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Managing the tensions of tribal politics

With all the attention drawn to the Committee of Privileges these past several days, something important has gone under the radar.

It has to do with Minister Lawrence Wong who wrote a marvel. Not for its literary depth or intellect rigour, but rather for its brazenness in continuing the PAP’s justification in its undemocratic rule.

Titled “Managing the tensions of tribal politics” (ST, 23 Nov 2021), the piece was actually the full text of his speech he gave at the Institute of Policy Studies.

Now, if you’ve been around politics in this country long enough, you’ll know that coming from a PAP man using words like “race”, “harmony”, “community”, “democracy”, “conflict”, the thesis can only go in one direction – the warning against the ills of democracy and the continued employment of censorship and detention without trial to keep the peace.

See what I mean: “Our founding leaders…took tough but necessary action,” Mr Wong predictably extolled. “They invoked the Internal Security Act [ISA] against chauvinists of all ilk.”

Apparently so. And against their elected parliamentary colleagues on the other side of the House no less. Mr Wong’s predecessors incarcerated scores of opposition politicians and activists in the 1960s and 70s. One MP was locked away for more than three decades with nary a legal charge – and all because he refused to confess that he was a communist his captors accused him of being.

Years later, the ISA was used against chauvinists of another ilk – social activists fighting for the poor. Now, they were accused of being Marxists. Slapped, kicked and psychologically brutalised, they were forced to confess. For good measure, the government put them on TV to make the “confession” public.

With the opposition emasculated, cvil society brow-beaten, the media crushed into a “nation-building” microphone, we have now, according to Mr Wong, become a “Singaporean Singapore”.

Of course, such harmony must be tended to. Hence, Mr Wong’s pronouncement that the “harmonious state of affairs will always be on a knife-edge; so it needs constant attention and careful management.”

And so, the Singaporean society trundles along, constantly reminded that the without the PAP’s undemocratic rule, society will just fall apart.

This is why laws are introduced and rules are changed to enable the ruling clique to maintain its grip. It was the GRC system first that put gerrymandering on steroids, followed by the introduction of the Public Order Act that outlawed protests even by one single body, then the change of the constitution that further narrowed persons “qualified” to be president, then the enactment of POFMA that restricted online debate and, most recently, the passing of FICA that gives the government unprecedented power to further accuse anyone of being aided and abetted by foreigners.

I’ve spoken repeatedly about this gradual political suffocation of our society. At a time when opening up the political system is critical given the changing needs of the country, the continued approach of maintaining fear and control will do this country irreparable harm.

Many have asked why I continue the political struggle after so many years. It is such utterances by this young Minister and his group – unable to imagine a new and enlightened form of governance that this nation so desperately needs – that keeps me going.

Resisting them and bringing about a hopeful future for ourselves and our children is the only thing to do.

 

Dr Chee Soon Juan

 

 

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READER COMMENTS BELOW

23 Responses to “Managing the tensions of tribal politics”

  • oxygen:

    LABELING AND STIGMATIZING PEASANTS as “lesser mortals” is not tribal politics of class division then what is “tribal politics” in PAPpypolitics’ minds?

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  • Fraud Exposers Association:

    From the way the PAP has bungled again and again in the management of the Covid-19 Pandemic over the last two years, we know now that without the PAP, things will not be worse but better for the masses in all respect.

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  • xoxo:

    Maybe the PAP GOVT wants to compile The Little White Book for indoctrinising our young in school?

    The commies in Sin City wear white.

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  • theforgottongeneration:

    The 3 clowns just trying to impress their boss in their own different ways, hoping to be crown the next PM:

    1) LW – trying to sound intellectual when selling BS;
    2) OYK – shooting all kinds of nonsense becos he knows he has nothing to lose and possibly all to win.
    3) CCS – brazenly unashamed to be sia suay trying to win points for boss.

    Apparently, Wong, Ong and Chan each belongs to different tribes even within PAP, yet still want to lecture Singaporeans of “tribal politics”, hor. Just look at HSK – clearly the marginalized tribe now.

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  • xoxo:

    Sorry,meant to say indoctrinating instead of indoctrini$ing.
    Thanks.

