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A+ for Authoritarianism

Singapore will soon take another step towards becoming a totalitarian state with the introduction of the Foreign Interference (Countermeasures) Bill, or FICA, in Parliament last Monday. Independent Singaporean journalist Kirsten Han analyzes the problems with the bill effectively here. As she summarizes,

The official narrative is that this law will protect Singapore from foreign meddling in our domestic affairs and governance. We’re told that it’s about safeguarding our political sovereignty. FICA, like the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA), will take on hostile information campaigns, so that Singaporeans can decide on Singaporean issues without the sneaky intervention or sabotage of outsiders.

The reality, though, is that FICA is yet another vaguely worded piece of legislation, designed to give the authorities maximum discretion to cast a wide net over all sorts of activities — including advocacy work by civil society organisations and individual activists. Like POFMA, it hands large amounts of power over to the government, without accompanying checks and balances that will protect people from arbitrariness and potential abuse.

Given the fact that the People’s Action Party (PAP) government has more than two-thirds majority in Parliament, the bill is bound to pass after its Second Reading scheduled for the next parliamentary sitting. So what can we do? Singaporean writers and literary organizations can together issue an Open Letter objecting to the overly broad definitions and provisions of the Bill. What is at stake here is a free and open society. Singapore Unbound would gladly sign up to such an Open Letter. Such a letter will not prevent the Bill from becoming law, but at least the people of Singapore will know that their writers will not stand for the imposition of wide and arbitrary powers on the country.

For the longer term, the PAP must learn the election costs of trying to exert totalitarian control over a people who are awakening to their rights and freedoms. Who cannot abide the arrogance of the governing elite, insulting their fellow parliamentarian by describing him as “illiterate” and coming from “a lousy school.” The PAP drew the wrong lesson from its losses at the last election, but so is in apparent need of a remedial class.

 

Jee Leong Koh

 

 

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READER COMMENTS BELOW

31 Responses to “A+ for Authoritarianism”

  • xoxo:

    VB?
    How did get to be MINISTER?
    Must have been a mistake!

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  • Harder Truths:

    Never underestimate the ballsless mentality of $G sheeple. They will always vote in the government they deserve no matter what.

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  • Billy ma:

    PAP lhl & his brunch of very rich yes-men may be able to easily change & add laws for the own purposes, but there’re many issues that none of them has moral authority to even open their mouth.

    First off, lhl. He has zero rights to talk about family, family harmony, or take care of family. I don’t believe he is so shameless to even mention the word ‘family’

    That gal in istana won’t ever dare to talk about meritocracy.
    Not a single citizen cast a vote to put her there. That’s why you don’t see her ever dare walking among the people freely.

    Vivian, of course can’t talk about not telling lies.

    Ah chan can’t talk about empathy. He has zero sense of the concerns of Singaporeans like making sure there’s enough food ready at home.

    Ong, he can’t talk about Singaporeans caring about Singaporeans because this is extremist behaviour.

    The list can go on & on.

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  • Don't be callous:

    This idiotic bala is a pain in the a*s wherever he goes.

    Blew $300m budget for kiddies games, didnt show empathy for the low income with his 3 sarcastic meals.

    Now badmouthed colleague parliamentarians and other school for doing duties.

    Utterly disgusting!

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  • Singaporeans R Free Riders:

    Dear Jee,
    Can you read more and travel more to open your eyes.

    If passing the FICB is authoritarian, than Democratic ROc Taiwan is also authoritarian.

    Democratic Progressive Party also pass a law called anti-infiltration law to prevent foreign interference in the islands politics.

    Democratic Fake Degree President Tsai approve anti-infiltration law.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhkGmxzgd08

    But the Democratic Progressive Party are morons. They allow Americunts to interfere but disallowed others to interfere.

    What a bunch of democratic morons.
    PAP supporters please copy/paste/print/share my post widely.

