This website is about your voice, not ours. It would be ironic to talk about human rights and democracy without highlighting your involvement in shaping the discussion.
This week, we will be publishing two full pieces consisting exclusively of a collation of comments YOU have made on TOC’s human rights contributions. In the course of the commentary on these pieces, content has developed that warrants greater exposure and discussion.
This is the primary criteria for selecting the comments that appear in our new innovation, Your Voice: the ability to provoke deeper thought.
The beginning of Your Voice underscores the advantage of new media over the old. The internet is unique in its ability to generate organic intellectual discussion, and is a good microcosm of healthy participative democracies. You, our readers, have proven this by taking the debate to ever higher levels.
Our only input in this process is the selection of comments, as well as editing them for brevity. Ellipses have been used where comments have had to be cut short for length, but we have done so in a way that preserves the original intent of the comment.
In the spirit of free speech and democratic dialogue, keep the comments coming!
Choo Zheng Xi
Your ideas and opinions generated on the issues raised in the article: Citizen Woon
14 June 2008
Solo Bear on June 14th, 2008 1.45 pm
Woon has been living overseas many years. We are all just armchair critics. He knows the global scene better than anyone of us.
To the rest who are “supporters” of Human Rights,
One of the statements issued by Human Rights Groups is the fair and equal treatment and opportunities for immigrants. Any takers out there to support the government’s call to support and promote immigrant workforce in Singapore?
Thought so. There’s Woon’s point on “the selective process” of Human Rights supporters.
Silencer on June 14th, 2008 8.01 am
Human rights is indeed often misused as a tool by extremists and other dissidents. However, to extinguish all notion of discussion about human rights because of this is to operate on a patient with an axe; there are merits to the discussion, and one with the people’s mandate such as the Government should take it upon itself as its duty to listen and reflect on the voices of its people.
Inconsistencies are replicated all over the world, in every imaginable subject of contention; this also does not translate into a reason to discourage discussion.
Alan Wong on June 14th, 2008 10.11 am
At the very least, I think every Singaporean citizen should
have the very basic freedom to question the integrity of
our Ministers on account of public opinion and concern.
Daniel on June 14th, 2008 1.49 pm
“However, Woon’s words must be seen in the global context. That’s because Human Rights is about global issues and not just Singapore’s.”
I agree with what you say about human right in global perspective. However Woon’s word are not likely to direct at global perspective but locally. The coincidence at which he put this remark clear indicate that it is used to explain for Dr Chee’s action. It will be appropiate not to even comment about worldwide issues now when we ourselves didn’t even experience what is meant as human right locally. Woon’s word comes a time when the government need to justify their action again Dr Chee, and it comes in handy using a bootlicker just like Chua sister. If they really worry about global perspective then he should ought to talk human before the Dr Chee’s case, not in the midst.
We should be astute to detect such intention of Woon. If he really talk about global human right, he should have EQ to keep his mouth shut and not let his IQ to do than raking now. So he either he lack EQ or he direct his remark at Dr Chee.
Claire C on June 14th, 2008 6.35 pm
Common Singaporean: Wants no more than stable shelter, food, income
Youth of today: Wants more than just Gucci, Rebok, Zara Sushi, Korean Food, French Food. They want the world’s best underwear to cover themselves. Thinking of Human Rights? The right to have branded goods.
BlackSheep on June 14th, 2008 8.46 pm
Shanmugam and Woon were recently appointed Law Minister and AG respectively. Both have made some controversial statements. I take it as a way of announcing their presence to the general public.
Freedom of Assembly is not going to happen with this gov’t and its paranoia. Not for a long while. Permit given only during elections.
The focus should be on Freedom of Expression before we think about Freedom of Assemby. We are already expressing ourselves in TOC but there is a need to know the level of participation , the numbers, especially those who will be eligible to vote in 2011. I think TOC has to come up with some kind of mass marketing strategy to reach out to the public.
Dr Syed Alwi on June 14th, 2008 11.58 pm
There ARE conflicts and contradictions between Islamic Law and Universal Declaration of Human Rights as discussed in the article in the link below :
In this sense – Walter Woon has a point. I can accept some small – very small – loosening of Human Rights in a multi-cultural setting.
BUT and its a big but –
We cannot take cultural relativism too far. Otherwise one can justify the Myanmar junta’s actions during the cyclone Nargis aftermath as being part and parcel of Myanmar’s political culture !
Look – the only guarantee we have against tyranny, corruption and oppression IS Human Rights and Democracy !
If you give up your rights – then how will you defend yourself against tyranny ?
Walter Woon better have a good answer to that question……………..
Anonymous on June 14th, 2008 11.49 pm
As Voltaire had declared, “I may not agree with what you have to say but i will defend your right to say it”
Chris Patten stated, “In a democracy everybody has a right to be represented, including the jerks.”
Because in a democracy, dissidence is tolerated. Rights activists are also fighting for the rights of even those who disagree with them.
In an autocracy, they have the real fanatics there: They don’t disagree/argue/reason with you, they just simply give their opponents a bullet to save all that trouble.