09 November 2006

MHA is Disappointing

Thursday November 9, 12:17 AM
Govt to introduce laws on 19 new offences, expand scope of existing offences

SINGAPORE : The Home Affairs Ministry is planning to introduce legislation on 19 new offences and expand the scope of 19 existing offences in the Penal Code.

Some of these changes are to keep abreast of technological changes which have taken place in the last two decades, such as the internet and mobile phones.

And with these technological changes, there had been new issues and offences by those who abused or used them to commit crime.

Currently these acts are not covered or prosecuted under related provisions in the Penal Code which do not specifically address these offences.

The last major review of the Penal Code - Singapore's primary criminal legislation - was made in 1984 when mandatory minimum sentences were imposed for offences such as robbery and rape.

Since then, times have changed and some are making use of electronic medium like the internet and mobile phones to commit crimes.

And several of the proposed new laws will aim to help police tackle crimes like credit-card fraud more effectively.

The Ministry proposes to introduce a new law - Section 473B - to prosecute fraudsters who make, or possess equipment used to forge credit cards.

The new laws will also help police deal with internet or mobile phone scams which target Singaporeans, even if the scams are executed outside of Singapore.
Following the case of racist bloggers who were charged under the Sedition Act, the Ministry is now proposing to expand a law under the Penal Code.

Currently, under Section 298, it is an offence to say words meant to wound religious feelings.

The Ministry recommends this to be expanded to cover wounding of racial feelings as well.

This way, prosecutors will have the option of charging offenders under the Penal Code or the Sedition Act.

There are also plans to enact a new offence which covers an action that is likely to cause racial or religious disharmony, or promote enmity on grounds of race or religion.

The law on 'unlawful assembly' will also be clarified. The Ministry is proposing that if five or more people gather with a common intention to commit a crime, they can be charged with 'unlawful assembly' even if the gathering does not disturb public tranquility.

"The whole idea is to be able to intervene earlier rather than wait for the crime to take place. What this unlawful assembly is dealing with is large numbers. There's always a sense that more people are more dangerous. And if you have many people, five or more, gathered together with the common objective of committing some crime, the police can take action sooner rather than later," says Associate Professor Kumaralingam Amirthalingam from the Faculty of Law at NUS.

On cheating, it is proposed that the law be expanded to make a culprit liable even if he does not carry out the act himself and appoints an agent to do it for him. - CNA /ls
This seems rather disappointing. It appears that the government is going to leave all the laws in the Penal Code on sexual offences exactly as they are. I think this is terrible because Singapore's laws on sexual offences are abundant with illogical, contradictory and/or archaic ideas.

Oral sex between consenting adults is still a criminal offence (even though 7-Eleven sells strawberry-flavored condoms). Husbands who force themselves on their wives still have 100% immunity from a rape charge. Consensual sex between two men is still punishable to the same maximum extent as attempted murder (that is, with life imprisonment). If a man forcibly penetrates a woman's vagina, he must be caned, but if he forcibly penetrates her anus, he cannot be caned. If a man rapes a girl, he shall be caned, but if a man rapes a boy, he cannot be caned.

These are some of the stupidities in the Penal Code which the government still permits to exist.

+++++++++
Technorati: ;

43 comments:

Annoyed Anna said...

words that offend religious feelings... what the hell does that mean? So if I were to tell a Christian to put that bible away... hence hurting her feelings, do I get punished by the big gov guys for that? What does "wounding" constitute? If I'm a Christian and I try to convert a Muslim, do I go to jail for that too? Where does protecting diversity end and pulvarising freedom of religion begin? that is, freedomg of religioun within the stated confines, of course.

wassup, man?

ah huat said...

What about atheists? Are atheists' non-religious beliefs considered a "religion" and hence protected by the same laws? What about religions that are not officially sanctioned by the state? E.g. religions like Jehovah's Witness, Falun Gong, etc.

If a group of five or more people gather with the intention to commit a crime, they can be charged with "unlawful assembly". But if they actually commit a crime (like, say, beat up a doctor), it becomes a civil case and not a criminal offense?

Anonymous said...

The ones on unlawful assembly is terrible. Are we completely crushing dissent? The PAP minister must look into the mirror and blame themselves for creating a fearful population.

Darigaaz said...

How do we know when an assembly is unlawful or not..?