    In $$$ We Trust, Prai$e be with the $$$, Glory be with the $$$

    GE2024.PAP.Guarantee.Win.Again
    Majullah $PAP$ $PAP$ Huat$ Huat$ Huat$

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  • oxygen:

    STARVED OF POLITICAL OXYGEN, LEE-jiapore will die off economically. Covid-19 pandemic demonstrate how discrepit and irrelevant is our economic structure – the legacy of dictatorial rule deprived from challenge from WITHIN – the world outside competing against us MUST BE ALL LAUGHING.

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  • oxygen:

    THE POPULATION WHITE PAPER nicknamed “Toilet Paper” were shafted down the throats of those dissenting in 2011 after the Punggol by-election.

    See what happened now of a broken pandemic-inflicted economy BUT STILL DESPERATELY DEPENDENT on massive overload of cheap foreign labor and natives got retrenched can only grit their teeth in pain and disgust of this economic mismanagement and helplessness.

    PAPpupolitics/PAPpynomics is clueless of turning the economy around – claiming dissenting voices are playing to race and xenophobia when it is about job, economic security and national survival sustainability going forward.

    NOTE THAT THE ECONOMIC STRATEGIES COMMITTEE REPORT OF 2011 have long warned governance of risks of sudden death collapse of its Population Recycling Economic policies which they described in its recommendation in one word called ‘UNSUSTAINABLE”.

    I supposed scholarly research could still find copies of this ESC report 2011 collecting dusts in our national museum of economic history.

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  • Heaven has eyes:

    A sad state of affairs.
    61% are u happy now?
    From 1st world status, soon to go down to maybe 160th place..like SG’s news media’s position.
    Seriously what is this PAPGov trying to hide?

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  • PAP mandate strong:

    Another step towards becoming a totalitarian state ?

    That sounds too serious.

    We are still far from example the below case happen in China.

    https://video.h5.weibo.cn/1034:4681706968645754/4681707187863802

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  • Singaporeans R Free Riders:

    PAP mandate strong:
    Another step towards becoming a totalitarian state ?

    That sounds too serious.

    We are still far from example the below case happen in China.

    https://video.h5.weibo.cn/1034:4681706968645754/4681707187863802

    Exactly…Exactly…
    Yes, Singapore is so much better than Democratic Communist Progressive Party.

    Democratic Police flank woman to floor.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnE_8C4KeQA

    PAP supporters please copy/paste/print/share my post widely.

    In $$$ We Trust, Prai$e be with the $$$, Glory be with the $$$

    GE2024.PAP.Guarantee.Win.Again
    Majullah $PAP$ $PAP$ Huat$ Huat$ Huat$

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  • By Such Definition, Real Idiot:

    By such grossly sarcastic ministrial remarks made in a parliamentary session, most parliamentarians, ministers, ex-parliamentarians, ex-ministers, ex-prime ministers, ex-nation builders who came from RI are R’eal I’diots? or R’eal Illiterates? coz it’s a ‘lousy school’, indeed?

    Chan Chun Sing, Josephine Teo, Saktiandi, GCT and TCB should stand up and speak for all past, present and future Fellow Rafflesians. Wow RI is churning R’eal I’diots by definition of this most arrogant insulter of the honorable Parliament.

    Dignity lost, Damage done!

    Cottons Come from Sheep that Joellywell need small space for mating?

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  • Smart Nation:

    Totalitarian regime in whatever form must not be allowed to rear its ugly head. If you cherish freedom, justice, peace, prosperity and happiness for your children, then you must reject dictatorship. For foreigners and naturalized citizens, SG may just be a place of opportunity. If things turn bad, they can always return back to their country. For local citizens, this is your home.

