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Absurd that citizens are not allowed to speak on race issues while racialised bill passed to create distress on populace

by Khan Osman Sulaiman

Writ for the Reserved Presidential Election has been issued by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong yesterday and preparations had been made to carry out our speech at Hong Lim Park this coming Saturday to voice our concerns over the racialised Presidential Election.

However, we are informed last minute by the National Parks that we will require police permits to speak because the topic touch on racial issues.

It is absurd that the government doesn't allow citizens to discuss/speak/debate on race issues at the speaker's corner but at the same time, passing a bill that has created much distress on the populace.

Although we have Speaker's Corner, there are strict rules and regulations. We have to apply for a separate police permit to touch on issues such as race.

In reserving a Malay candidate for the presidential election, it is inevitable that race will be part of the subject matter should we want to openly call out on the government's policy. Hence, it can never get debated publicly by citizens due to existing regulations.

Even when matters are brought up in parliament, we have seen how it will be swiftly shot down as playing racial politics.

In an open societies, the government is expected to be responsive and tolerant. Its political mechanisms are said to be transparent and flexible.

To the international community, Singapore is a multiracial and multi-religious society which has enjoyed many years of relative peace. A facade that has been perpetuated by the government.

In reality, our freedom of speech, freedom of association, are curbed by an invisible hand that are always ready to put us away should we cross the line.

Such community will never be able to achieve its full potential and will lose it cognitive development over time.

At the present moment, we have incompetent leaders that are preoccupied with a single cause. Economic satisfaction for its people. They are incapable of solving a nation's hunger for a multi fold development. We already retard our progression by reserving a Malay candidate for high office.

My hope is that Singapore will elect a leader that will advocate for change and truly work for the betterment of its people holistically.

This was first published on Osman's Facebook page