Maybe we are not getting the full picture here.

k-leb said...

Quote:

Oral sex between consenting adults is still a criminal offence (even though 7-Eleven sells strawberry-flavored condoms)...


Somehow, this article says otherwise, though in our MSM, I doubt we'll find this news.

kritias said...

Husbands who rape their wives cannot be prosecuted on rape charge... Most civilized countries have a law against marital rape. Or does our government consider a married woman her husband's property, and without a say as to whether she wants to have sex?

One day, we'll have a case of a man who tricks a young girl into registering as his wife, and rapes her, and we'll see what charges will be brought against him. Probably fraud or something but not rape (no caning). Not well expressed but you get the idea.

soulburnz said...

How about someone from a particular religion trying to hard sell his belief onto another person at the expanse of putting his target's religion down by using words that are deem insulting and/or hurting?

Denzuko1 said...

It seems to me that wedding banquets are banned because there are definitely more than 5 people in the banquet with intention of commiting the same crime, drink driving.

greg said...

I agree that the laws are archaic. Laws against gay sex are still on the books even though the government itself openly concedes that it does not intend to pro-actively enforce it. Seems like we have those laws for purely symbolic value then, to demonstrate to the "conservative majority" that the government does not tolerate homosexuality and will legislate against consensual acts done in private.

I agree that the PAP is pushing religious harmony too far to the extent that it is stifling free speech and civil liberties. How are religious people hurt if two gay men have sex in their own bedrooms? Do I have no right to speak out if I think Christianity is untrue?

Anonymous said...

Huge steps backward! Are we in the 19th century or what? Oh yah I forgot some one still live in the past fighting his communist ghosts.

Nihilist said...

"Under Section 298, it is an offence to say words meant to wound religious feelings."

I find this extremely bizarre and disturbing. In particular, what exactly does wounding religious feelings mean? Were I to argue god's existence with a theist and he couldn't attack my logical arguments and is hurt somehow, am I going to be charged for making good use of my reasoning faculties?

Anonymous said...

To be a man of the law is to be in an unenviable position. Imagine, such a man, looking at a group of men about to throw stones at someone who contravened the laws he swear by when appeared another man who quietly, bend towards the ground and wrote something with his fingers.

As he watched the learned men holding fragmented stones taken from the tablets of stone that came from a sacred mountain began to cast a curious look at the man who was writing on the ground, he wondered about the man’s intent.

As the man finished writing on the ground of men’s dusty heart, he looked up and said this to the learned men of the law holding stones that came from the tablets of stone that were carved out of the sacred mountain:

Take a good look at what’s in your mind and heart before you throw that book of laws on someone. If you can say without shame that you lived true to your conscience and heart; have not continued to live in violation of the higher laws of the heart, then perhaps, you maybe found worthy to interpret and apply the laws of stone that were carved out of the sacred mountain.

When he finished speaking, the learned men dropped their stones and soon disappeared.

The man who wrote on the dusty ground then said:

Unless your uprightness exceeds that of the uprightness of these hypocritical learned men, you shall not enter in by the Garden Gate.

The one who contravened the laws was given a new lease of life by the man who wrote on the dusty ground.

Nihilist said...

I've just had a chance to read the Today paper, and apparently some correction might be in order:

Oral and anal sex between consensual heterosexual couples will be decriminalised.

The same does not apply to homosexuals, however. The article cites senior minister of state and home affairs Ho Peng Kee as saying it's to do with values, and that the penal code "should reflect the values of Singapore society"

I am instantly reminded of Yawning Bread's article on a speech Balaji gave, part of which, Balaji stressed that, "in matters of censorship, the government was acting in accordance with what the larger society would want."

Oddly enough, towards the end of the article, they then say that MHA believes Singapore is not ready to decriminalise homosexuality, but "in a nod to changing social mores(emphasis mine), [they] won't be proactive in enforcing the section against adult males engaging in consensual sex with each other in private."

Law is strange.

Anonymous said...

"Under Section 298, it is an offence to say words meant to wound religious feelings."

"Jesus Christ is the truth, and the ONLY way to God." Sounds familiar?

So... why aren't any churches raided and their leaders arrested on Sundays yet?

It's not just religion. This kind of politically correct, 'you don't offend me, I don't offend you' tripe on this island simply irritates me.