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  • Reject Foreign Interference:

    Singaporeans should be careful and think critically about what they read here (comments by other forummers) or elsewhere.
    Motivated campaigns by some groups of people to rile up different Singaporeans have been going on. They are using social media, and using extreme language, almost hoping there would be race riots. Who are they? What is their motives? Are they Singaporeans or foreigners masquerading as Singaporeans? Is it part of CCP, Xi Ping plan to expand PRC power over whole of South China Sea and the critically important Malacca Straits?
    Having control of a territory near Malacca Straits would be very useful, and even better if they can have a military base here. Singapore is in a particularly vulnerable position as CCP considers it to be an extended part of China due to its 75 % ethnic Chinese population. With 400k PRC nationals working in Singapore, and another 600k already granted citizenship, there are many CCP sympathizers or even spies here (one even got caught).
    While there are many who are genuinely misled (because data is not shared with them, just narratives), and some are just inherently racist, I believe there are many who are trolls on CCP payroll. I wonder if false narratives to create racial divide and in effect destabilize Singapore part of this game plan?

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  • oxygen:

    @ PAP mandate strong

    COMMIELAND/AH TIONG LAND is a latrine of excr*ment of freedom expression, not far from North Korea and days of the former Soviet Union – the worst benchmark for comparison.

    PAP mandate strong: Another step towards becoming a totalitarian state ?

    That sounds too serious.

    We are still far from example the below case happen in China.

    https://video.h5.weibo.cn/1034:4681706968645754/4681707187863802

    The lens of dictatorship is blind of reality and immune to transformational change as the rest of the world rocket up to new heights of progressive change.

    Mao’s isolation left China in a cave. The end of his life is a blessing for China and the world.

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  • Uselesstankl:

    ALL FOREIGN WORKERS MUST BE PAID MINIMUM SALARY OF $1400, same as locals.

    BECAUSED THEY HAVE TO SPEND/ BUY FOOD AND CLOTHES, AND GST, JUST LIKE LOCALS DO….

    STOP ALL LEVIES TOO !!!

    STOP ALL SUBSIDIES, LIKE DOMITORIES, TRANSPORT, LAUNDRY, BULLSHIT. ETC ETC

    The ” SLAVE TRADE” WILL DIE A NATURAL DEATH !

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  • Pap Crony Capitalist Partisans:

    This is the pseudo-PAP, or what we call the “$Perverted Avaricious Partisan$” who have wittingly innovated an elitist class to operate godless Sinchiapor Incorporated towards their own financial interests by subjugating diligent & decent cpf sheeples into cheap servant workhorses.

    * * *

    “Now I think, roughly speaking, that by leadership we mean the art of getting someone else to do something that you want done because he wants to do it, not because your position of power can compel him to do it, or your position of authority: A commander of a regiment is not necessarily a leader. He has all of the appurtenances of power given by a set of Army regulations by which he can compel unified action. He can say to a human body this: “Rise!” or “Sit down!” And you do it exactly. But that is NOT leadership…
    The freedom of the individual and his personal willingness to follow real leadership are at the core of America’s strength….
    Without God, there could be no American form of Government, nor an American way of life. Recognition of the Supreme Being is the first – the most basic – expression of Americanism. Thus, did the Founding Fathers see it, and thus, with God’s help, it will continue to be.”

    (President Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower)

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  • Reboot:

    More than half Sg are foreign born, many ministers are foreigners.
    FT immigration never stop. What is foreign influence?

    Secondly China also has same law but the use is on activists, dissidents and critics.

    Sg is having similar law and excuse like China, under the pretext of foreign influence.

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  • Tremendous:

    The message from the foreign affairs chief is this “I apologised for what I said to LMW BUT MY ORIGINAL COMMENTS WERE FROM MY HEART”, haha.

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  • really got foreign infiltratio:

    //If passing the FICB is authoritarian, than Democratic ROc Taiwan is also authoritarian.

    Democratic Progressive Party also pass a law called anti-infiltration law to prevent foreign interference in the islands politics.//

    aiyoh. liddat also want to say out ??? the difference lies in the wayang application lar ??? TWN is not wayang 158th environmental standard as far as policktic is concerned lar ???

    if liddat say, can also say that TWN got no PORTMAR leh ??

    in sinkie land, if really really really got foreign infiltration, cannot use Ice-SA (Ice-SA ??) meh ?? even if got no law, you penalize / punish the FI culprits, no one will complain lar since the moral authority is strong to do it is strong hor (who will complain if a country really wants to prevent real FI, not wayang one lar ??? ) ???

