not be influenced by what the Executive has said on the issue, the top executive, some more! Methinks the PM should have held his peace, like all of us have been told to do.
Citing the example of gay rights, Mr Lee said: “These are not issues that we can settle one way or the other, and it’s really best for us just to leave them be, and just agree to disagree. I think that’s the way Singapore will be for a long time.”
He added that the “conservative roots” in society do not want to see the social landscape change.
Another point that has the online community buzzing but which I saw no sign of in MSM were his comments on new media: “We don’t believe the community in the social space, especially online, moderates itself. It doesn’t happen anywhere in the world.
“You have views going to extremes and when people respond to their views, they may respond in an extreme way, and when people decide to disapprove of something which was inappropriate, the disapproval can also happen in an extreme way.’’
“It’s in the nature of the medium, the way the interactions work and that’s the reason why we think it cannot be completely left by itself.”
I don’t know what the context of his comments were since this is a just a quote that has been going round online – and which I hope is accurate. For context, I usually rely on MSM given that they have paid professionals who would have known that context is important. But, hey, they’ve left it out entirely! How can?
You can bet that the online community is buzzing about an upcoming clampdown… An online naming law?