Also, don't expect much good and just laws to come out of a kangaroo court.

Anonymous said...

IIRC, it was not too long ago when every August, homosexuals from Singapore and coming to Singapore can have some fun time at Sentosa every August. Some news articles even obliquely praised the 'pink dollar'.

I guess the gambler's dollar is migtier than the pink one now. Who would have guessed...

Anonymous said...

Has his wife's leaky hole become so dry that LKY has to change the law so he can use some other hole?

Anonymous said...

i didn't read the actual changes, but ST did say that some of the things you say are unchanged were actually changed...

[As anticipated, oral and anal sex among consenting heterosexual adults is no longer a criminal activity. Also, a husband can no longer claim marital immunity if he rapes his wife in circumstances which show that the marriage has clearly broken down, such as in defiance of a Personal Protection Order.]

luther blissett said...

imagine i jio 5 frds who are driving for some drinking session.. we might be arrested outside the pub for "unlawful gathering" with an intend to commit drink driving..

Anonymous said...

What's the big fuss ? Not like anyone's been convicted of homosexuality here ! Sporns should focus on more relevant issues like widening income gap !

Jolly Jester said...

Seems that Mr Wang has misread, most of the sexually related issues in the penal code that he pointed out are actually amended.

The legal standpoint on homosexuals has not changed, although "law enforcers will continue not to be proactive in enforcing the section against consensual sex in private." (from business times)

However, why does MHA need another option (besides the sedition act) to punish those "“Promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion or race, and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony"?
Perhaps those who are more legally savvy can enlighten me...

The clarifications on "unlawful assembly" to include whose "common object is to commit ANY offence" seems to be pointedly directed at the tactics of CSJ. This gives the govt more power to interpret it, which i think is a further set back for freedom of assembly in Singapore.

Anonymous said...

267C. Whoever makes, prints, possesses, posts, distributes or has under his control any document containing any incitement to violence or counselling disobedience to the law or to any lawful order of a public servant or likely to lead to any breach of the peace shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 5 years, or with fine, or with both.”.

Anyone owning Gandhi's, Martin Luther King's, Nelson Mandela's biographies had better burn them immediately.

Any links in your browser to discussions of civil disobedience had better remove them immediately.

Long live justice and peace in Singapore.

YCK said...

Anna, Soulburnz, Nihilist and others,

Hope I have not missed anyone. Interesting that "religious feelings" (and "racial feelings") have attracted so much attention. However, some postings I in my view seemed to over-emphasize the Christian penchant for spreading the gospel as a cause of hurt.

However, I am more interested in the question what if it hurts "cultural feelings". Specifically, when the Chinese community is targeted by evangelical Christians, "cultural feelings" may be hurt. The emphasis on culture here is due my belief that Chinese frequently practise folk religion. It is amorphous without clear creed or canon. Practitioners do it by force of habit and imitation of their predecessors without clearly professing any religious belief. There can be neither orthodoxy or heterodoxy. As I see it the line between culture and religion is irrecoverbly blurred. My question is where does the changes to the Code address this?

Having said this one should not conveniently put the blame of hurt feelings on the Christian. They are not a monlithic group. Here is a sample of some I found:

The Catholics with respect to Chinese rites performed for the dead seem more tolerant. From this bulletin of the Archdiocese of Singapore, the Catholic views of participation in what it called "veneration of the dead" seems quite understanding, allowing it as long as it is not "inherently evil" and drew a line at certain rites such as burning of joss paper.

The Protestants would seem to have a less catholic (pun intended) views of the cultural practices of the Chinese. But even so, there is a diversity of views. I have found two sites expressing the somewhat less accommadating views.

The local Presbyterian (I think) Far Eastern Bible College published an article in its journal, The Burning Bush, entitled "Filial Piety and Burial Customs" which argued strongly against their observance.

The the Methodist (I think) Asbury Theological Seminary in the USA has a student's dissertation looking at matters of contextualization of the faith to local cultural and religious realities. It suggested that if rightly done, it would not lead to either wholesale rejection of local practices as base and evil nor to syncretism between Chritianity and local beliefs. Sounds reasonable? Specifically, it examined fengsui. I did not really have the attention span to finish it :b You can read this very long work if it appeals to you.