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  • Are PAP Classic Liars:

    What had Lawless Wong done to explain his lie-facts about Store of Value in relevant layman terms applicability to day to day living situations regarding brick and mortars that Singaporeans has to probably forcibly part their 100s of 1000s of dollars of CPF retirement monies to (forcibly, it’s in the sense of, based on statutory falsified state home ownership systems, whereby in which documentary evidences has stipulated flats are leased, not owned/purchased).

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  • Harder Truths:

    Dr Chee – we are already screwed. In the next few years you need to learn Hindi, Mongolian and possibly Zulu to survive. And forget about getting an education when foreigners can get jobs using doctorate degrees obtained from vending machines.

    Just tell your kids to become Grab or Foodpanda delivery persons. Or open a coffin business. Or better still emigrate. There is no other option.

    PS. If you are vaccinated you are already fu*ked, so enjoy life while you can and forget about the Regime and three sinful monkeys. If they are jabbed they will die too.

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  • illiterate pap voters:

    With all the attention drawn to the Committee of Privileges these past several days, something important has gone under the radar.

    The current parleeementary is pure FIXING of OPPO, no different from the Aljunied TC saga, no different from the Michael Palmer and Laura Ong vs. Yaw Shin Leong saga.

    1, pap tried to BS cotton sheep about WP wrongs in Aljunied TC saga. hahaha. In the end, pap failed.

    2, pap tried to bad mouth esteemed Mr Yaw SL about a little rub with an ardent female supporter. hahaha. pap Michael Palmer a little later rubbed pap PA director Laura Ong so hard that this pap Michael Palmer had to resign from the pap S$600k pa speaker job.

    3, pap now, almost all of them, are crying for blood over esteemed Ms Raeesah Khan. hahaha. If everyone is honest, pap folks did far more lies in pap parleeement. Because the OPPO in parleeement is small, there is insufficient fire power to indict the pap wrong doers giving rise to the false image that pap folks in pap parleeement all pure whites when some of them are blacker than black.

    Humans, all humans, are more or less the same. Whether OPPO or cotton sheep, all are more or less the same. In pap parleeement, what Ms Raeesah Khan did is not much worse than what most pap folks have been doing, and what any of us would do. Let the one without sin cast the first stone. In this instance, none from pap can cast any stone. Because all pap folks have dirty hands, whether committed by omission or by commission.

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  • Dr Tan Tai Wei:

    And so, Biden thinks that including Singapore in his meeting of democrats would not be conducive?

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  • Pap has the mandate:

    Dr Chee, it is time to think about yourself and your family, you and your family have paid a huge price for gutless Stinkies. Let Stinkies be, they have no future or there is no future for anyone except PAP, their relations and cronies. I am one who left Singapore ages ago and has no regret ever since. I only need to work 10 hours a week and get paid for someone working in Singapore for a month. I am able to buy a few houses freehold and apartments for investment. Please think of your poor wife who is still by your side when you are prosecuted constantly by PAP government.

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  • Realistically:

    Chee Soon Juan’s drvel is Completely DEVIOD of any substantive constructive input. Only self-serving attempt to hopefully get the $16k monthly MP allowance – nevermind the hundreds of PREVENTABLE DEATHS as a result of the epic MISMANAGEMENT of the COVID-19 pandemic as a result of the INCOMPETENT, and murderous policies of the MOH under the incompetent leadership of the emperor without clothes Lee Hsien Loong and Ong Ye Kung……………Like I said, I’d criticised their failed policies right from the BEGINNING on 27 Jan 2020.

    Oh where has Chee Soon Juan been…………..when Ho Ching made billion $ losses…………?

    And other basic screw ups …………?

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  • nansha:

    I will support your cafe business once I get my money…hopefully soon.

    One way is to have your cafe deliver meals to a charity home that I will adopt. That will mean more business for you.

    God bless you and your family.

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  • Sad situation:

    Only hope that the quality of life for most Citizen will improve.
    It is getting worse for the bottom 50%.
    The rich is getting richer here..look at the insane wealth of the Grab founders.
    Should introduce a hefty tax for such wealth.
    Need Xi common prosperity policy…

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  • illiterate pap voters:

    Realistically:
    Chee Soon Juan’s drvel is Completely DEVIOD of any substantive constructive input. Only self-serving attempt to hopefully get the $16k monthly MP allowance – nevermind the hundreds of PREVENTABLE DEATHS as a result of the epic MISMANAGEMENT of the COVID-19 pandemic as a result of the INCOMPETENT, and murderous policies of the MOH under the incompetent leadership of the emperor without clothes Lee Hsien Loong and Ong Ye Kung……………Like I said, I’d criticised their failed policies right from the BEGINNING on 27 Jan 2020.

