Broad laws to make all public expression of any opinion illegal

Nafiz’ story (see https://twitter.com/kixes/status/1173880018679685120?s=21 or the article below for a summary) is an example of how systemic oppression works in Singapore.

First, self-censorship: you are pressured to voluntarily not express your opinion. Then, marginalisation: if you refuse to self-censor, you are excluded and made invisible. Third, intimidation: if you insist on being visible, Singapore laws are so broad as to effectively make all public expression of any opinion illegal (in this case, it is a criminal offence under the Public Order Act to take part in a public assembly or procession without a Police permit – a public assembly or procession is defined as one or more persons).

In this way, oppression can be excused under “rule of law”. It’s unlikely Nafiz will face prosecution (that would cross a line and make the authoritarianism too clear-cut), but the real damage is fear and intimidation being sowed in the wider population, with the clear lesson not to express an opinion contrary to the official government position.

And the crucial aspect – the real tragedy – is that all this happens not because of a directive from those in power, but merely out of fear and caution by those in middle management. Authoritarianism today is far more sophisticated than jack-booted thugs. It’s boring, bureaucratic, and administrative.

 

* Facebook post by Thum Ping Tjin.

 

 

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14 Responses to “Broad laws to make all public expression of any opinion illegal”

  • Harder Truths:

    A small island known for gambling all its assets cannot last long once the money runs out to pay the bills.

    The old gangsters will leave and then new gangsters will move in. Regardless of who is in charge $G locals will always fear them.
    it is easy to make $G locals fear anything. Even Milo.

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  • Ant:

    Just a another day in paradise – Phil Collins

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  • TruBlu:

    NTOICE TO THE PUBLIC: PLS NOTE THAT WE ONLY ACCEPT ‘PRAISES’ AS LEGAL COMMENTS/PUBLIC OPINIONS.

    ANY PUBLIC CRITICISM WILL BE TAKEN AS SERIOUS OFFENCE AND WILL SERIOUSLY DEALT WITH.

    SO,BEFORE YOU OPEN YOUR MOUTH OR START WRITING,ENSURE YOU ONLY ‘SING PRAISES’.

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  • TruBlu:

    PS: EVEN IF YOUR PRAISES ARE FALSE,THEY WILL STILL BE GRACIOUSLY ACCEPTED.

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  • annon:

    “And the crucial aspect – the real tragedy – is that all this happens not because of a directive from those in power, but merely out of fear and caution by those in middle management.”

    You can find them in SQ too… very entrenched, cannot be removed even with laser treatment.

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  • rukidding:

    Oh,….finally someone also “share” the same opinion as those “awoken”.

    But sad to say,…those who have “awoken” are now slowly being “marginalised” by Foreign talents,

    These Foreign talents will now be “very well taken care “….because they will be first “fatten” and “addicted”,…then being “slaughtered” when they become the next group of “New sillyzeans”…

    …and the “Merry go round” start “rolling” again for another batch of “foreign talents”.

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  • how can it be?:

    so we cant be refered to as a democratic country, cant we?

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  • not all kacang puteh rebels:

    aiyoh. a thought experiment (after observing what the white monkey idiots are doing or have been doing all along) ? make all the rules as strict as possible until one is doubtful whether he is doing something “legal” (wayang rules can always be manufactured by the white idiots like 4 = 5 and selected = elected) even when trying to breathe (figuratively speaking lar) ?

    once in a while (don’t do it too often as the novelty factor may wear off and the efficacy of freshness is no longer there), “whack” the most influential or credible rebels (not all kacang puteh rebels) or those who pose the greatest threats to the white monkey idiots or have better chance in making political inroads to dilute the white idiotic dominance ?

    so “forever”, daft sinkies will say that there are no good oppo (but got elrection hor) and the white idiotic doggy boys will also help to happily propagate & reinforce the message to further indoctrinate the daft sinkie minds ?

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  • Don’t try to rationalise?:

    Sinkies are an oppressed lot. The people pretend it is not.

    Off course it is and they are so afraid of Shame………unlike hongkees.

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  • Lei Sor Hai:

    Fark that noisy female customer at Isetan Westgate. These are the typs that should br gagged by law.

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  • justanothercitizen:

    When there is a general permeation of fear, an election of representative for governance is only pseudo-democracy.

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  • Familee Law:

    The laws are made broad and ambiguous on purpose, so as to cause self censorship and shift the burden of proof to the public.
    It is very easy to cross the line as there is no line or no fixed line, making it even more exciting for stupid sinkies.
    Such challenge will definitely separate the grains from the chaffs, like those with real balls and those carrying fake ones.
    The familee law is now popular and copied in brotherhood states like China.

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  • Well Educated fools:

    And this system with all its flaws is what the majority thinks is the best in the world as they are filled with gratitude for being a citizen here. Some do not see any need for improvement. They want more of the same .

    The govt they voted is their govt.
    The govt we never voted is ??? Our govt?

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  • Japanese kpkb ...:

    “powerful people” can say whatever they want, while “people who have an opposing opinion can’t say anything,”

    He could be refering to …

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