I will throw in this link to SFCCA on local Chinese cultural practices just for completeness.

I hope I have lent a more moderate voice on the matter. Only when all people can appreciate the merits of other views and discuss all openly can we have a truly harmonious multicultural and multireligious country. The little tinkering with the Code is hardly up to the task. Make that the same with a major overhaul.

Anonymous said...

Speaking about offending religious feelings... the SG government banned the site chick.com, which was famous (notorious?) for its fundamentalist Christian tracts. The most famous of them all was one titled 'This was your life!'. That site was also strongly anti-Catholic, and anti-Islam. Telling it like it is.

Typical political correctness enforced by the government. Like the recently set up multi-faith centre advocating ecumenism. It is now a potential crime to evangelise to non-believers.

Signs of the times abound.

P.S: If you want to visit banned websites such as chick.com try using anonymous proxies. Do some googling and you'll find what's necessary.

KiWeTO said...

i'm surprised that untrained lawyers are doubting on Mr Wang's ability to read a piece of law amendement proposals.

What Mr Wang is saying is that at the end of it, the law hasn't really changed in its intent or purpose. The wording may have been changed. (cosmetic?!) So?!

What Mr Wang is also wondering about is why the changes seem to be moving sideways (and backwards) rather than progressive for a better society?

Maybe I should doubt the faculties of such readers, since they so easily doubt another's.

Or maybe its just our only-model-answer education system doing its job. No need to think, just regurgitate.



E.o.M.

Rowen said...

Hmmm....

Yes the penal code should be amended.

Sodomising another human should be consider as a crime.

However, the definition of sodomising is not in the penal code.

Sodomising should include,

Poking and peneration of parts which are considered as un-natural like the anus or the mouth or another animal.

Being not a lawyer, i am not sure whether it is a good thing. I speak only as a citizen

Just my 2 cents worth

Phoebe said...

Hey! If you support the Sentosa IR concept - Atlantis Sentosa, hope you can visit my blog at http://atlantissentosa.blogspot.com to root for it!

Jolly Jester said...

Kiweto,

I(and some other readers) don't doubt Mr Wang's legal reading ability, but it seems (from his posting) that Mr Wang himself has not read the proposed amendments on the law(the primary source) and it seems that he missed out the ST's story, as the ST report did say the amendemnts (on the sex issues, abuse issues) were directed in the way Mr Wang said MHA did not do.

It seems to me that Mr Wang was simply writing in response to one part of the ST report only without any reference to the primary sources, hence the many errors in his reading. I am hoping that Mr Wang would read the primary source and perhaps offer some insights on the issue.

whybeillogical said...

kiweto said:

i'm surprised that untrained lawyers are doubting on Mr Wang's ability to read a piece of law amendement proposals.

We shouldn't question what Mr Wang said since he is a lawyer? Just like we shouldn't question PAP ministers and MPs because they are always right?

Maybe I should doubt the faculties of such readers, since they so easily doubt another's.

Or maybe its just our only-model-answer education system doing its job. No need to think, just regurgitate.


You are contradicting yourself here. You accuse readers of mindlessly regurgitating, yet when they question Mr Wang's opinions, you then accuse them of questioning authority. Make up your mind man!

whybegay said...

Firstly I am not whybeillogical.

I am glad the govt took up my definition of an "unlawful" assembly instead of the nonsense people and lawyers sprout.

And about Mr Wang's ability to understand the law, I think he is better at following it.

Anonymous said...

http://singaporealternatives.blogspot.com/2006/11/my-resignation-from-workers-party.html

CORRUPTION, SINGAPORE-STYLE
Part III

See also All in the LEE Family

Lee Kuan Yew claims that he is incorruptible and has - successfully - sold this notion to many throughout the world. On the other hand Singaporeans who know better dispute this claim. Let us take a closer look at the facts behind Lee's boast.

Lee Kuan Yew & Sons
If this heading sounds more like the name of a company, that's because it is. Singapore is still run by Lee Senior. Yes, he has given up the post of Prime Minister and Secretary-General of the People's Action Party. But there is still one post that he has not relinquished - Chairman of the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GSIC) which manages the country's financial reserves of more than $60 billion. Lee knows that in the island republic, money is power and Goh Chok Tong can have all the titles he wants. Lee still calls the shots. He once told reporters that if he senses that things are not right, he would send a note "down" to the Prime Minister.