    Oh where has Chee Soon Juan been…………..when Ho Ching made billion $ losses…………?

    And other basic screw ups …………?

    bro, pap failure in managing covid has nothing to do with esteemed Dr Chee SJ.

    did Dr Chee speak up? didn’t he speak up?

    we think whether Dr Chee spoke or didn’t speak is not a problem. It is only when he doesn’t offer his good self to be a candidate during a GE, then, it is a really big problem.

    Because we need more good men and good women to stand against pap during any GE. It is pap’s goal, and it is pap’s constant stirring of hatred amongst OPPO one against another via pap’s large pool of pap PA managed IBs, that we need to fight against.

    If it is against pap, it is for us, and we do our best to support. If we have anger, it is not their fault but pap’s, and we show anger at pap, not at any OPPO badmouthed by pap.

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  • FICA absolutely needed:

    Dr chee, you are fighting a losing battle. many oppo supporters here are actually wanting spore to become like China – one party rule, with a ruler for life !

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  • Realistically:

    The ONE and ONLY ONE issue/concept (& call it what you will) for ANY system of Government, especially the SINKaPOOR system is the CONSTITUTION which, under Article 4, is the SUPREME LAW of the land…………….and that the RULE OF LAW means that EVERYONE, including the emperor without clothes; the Chief Justice (& all supposed “Judges”) MUST obey the LAWS and USAGES of the COMMON LAW SYSTEM………………what is ‘LAW’ is defined in ARticle 2 of the Constitution.

    Judges are appointed CONDITIONAL UPON AND PREDICATED per Article 97(1) under which the judges MUST maintain FIDELITY to the Constitution stated CLEARLY AND UNAMIBIGUOUSLY by their OATH of office per the First Schedule (Form 6) of the Constitution.

    Whatever CRAP by the likes of Chee Soon Juan and others CONTRARY TO, IN CONTRAVENTION OF, OR DISREGARD for the Constitution is PURE TOTAL RUBBISH…………..while hundreds of sinkkies DIE PREVENTABLE DEATHS and other aspects of the governance system stated by NONE others than then MTI Minister Chan Chun Seng…………….

    Chee Soon Juan, Andrew Loh etc are, to me just CHARLATONS, hoping to luxuriate on the $16k monthly MP allowance………..while sinkies can DIE preventable deaths; suffer miseries, loss of jobs etc……….while the emperor without clothes and his regime (& hopefully Chee Soon Juan etc can join the wayang-party MPs just to wayang). All the talks etc about CECA are just SIDE SHOWS………..

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  • Realistically:

    It is of course MOST DISAPPOINTING that my comments about EVERYONE being subject to and must obey the CONSTITUTION of the Republic of Singapore has been CENSORED………………….be that as it may, SINKIES and SINKaPOOR would continue to SUFFER from such ABOMINATIONS…………..

    To even consider about JUDICIAL REVIEW is just LAUGHABLE in the absence of the FIDELITY to the CONSTITUTION………but then SINKIES can continue to be SCREWED by CHARLATONS AND OPPORTUNISTS like the “CONGENITAL LIAR AND CHEAT” ETC

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  • To the $elf-gratifying Pappy$$:

    “Every man is said to have his peculiar ambition. Whether it be true or not, I can say for one that I have no other so great as that of being truly esteemed of my fellow men, by rendering myself worthy of their esteem. How far I shall succeed in gratifying this ambition, is yet to be developed…. The legitimate object of government, is to do for a community of people, whatever they need to have done, but can not do, at all, or can not, so well do, for themselves — in their separate, and individual capacities.”

    - President Abraham Lincoln

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  • pronounce as char-lar-torn:

    //Chee Soon Juan, Andrew Loh etc are, to me just CHARLATONS, hoping to luxuriate on the $16k monthly MP allowance………//

    hello hello hor, who (give name lar, wink wink ??) from the white idiotic gang OR OTHER GANG is not charlaton (pronounce as char-lar-torn ?) ???

