Sunday, January 22, 2006

*Addendum: White Elephant Saga*

In today's Straits Times, the Home Minister apparently admitted (according to the ST) that the balance between security and liberty was not properly struck in this incident. He said that the police "may have overreacted" in cautioning against the students' wearing the t-shirt. In fact he thought the police caution was "overly cautious and unnecesary".

While I certainly applaud this sentiment, it nevertheless is rather disturbing because of the implicit admission that the police were effectively telling them not to wear the t-shirt. I hope that this was not the intention of the police and a bare reading of what they did say does not necessary have to bear this intention (although it is not the likely interpretation I feel)

What brought more cheer was the following comment. Thought not in the actual article, the following comment was attributed to him in a side photo, "My thoughts were: What is the harm? I feel that this episode need not have happened and I am sorry to see that it happened."

And I think that this is probably the right approach. The government should not legislate or interfere if it doesn't have to.


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