With his power, Lee knows that he can manipulate the system and push his sons up to positions of power. Hsien Loong, Lee's older son, miraculously (but meritocratically, insists the senior minister) became a Brigadier-General in the army by the age of 38. Fellow cadets who had attended officer training with him reported that Hsien Loong couldn't even pass his marksmanship test. Then there is the second son, Hsien Yang, who is also this incredibly competent soldier to attain the rank of Brigadier-General while in his thirties. Both have no combat experience.

Hsien Loong, according to the PAP, was so brilliant that he left the army to become Deputy Prime Minister and will soon be Prime Minister. Hsien Yang was also so bright that he also left military service to become the head of the biggest and most lucrative Government-run company, Singapore Telecoms.

Lee genes
Of course, all this intelligence had to come from somewhere. Mother Kwa Geok Choo was apparently responsible for all this. She was so clever that she built up Lee & Lee into one of the biggest law firms in Singapore - never mind the fact that all conveyancing work of the government-owned Housing and Development Board flats were channelled to her firm. Today, she reportedly holds major shares in companies such as Wing Tai, a property development conglomerate, and TIBS, a bus company. Information about how extensive the business arm of the Lee family reaches remains a highly guarded government secret.

Even daughter-in-law Ho Ching is so smart that she now holds the top positions in Singapore Technologies (ST), a major industrial holding company, and the all-powerful Economic Development Board. A few years back she suddenly resigned from ST. One month later, she waltzed back in. No one, least of all the subservient local media dared ask why. It was rumoured that she had differences with a former government minister who was also involved in the company. Even when Micropolis, a computer company run by ST failed, costing Singaporeans S$600 million Ho Ching was never made to account.

How about Lee's siblings? Lee Suan Yew was recently caught with his pants down over the HPL saga (see other story). He was not investigated over the matter even though that was clearly a breach of regulations under the law. Unbelievably, he was subsequently appointed Justice of the Peace! Another brother, Freddy, quit the police force under clouds of suspicion that he was involved in an illegal chap-ji-kee (gambling) racket. He is now the chairman of Vickers Ballas, one of Singapore's biggest brokerage firms. The firm suffered enormous losses in 1998 due to the stock market crash. It was quietly rescued by another brokerage firm belonging to the Government-owned Singapore Technologies. Another Lee brother was given a banking licence to start Tat Lee Bank when other more qualified institutions were denied the opportunity. Recently when Tat Lee went bust due to heavy loan exposure in the Indonesia market, the state-owned Keppel Bank came to the rescue to bail the Lee-owned bank. It was a very astute merger, the Government claimed. Corruption by any other name reeks just as foul.

Meritocracy through nepotism
Do Singaporeans know about all this? If they do, why aren't they speaking up? As in all dictatorships, to speak up and challenge the powers that be would attract so much scorn from the dictator that people prefer to keep quiet - at least for now. If one were to so much whisper "Corruption!" by the Lee family, defamation suits come raining down. With a judiciary that has Lee's intimidating face firmly etched in its mind whenever it delivers judgments, verdicts are predictable.

But as with all dictatorships, the time will come when the dirt will surface and the truth is revealed. Perhaps then, Singaporeans will be able to see for themselves how much the Lee family's achievement is due to competence and how much to corruption and nepotism.

By S Chua (pseudonym)

jenny said...

"Under Section 298, it is an offence to say words meant to wound religious feelings."
Say, I drop my file while boarding a bus, and utter "Jesus Christ!"
Say someone overhears my remark and claims I am using God's name in vain, and wounded his religious feelings.
I go to jail?

Anonymous said...

From www.chick.com

Judges Increasingly Hostile to Soul Winning

Issue Date: September/October 2006

Navy chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt faces a possible discharge from the service and a fine of up to two years pay. His crime: a sermon at a funeral where he quoted John 3:36 and prayed "in Jesus' Name." His commanding officer proceeded to punish him for his "exclusive" message. The funeral was for a fellow believer and was conducted in a chapel with voluntary attendance. Klingenschmitt appealed the decision to a navy judge who ruled that the punishment was appropriate because his prayer and the scripture: "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him," was offensive to other religious beliefs.

