[About this blog] Inspired by local soccer player Mike Lim during my rookie reporter days at Singapore Polytechnic, I set up this blog in August 2002. I feel that blogging is a novel platform to document interesting facets of my life and my thoughts on certain issues. [Email blogger] ephraim@singnet.com.sg

Friday, November 07, 2008

[Political theatre coming soon]
If there was one exciting finding from the group discussions during the National Youth Forum it has to be the call for political theatre - looks like we may one day see opposition and ruling party members debating right in front in one place soon.

Having such a theatre forum is like a small scale version of Parliamentary debates in front of us. However, such debates may be limited to the institutes of higher learning. That is the sense that I get from the Prime Minister.

Such a forum would allow the public to see the quality of arguments raised. The question now is when would we get to see such debates outside of Parliament? Will this even see the light of day?

3 Comments:

Anonymous Bernard Leong said...

When I was in the States, I was shocked at the Americans' brutal frank attitude towards politics. The Americans are generally taught to be political-savvy from young such as running for student president - even at elementary school level. To them, you must be able to speak up and connect with your peers to win the seat. Of course, some of them are full of hot air and little action.
I learned from them to accept political satire as a form of good sport to a certain extent. Once, my roommate derided me as a coward for not wanting to try drugs. I literally exploded at him and did not talk to him for 3 days.
I watched this election and seen how the American politicians fought against each other. Smears on Obama's character, hitting on Clinton being a lady riding on her husband's record, Mccain being a sidekick of Bush and many more. But they all accepted it as part of the game. They don't sue the other side for slander libel. They responded back in reply to rebut the opponent's accusation. Take Obama, he fought back in a cool and calm manner. This is something that I was amazed. In Singapore, the PAP used heavy-handed lawsuits to hit the opposition. Frankly, I can say that this is one of the biggest reasons for Singaporeans' apathy for politics.
I hope that Singapore can reach the level of maturity and openness that I had seen. Imagine our PM debating with the opposition leader(s) on a open platform for all to see before the GE. And the opposition do not get sued for it afterwards. Let Singaporeans judge for ourselves which side is the better one. Of course, there are some people who will abuse the freedom to take potshots at the PAP. The thing is, is PAP able to take it in its stride without being disturbed internally ? It is something that even I found it hard to brush it off when I went to debate with the Americans in the American style. Gradually, I learned to handle the political satire thrown at me by the American in good stride.
We can see the mutual respect accorded by Both Senators Obama and Mccain. They know that politics is politics. After the game, they made it up, Mccain accepted the outcome graciously and Obama acknowledged Mccain well. This is bipartisanship. In Singapore where the PAP commands a majority, bipartisanship is unnecessary, seen as a hinderance. Can we see the PAP working together with WP and SDA for the benefit of Hougang and Potong Pasir ? This is something that remains to be seen.
Can the govt accept political satire ? Touchy issue - OB marker. Can Singapore ever accept a non-chinese as the PM ? I acknowledged that some things will still remain the same in my generation. It will take another generation to evolve. Maybe we might even go back to Malaysia if they succeed in giving equal rights for all races ?

Sincerely,
Bernard

Saturday, November 08, 2008 1:04:00 am

 
Blogger Ephraim Loy said...

Not all PAP MPs file lawsuits. It may not be an inherent trend.

The reasons for filing lawsuits against opposing forces must have be carefully deliberated - either send across a point about untruths or attacks of character.

Saturday, November 08, 2008 8:31:00 pm

 
Anonymous Bernard Leong said...

Honestly with all due respect to the Ministers and PAP, I meant no offence at all and really meant well for Singapore.
Hmm Perhaps the PAP can use soft tactics for a change. A firm and diplomatic rebuttal will do enough to respond to the opposition. Instead of Lawsuits ? Just a suggestion. Of course, this is not for me to decide.

Saturday, November 08, 2008 10:07:00 pm

 

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