Monday, September 20, 2004

*In defense of Dr. Chee Soon Juan*

Admittedly, what he has been saying is pretty much bluster with regards to the current trial fiasco. But two things off the top of my head.

1. I've been taking the ST reports with a pinch of salt for the past decade or so.
2. Would he be in such a situation if he were transposed to a more adversaral style of democracy i.e. every democratic state outside of Asia?

The fact is, the press in Singapore has quite thoroughly demonised him. Everything he does or does not do is taken to be evil incarnate. If he has the support of foriegn nations (including a fellowship at University of Chicago and the Charimanship of the Institute for Asian Democracy - heh so much for Asian solidarity) then he's working for foreign powers. On the other hand, if he doesn't then the press will talk about him lacking support and being isolated etc.

Can he ever win? Granted that his adversarial style might rub people the wrong way but look at the 2 opposition members in power with their 'thread softly' approach. Even if they could bring benefits to their constituency (which is debatable considering the fiasco with PAP's vote for us or no upgrading electoral threat), I haven't every seen or heard them push for any form of greater accountability or representation in our current system. (Plus, having read some of their stuff in parliamentary debates, can't say that I'm impressed by anyone except for the ministers).


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