As political correctness continues to seep into every area of government, Bible believers who witness that Jesus is the only way to heaven, are coming under increasing pressure. Since Jesus preached an "exclusive" message, anyone who preaches the "whole gospel" today will be smeared with the same label.

The military is not the only place this is showing up. Prison ministries are also feeling the heat. For years, chaplains and workers have been shut out of prisons because of Chick tracts and their "exclusive" or "divisive" message.

Recently, Prison Fellowship Ministries was sued in federal court for presenting salvation through trust in Jesus as the only remedy for the sins that landed the prisoners behind bars. A "liberty watchdog group" called Americans United for Separation of Church and State persuaded a U.S. district judge to rule that the ministry be shut down.

The judge objected to the "evangelical" practices of Prison Fellowship in their freestyle worship and "belief in the substitutionary and atoning death of Jesus" and His "literal, bodily resurrection… not shared by many other, non-Evangelical Christians."

The most serious offense, according to the judge, was that all other "evangelical" activities were "construed to convert someone and are therefore unconstitutional." Fortunately, the judge's sentence was only to cease the ministry. This same charge in other countries carries the death penalty. Almost every country ruled by Islam's Sharia law has severe punishments, even death, for "converting" to Christianity. One news report recently described how a Christian woman was street witnessing and handing out tracts to some youths in Nigeria. Local Muslim elders were watching and when they learned what she was sharing, claimed that she had insulted Muhammad and directed that the woman must be killed.

Hundreds of Muslims poured into the streets and began beating the woman. The police rescued her and took her to the police station. The mob then threatened to burn down the police station and the police had to release her to the mob to escape with their own lives. She was then clubbed to death.

In parts of India, Christians are being raped and killed by mobs of Hindus, often with police simply watching. In most cases, the charge against the Christians is for converting or attempting to convert Hindus. Satan's ultimate goal is stop soul winning. That is the greatest threat to the world-wide drive for "unity." Even countries like Singapore have "harmony" laws which are, in essence, laws against soul winning. To tell someone he is a sinner and that Jesus is the only one who can save him from their sin is "divisive" and threatens the "harmony" of society.

The drive by the ACLU and Americans United for Separation of Church and State goes beyond defending freedom of religion. They want freedom FROM religion, instead.

Soul winners, we need to work while it is day and we need to vote for government leaders who will defend our freedom to share the gospel, the only hope for this lost world.

Anonymous said...

If 2 homos chose to have consensual sex with each other, please ask ourselves this question : what the fucking business has that got to do us & or the govt ? So why is there such a law that says it is still illegal? And what the hell is the govt saying that the conservative public is not ready ? What logic is this ? Would the Law Minister care to comment ?

Anonymous said...

"It's not just religion. This kind of politically correct, 'you don't offend me, I don't offend you' tripe on this island simply irritates me."

Mmm. Fuck tolerance. I really have to say it. The very meanning of "tolerance" is "to put up with something perceived as negative"; it only leads to high-walls and cultural segregation.

Fuck tolerance, we need understanding.

That entire WSM incident - so many people kept saying, "well I think her flaw was her undiplomatic language", missing the entire problem. What's the point in bearing the same sentiment but shielding it from the public, unless one bears deceptive intent?

What is the point in shielding our true opinions from one another when in reality we do not bother to interact with each other?

Let the words come out; let the temporary furore ensue; let a new equilibrium be reached. And we shall all be the better for it.

YCK said...

Hi John,

Yes the enforced tolerance is offensive and the harmony that follows is worthless. But that does not mean that freedom of expression is a cure-all. Look at the USA with its christian conservative ideology permeated government. People hear what they want. Dialogue only serve its purpose if people would listen to how deeply-seated misconceptions about the other side get debunked.

The strict law is only a stop-gap measure to stop any discontent from boiling over. But once the lid is off we may be worse of than the USA that never has the lid on in the first place. I say we are in a catch 22.

Anonymous said...

What about the law regarding statutory rape? Is it fair to only punish the boy although he is also under the age of 16? And, what about protecting the identity of women who cry 'rape' even after it has been proved that her allegations were false? Why can't the man's identity be protected as well until a verdict has been given?

I am a 21-year-old woman and all this gender inequality against men bothers me.

simplesandra said...