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  • white elephant:

    //but then SINKIES can continue to be SCREWED by CHARLATONS AND OPPORTUNISTS like the “CONGENITAL LIAR AND CHEAT” ETC///

    good one ? quite smoky you know ?? are you able to see a much much bigger white elephant in the white forest (or white ROOM hor ??) ???

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  • Ab is Back Again:

    it is the collective failure of the government and the society and the people that after 55 years of independence, we still look at Chinese, Malay, Indian as different tribes. no doubt, our cultures are very different as we come from 3 areas separated by 10 of thousands of kilometers. Singapore, in that sense, is a very artificial creation, unlike say Switzerland where the 3 cultures are geographically congruent and are of the same ethnic stock. why have we not created a Singapore layer over the 3 different cultures? why is there no “Singapore tribe”? some government policies have obviously caused it like forced ethnic mix-up and speak Mandarin campaign. but people own bias and attitudes need to change, and this cannot be done by government. despite our education always encouraging all to be one, students go back to their home and hear racist bias. and while in school, they are more open minded, after leaving school, the prevailing home bias steeps in. if all people don’t do their part, it will take at least another 4 generations before we rid ourselves of tribal metality.

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  • Ab is Back Again:

    continuing on my earlier comment, Singapore is truly lucky that are our minorities, Malays and Indians, have been exemplary. they have never demanded anything and have taken many policies, which could be viewed as anti minority, in good faith. they have not created any unrests. if you look at how minorities behave in most other countries, you can truly appreciate our minorities.

    what are these policies?

    Starting with the least controversial, in my view, is the speak Mandarin policy. I think everybody, including the majority Chinese in Singapore, should be in touch with their culture. hence I am quite sanguine about this. but one drawback is younger Chinese Singaporeans could actually lose some of their roots as we drop hokkien, teochew, hakka, cantonese etc cultures. but more larger impact is that we have a large majority, 75 %, and if they become one homogeneous block speaking mostly in Mandarin amongst themselves, minorities could feel left out or different from the majority. some malays and indians say they felt more integrated into mainstream in the 70s then now.

    then comes ethnic integration housing policy. again, there are good intentions, let people mix more with each other etc. but look at it from another angle, it also means there is Chinese majority in every area, and the malays and indians don’t have any resident area where they have a larger preponderance than around 15 % and 7 % of the area. people may point to some ethnic enclaves in some countries and say they are bad, ghetto etc. but don’t forget there are many many more enclaves in cities around the world that have no issues. no need to go very far, chinese have their enclaves in johor Bahru and kl. it is human nature for one to want to live near people of their own kind. and our minorities are exemplary, Indians are income at same level as Chinese, and while Malay is lower, they have a strong sense of self help gotong royong and peaceful. talking about ghettos in Singapore is meaningless.

    then the most controversial policy would be the officially acknowledged policy of keeping Singapore’s racial balance in same proportion. of course it could be viewed positively that it means we will not let malays or Indians to go down in proportion. but it also means that Singapore has official policy of keeping Chinese at 75 % majority. no country in the world has this kind of racial proportion policy. and since Chinese tfr is half of replacement, it means we have to grant citizenship to 1 to 2 million Chinese from Malaysia and China. once again, the malays and indians have been exemplary and have not even made one noise about it. in other countries, this could be quite explosive. but it also makes us keep thinking of ourselves as different tribes.

    We should discuss and review the above policies. what is great is that the Chinese, Malay and Indians are all cooperative and so we have a good base to start from

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  • Tommy Koh talking cock:

    Straits Times: Singapore left out of summit because US doesn’t see it as a democracy: Tommy Koh

    Singapore is a FAKE democracy. Having the right to vote does not make it a democracy because elections are not free and fair without basic freedoms (free speech, freedom to assemble and an independent judiciary) and a free press.

    The existence of Speaker’s Corner is proof there is no free speech in Singapore. Even one person can be arrested for illegal assembly. In Singapore it is “rule by law” instead of “rule of law”. Singapore is ranked 150+ (out if 180) itpn terms of press freedom proving there is no free press in the country.

    Singapore might have the form (and appearance) of a democracy but in substance it is not. Tommy Koh knows this but he is just another spineless bootlicker. His parents wasted their money on his education.

    Singapore is a PAP-run police state. Call it “North Korea Lite” or an “expensive North Korea”.

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