Scores of People’s Action Party politicians, along with the PAP Women’s Wing have expressed dismay over the community-based sentence given to a university student who strangled his ex-girlfriend.
This was summed up appropriately in a statement: “The PAP Women’s Wing and PAP Women Members of Parliament strongly denounce violence against women. Like many members of the public, we are dismayed that the sentence in this case appears disproportionate to the offence.”
Even Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin jumped into the fray, saying “the verdict by the judge appears lenient.”
Decrying violence against women is the right and proper thing to do. However, we have to ask if the outrage of the PAP politicians and PAP Women’s Wing is selective.
Where was the dismay and outrage when a spousal violence analogy was inexplicably and inappropriately used on Dr Chee Soon Juan earlier this month?
If not for the Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE), the PAP’s use of the spousal abuse analogy would have gone unchallenged.
AWARE had said in a Facebook post on 4 July: “Many members of the public have reached out to us with their concerns about this PAP press release about Chee Soon Juan, which compares a statement of Chee’s to an allegation that someone had beaten up their spouse.
“This analogy is regrettable. It is insensitive to apply imagery of spousal violence to situations that have nothing to do with it.”
The spousal violence analogy used in relation to the 10 million population dispute was tactless, perhaps even reprehensible.
Yet the PAP Women’s Wing and female MPs, who “strongly denounce violence against women,” kept an eerie silence over the entire episode.
If outrage is selective, it becomes self-serving and reeks of moral hypocrisy.