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  • PAP mandate strong:

    Well author wuji also said b 4 muz compare 1st world to 1st world for sg governance. But when comes to food, essentials or ntuc muz compare to Malaysia or China ?

    Its expensive to makan in say e.g. Japan. Even USA or Auzzie not cheap.

    By the way , Auzzie > 1000 covid 19 deaths even they close off to rest of the world and reject vaccinations. Sg < 100.

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  • illiterate lousy school RI:

    Singaporeans R Free Riders:
    Dear Jee,
    Can you read more and travel more to open your eyes.

    If passing the FICB is authoritarian, than Democratic ROc Taiwan is also authoritarian.

    Democratic Progressive Party also pass a law called anti-infiltration law to prevent foreign interference in the islands politics.

    Democratic Fake Degree President Tsai approve anti-infiltration law.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhkGmxzgd08

    But the Democratic Progressive Party are morons. They allow Americunts to interfere but disallowed others to interfere.

    What a bunch of democratic morons.
    PAP supporters please copy/paste/print/share my post widely.

    In $$$ We Trust, Prai$e be with the $$$, Glory be with the $$$

    GE2024.PAP.Guarantee.Win.Again
    Majullah $PAP$ $PAP$ Huat$ Huat$ Huat$

    hello cock. it is FICA. don’t know anything don’t say anything.

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  • PAP mandate strong:

    You are one against vaccination.

    真是殺人不見血.

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  • John Richards:

    Vivian. Vivian. Vivian. You’ve gone and done it again.

    First you queried MP Lily Neo’s request to increase help for the less fortunate by asking, ‘You want them to eat in restaurants or hawker centres?’ Real callous of you.

    Then you proudly took selfies with that North Korean murderer. Have you blown it up for your bedroom wall yet?

    And now a totally unwarranted snob of a fellow Parliamentarian. Plus a dig at RI.

    Good luck.

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  • Homeless Cat:

    Authoritarianism – the mark of a government so afraid of its own citizens that it resorts to creating laws to ensure it remains in power.

    And with the pandemic numbers increasing DAILY, who is going to take responsibility? Oh, wait, I know the answer to that. They will say that it is the fault of the people. Again. The ‘it’s never my fault’ syndrome is endemic within the halls of governance and the private sector; the cancer in the former infected the latter – one wonders how best to deal with it in a permanent fashion; so many options, all delicious.

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  • Oops - no Clothe:

    John Richards:
    Vivian. Vivian. Vivian. You’ve gone and done it again.

    First you queried MP Lily Neo’s request to increase help for the less fortunate by asking, ‘You want them to eat in restaurants or hawker centres?’ Real callous of you.

    Then you proudly took selfies with that North Korean murderer. Have you blown it up for your bedroom wall yet?

    And now a totally unwarranted snob of a fellow Parliamentarian. Plus a dig at RI.

    Good luck.

    -
    Forced apology due to a Hot Mic.
    -
    Often times, private conversation reveals real mindset.
    Oops – Vivian just realized he was without clothe !

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  • oxygen:

    @ PAP mandate strong

    AI YAH, where got such thing? Nobody in TRE is against vaccination.

    PAP mandate strong: You are one against vaccination.

    真是殺人不見血.

    Some are opposed to fake contraption of “vaccine” not tested in lab of even animal testing.

    That is why despite runaway so-called vaccination rate achieved, you got this outcome of a mystifying riddle (and no solution, most likely).

    COMMENT: Fully vaccinated? Great news. Now stay home

    https://sg.yahoo.com/finance/news/comment-fully-vaccinated-great-news-now-stay-home-070449176.html

    THAT IS PRECISELY why THE VERY RICH ARISTOCRATS, AND the powerful POLITICAL COWS won’t let their own family members be vaccinated.

    Isn’t this the same in AhTiong Land too?