Words meant to wound religious feelings...? Gee, I hear those all the time from church pastors - especially when they belittle other religions like Taoism or Buddhism as "idol-worshpping".

What then? :-)

Anonymous said...

Well, the 666 had already given them the mandate to make stupid change and leave the stupidity unchanged.

There is little we can do about it, perhaps if we are the Ang Mo we can start some demonstration but doing so here is canning plus go squat in Changi Holiday camp or worst ganna shot dead by the MIB (Already ganna warned that our MIB can do that hor. Don’t play play.). And with 80+ against only 3 alternate voices in the house, the one in power can do whatever change they wanted with the laws and there is nothing to stop them or convince them otherwise.

Beside, the next GE is at least 5 years down the look, now is the perfect time for them to be stupid. After all most of us would suffer amnesia 5 years later while the remaining can be bought or fixed.

Welcome to the one-party Utopia, for the MIW.

Anonymous said...

expanding Section 298:

nice divide and conquer tactic to maintain hegemony.

YCK said...

Hi simplesandra,

I can see where you are coming from. Not knowing much law, I will still hazard a guess why the Code cannot do much more than reduce any meaningful constructive dialogue between different communities.

Firstly, many Chinese are folk religionists, i.e. they are not purely of one religion or another. What they do is without any canon or clear tenet with a robust addition of cultural elements. Thus, for most of the community it may be hard to argue that a specific religion has been defamed.

Secondly, as an ethnic group, the pressure of conversion they face is from people who would identify themselves as Chinese in accordance with the CMIO classification on our NRIC. Thus, they cannot alledge that there has been any attempt at de-sinacization, i.e. they cannot claim to be targeted racially.

Thus, the communty is in a kind of grey zone. Neither religious nor "racial". I do not like the last artificial category, which is why I opted to use "ethnic".

recruit ong said...

There is something that is missing in this penal code review.

The emphasis is on blue collar crime. WHat about white collar crime? I am thinking of crimes like corporate fraud, embezzling, and so on. Why not hang those who steal more than say $1 miilion dollars? Or life imprisonment for stealing a peanut?

Like this we will surely stamp out corruption instead of having to pay millions to entice ppl to stay clean.

Anonymous said...

It seems LKY is forseeing that the future generation of potential leaders for Singapore don't see eye to eye with his iron fisted/pseudo democratic ways of governing Singapura.

In the past citizens were willing to "surrender" some fundamental freedom and rights for stability during those turbulent times. It is only natural that over time these freedom and rights must be return to the people.

Anonymous said...

And to add, why the discrimination against women in the armed forces?

"Look at the USA with its christian conservative ideology permeated government. People hear what they want. Dialogue only serve its purpose if people would listen to how deeply-seated misconceptions about the other side get debunked."

To me, the "lid" has been taken off before. There is the Sedition Act of 1918, plenty of arrests against dissidents and people who spoke out against racial injustice, as well as toleration of the KKK in the South and so forth.

I don't think the US is permeated with fundamentalism: Christianity was its founding religious culture, just like Judaism is arguably the founding religious culture of Israel, Islam the founding culture of Iraq and so forth (Saudi Arabia and Iran excluded because they have way less religious freedom).

To me, people like Pat Robertson go on to say ridiculous things but due to the nature of free speech they easily get shot down. I do think freedom of expression will have wide-positive effects, though one might have the initial pain of exposing deep scars. Interaction resolves things. How many times have we argued with those who had broadcast their grievances with us and we thought them our enemy, only to become closer friends?

My grievance with the US is not so much as the nature of freedom of expression and having the lid off than the current state of politics. There exists a plutocracy in the American government system: the rich can very much afford to control the media and win elections and policies on the merit of their wealth (through advertising) rather than their actual competence or skill. (Singapore's "meritocracy" is also merely another form of plutocracy.) Then we get reduced to the ridiculous polemics and partisanship which arises out of a plutocratic system. This often happens because of the elitist nature of representative democracy, with little direct participation from citizens as possible.

The establishment says that Singapore can't afford to have these polemics given that we're only a small island with no natural resources, and our economy will collapse and this is why the government needs to regulate the press and impose Out-of-Bounds restrictions and blah blah blah. They fail to see the point (or rather, they very well do, but they spout out rubbish anyway) that this is not a product of freedom of expression, but a product of non-participation.