[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

Monday, May 04, 2009

[Rule of law versus rule of man]
Weeks ago I was chatting with a friend about liberalising in Singapore. I argued that some things in Singapore would not change and stated that because of the societal argument that the government pushes all the time (if the society does not change, government will not change, and the government would remain conservative).

There is a problem in using the societal argument - when do we know what the society wants and how does society signal that?

My friend disagreed with me and said that slowly and surely Singapore has been changing. He citied examples such as allowing Sex and the City to be broadcast on TV and the liberalisation of media.

One of the speakers during the Singapore Beyond Lee Kuan Yew seminar used the example of gays flocking to Singapore as an example of liberalisation.

Then it struck me that it is important for governments to stay relevant. When the government is no longer relevant, there is no need for its existence.

My second point is on the recent discussions on the Public Order Act. Now that it has moved under the radar with the Aware takeover making headlines, it is easier to talk about it. MPs have expressed their points. Whether for the good of society or if it restricts personal freedom, the effects have yet to be seen and felt.

And the argument is not about this. My argument is about education.

When Singaporeans get better education and more exposure to the outside world, they would be more aware of what is going on and to the extent the knowledge of personal rights. When the law is not applied impartially those who are in the know would speak up.

However, it is still too early to judge the impact of the Public Order Act. One has to see what implications it causes and the repercussions of the act in order to comment.


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