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  • Singaporeans R Free Riders:

    Homeless Cat:
    Authoritarianism – the mark of a government so afraid of its own citizens that it resorts to creating laws to ensure it remains in power.

    Yes, Democratic Progressive Party, ROc Taiwan ruling government did just that.

    We, PAP, speak with facts.

    民進黨控制媒體 (Democratic control media)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdk7cc6SnD8

    Democratic shutdown media who criticize their party.
    關「中天」台灣新聞自由已死! NCC創惡例台灣成「一言堂」
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erDwQ_E7eLc

    PAP supporters please print/distribute/share my post.
    In Dollar$ We Tru$t. Prai$e the Dollar$. Glory be with the Dollar$

    GE2024.PAP.Guarantee.Win.Again
    Majullah $PAP$ $PAP$ Huat$ Huat$ Huat$
    Singaporeans must be Cheaperer, Betterer, Fasterer
    Workers must accept wage sacrifices to keep businesses going.

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  • Singaporeans R Free Riders:

    Reject Foreign Interference:
    Singaporeans should be careful and think critically about what they read here (comments by other forummers) or elsewhere.
    Motivated campaigns by some groups of people to rile up different Singaporeans have been going on. They are using social media, and using extreme language, almost hoping there would be race riots. Who are they? What is their motives? Are they Singaporeans or foreigners masquerading as Singaporeans? Is it part of CCP, Xi Ping plan to expand PRC power over whole of South China Sea and the critically important Malacca Straits?

    Clap.clap.. well said.. well said..

    I had long cautioned people here that we must not be canon fodder, to be make use of and dumped just like the stopid Hong Kees.

    Did the Americunts make of use the CIA operated National Endowment for Demoncracy and Hong Kong church to instigate the unrest.

    Many church across Hong Kong offer protection to all the violence protestor.
    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-48715224

    Hong Kong protest is very revealing….just look at the money trail..starting from the church to the protestors.

    PAP supporters please copy/paste/print/share my post widely.

    In $$$ We Trust, Prai$e be with the $$$, Glory be with the $$$

    GE2024.PAP.Guarantee.Win.Again
    Majullah $PAP$ $PAP$ Huat$ Huat$ Huat$

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  • oxygen:

    THE IMPERATIVE OF AUTHORITARIANISM is this – send in the steamroller and run over anyone with it who disagrees or the dictator disagrees with.

    That is how “progress” is “achieved”.

    Dictatorship thinks the earth is flat everywhere – they can’t even see Mt Faber is just next to the waters of Singapore’s straits.

    PLSE kids are a lot smarter, they know – no need challenge from the Yale university liberal-thinkers mob.

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  • oxygen:

    ALL SCHOOLS ARE “GOOD” SCHOOLS, those who came from dissenting schools must be educated in “lousy” school.

    This is also how “progress” is “achieved” too besides the earth is BORINGLY “flat” everywhere.

    Just sends in the steamroller whereever the ground is “uneven”, it will do a great job of beautiful even surface after that.

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  • Homeless Cat:

    Your so-called facts are falsehoods. Real facts can withstand the test of extensive scrutiny. And please do not compare Taiwan to Singapore. It is quite unfair. You might as well compare our PM to Barack Obama or Bill Clinton, yes?

    Singaporeans R Free Riders: Yes, Democratic Progressive Party, ROc Taiwan ruling government did just that.

    We, PAP, speak with facts.

    民進黨控制媒體 (Democratic control media)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdk7cc6SnD8

    Democratic shutdown media who criticize their party.
    關「中天」台灣新聞自由已死! NCC創惡例台灣成「一言堂」
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erDwQ_E7eLc

    PAP supporters please print/distribute/share my post.
    In Dollar$ We Tru$t. Prai$e the Dollar$. Glory be with the Dollar$

    GE2024.PAP.Guarantee.Win.Again
    Majullah $PAP$ $PAP$ Huat$ Huat$ Huat$
    Singaporeans must be Cheaperer, Betterer, Fasterer
    Workers must accept wage sacrifices to keep businesses going.

    GD Star Rating
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