The Online Citizen

Chiam: Why do battle against voices of the people?

Chiam: Why do battle against voices of the people?
December 08
22:00 2013

chiamToday, Minister Chan Chun Sing said that the PAP will “do battle everywhere as necessary” and not concede physical and cyber space to get their message across.

I’m not sure if I’m the only one who thinks this sounds like government propaganda. We live in a democratic nation, and I hope the government knows and respects that. Already, our press standards and rankings are among the lowest globally.

I do not understand why the PAP wants to fight dissenting voices, since the voices come from the voters. It doesn’t make sense for the PAP to fight those who have put them in power. The government’s policies have created much unhappiness. The Opposition spends much of its time helping the people and listening to their needs.

Many will remember that the Prime Minister apologised to the Opposition for speaking about his intention to “fix” them during the 2006 General Election.

Will the Minister similarly apologise for stating his intention to do battle against the voices of the people?

Chiam See Tong
Secretary-General, Singapore People’s Party

Read up Minister Chan Chun Sing’s speech here. 

  • Joe Tan

    spot on mr Chiam! I respect u. It seems like the PAP is trying to silence online dissent.

    • Stand up for Justice

      Not just online ; every form of dissent is actually not tolerated.
      They will end up like the EMPEROR with no clothes on cheered on by their own sycophants and hypocrites…….. till the TRUTH slaps them in the face.

  • Stand up for Justice

    Mr. Chiam
    We not only respect you, we love you too !
    Well said Sir.
    Good people fight villains. Villains fight against people’s voices of concern

  • Alson Yong

    My apologies Mr Chiam if I sound rude. While I agree that the issue of the online space is highly contentious, I disagree with how you have interpreted Minister Chan’s words. It can be so easy to use what he said and equate it to quashing of dissent but in his case I do believe he meant battling sedition, slander and the likes on the Internet. And yes, as distasteful as some of these online personalities may be, you are right in saying that they are Singaporeans and in this aspect they are from ‘our people’ and hence the government is fighting such ‘voices’. But let us not equate spiteful, hateful and mindless ‘voices’ with dissent. I sat in a dialogue session with the Minister and asked him about this exact issue. While I still hold some reservations about the ‘policing’ of the Internet, I also cannot help but agree with his assertion that we need better debates online rather than the incessant and demeaning name-calling etc. Please do not misunderstand – I do not refer to one’s command of language, I meant the way in which we carry ourselves and our arguments online. And yes, I would say that our press and such could do with much improvement but whose yardstick are we using to measure what we keep touting as ‘democracy’ or ‘freedom’ or ‘liberty’?

    The time for blanket statements is past. What we need now is to define and refine, and be absolutely clear on what exactly we are unhappy with and whether this unhappiness should be ameliorated by the government and why should it – not just saying that its our ‘right’ because that’s not answering anything.

    Again, I apologise. I seem to have detracted from the main point. Hahaha.

    • simple

      If you are looking for sleezgy comments you can always find them in the blogsphere. Level headed readers know how to block them off as cheap thrills and cheap coffee-shop talk. Most of these are found by people commenting on blogs written by their owners and not by the blog owners. In the main, blog owners may be critical but are generally civil. In its sad that among the most well regarded, objective and civil blog sites are like Yawning Bread and Breakfast Network which sadly are being hounded and threatened by the establishment to go out of commission. The bloggers are messengers of issues unpleasant to the emperor’s ears who then are shot.