by Joseph Nathan
When I read about some “experts” commenting on the risks of foreign intervention, some of them are sounding like as if we have a few paranoids are on the loose in Singapore. It is good and desirable to be cautious but when stretched to the extreme, it is sounding like another antic of Donald Trump.
As a Singaporean, l have been embarrassed one too many times whenever Singapore gets slammed for being overly bearing or being too controlling. What exactly is causing the government to be so paranoid?
To simply equate The Online Citizen (TOC) or allege that just because they recruit foreigners and then categorizing as foreign interference is pure absurdity.
If so, then Channel News Asia and our other national media outlets must be held to the same accountability too. Since our media, including TOC is being regulated by our Ministry of Communication and Information “MCI”, they are already being subjected to very stringent compliance.
As such, why is our Law and Home Affairs minister making such statements? Is he being disrespectful of his fellow minister or is he trying to tell us that the regulators at MCI are sleeping?
Paranoid Compounds Issues:
As a Law Minister, he knows well the importance of being factual, consistent and acting with restraint. Otherwise, our Judiciary System will be flooded with legal proceedings and innocent judges will be drawn into “hell-holes” of unwarranted disputes.
If we are honest about the risks of foreign interference, then our government must take the lead, be consistent in being exemplary and ensure our Singapore Police Force act swiftly and consistently whenever any foreigner comments or opined on our domestic affairs or issues that Singaporeans are passionate about.
Since there are some individuals within our establishment who seem to love being flattered by “feel-good” comment or opinion, shouldn’t the Law and Home Affairs minister take issue with them or hold them accountable first?
Shouldn’t the Law and Home Affairs minister take issue with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for allowing NAS Daily to sing his praises or censor Facebook for allowing a Polish interference to meddle with our domestic affairs or stirring up misgivings with our neighbours?
If Singapore is to get overly paranoid over foreign interference, then we might as well shut all our borders, cut off internet connectivity totally, revoke the recently inked Memorandum of Understanding on Air and Sea support to the USA, ban all Disney and foreign programmes on our TV, chase away every foreigner from our soil, control citizens from traveling and be contented with being a “Hermit State”.
What is next? Tear down our Merlion or another monument just because it was build by foreigners, and overly imagine that they are being used to spy on us?
Unless we aspire to become a “Hermit State”, then it is imperative that we stop being paranoid and start to be more rational and consistent in saying no to both sides of the political divides.
Conscientious leaders know that good conscience dispels away dark imaginations and keep their mind and soul in good order.
As such, without good and inspiring leaders walking their talks consistently, we are back to the root cause that is currently dividing us as a nation.
Time to stop acting like a paranoia as Singapore clearly deserves better…
This post was first published on Hard Truths of SG and reproduced with permission.