Tuesday, August 07, 2007

SG Review Interview

SG Review has a new blog-styled website added recently at their new domain name http://www.sgreview.org/ and links back to their current. I copied their recent interview with myself over to be carried on this blog.

  • 1) Can you give a brief introduction of yourself and how you became involved in this work to bring about democracy in Singapore?

    I am just a Singaporean who strongly feel the need to reform our republic, to eradicate Corrupted; Incompetent; Greedy; Coward; Unjust; Dishonest; Irresponsible and Tyrannic and Feudalistic regime reigned by a single family. I ask the readers of SG Review not to misconstrue my role to be a democracy idealist because I am not one.

    I am not fighting for ideology nor principle, I stress that reform must be very practical and realistic. When we have in Singapore entrenched for decades a family based feudalistic nature regime, that had through it's own totalitarian evolution reached such as stage of Corruption; Incompetence; Self-serving; Greedy; Coward; Unjust; Irresponsible and prolong their own falsehood at such great expense of the people, through Tyrannic tactics and bullies, it is already not realistic in my own view to set democracy idealistically so as our reform aim.

    In my own involvement I want be practical and put idealistic principles aside. End the long running monopoly of Lee Kuan Yew family and cohort first, then go through the necessary cycle to reestablish a truthful non-exploiting governance which is sufficiently checked and better balanced, and in which no long term ruler nor hereditary phenomena would be tolerated.

    Upon that we may (or may not) be measured very high in terms of democracy, but however such a reform would give Rep of Singapore the necessary transformation or transition to a better future.

  • 2) In your experience, what do you think has been the most challenging thing in working for democracy in Singapore?

    I am really new in this and my personal experience wouldn't be really relevant. Realistically I don't really think democracy is THE goal, at least not the most immediate goal during the post-LKY transition. I believe that overly or blindly looking just at democracy alone will cause us to neglect crucially important things. The works for democracy is a longer term matter that we have to continuously put in long lasting efforts after ending of Lee Kuan Yew era. I won't say that ending that is the challenge either, because it will end soon by either one way or another. Challenge however is get it ended by a desirable way and avoid it falling in a way that would become too difficult to reestablish a positive foundation for future Singapore.

  • 3) What do you think is the current level of democracy in Singapore? Do you feel it is enough?

    Singapore had no true experience in democracy, from pre-British ages through British rules, and in entire Lee Kuan Yew regime. Democracy is currently only a falsehood here. Plundering and Graft as well as Exploitation had been systematically legalized and entrenched, reigned almost in the entire history of the republic by a small group of minority surrounding Lee Kuan Yew's family. Citizen's dignity and rights are in worst state than many 3rd world or communist countries. I don't want to make myself sound too extreme but I feel that to discuss democracy with Singaporeans is liken with talking about shark fin abalone soup with people who are in a famine. Please take it as my identification the impracticality rather than a measurement of it's extend above. A good half of adult citizens have no experience of casting a vote – uniquely Singapore in terms of democracy.

  • 4) Personally, what do you think would make the ideal political system in Singapore?

    Just as ideal democracy being too remote for Singapore, it could be too shocking and even frightening for life long suffering slaves to be suddenly liberated into total freedom. Birds grown up in cages and fish bread in aquariums actually needs a transitional rehabilitation before they have ability to survive when released into the wild. Instead of looking for ideal political system for Singapore, I rather study the experience of other nations' transition to democratization, hoping to learn something that is practically useful for Singapore. There is really nothing suitable to be blindly adopted in whole or in full, we have to separate and combine as well as innovate and adapt particularly from recent experiences of fellow Asian nations.

  • 5) There are a lot of Internet criticism that you are "blindly" supporting Dr Chee Soon Juan and the SDP. How do you feel about such criticism and what do you think are the motivations behind such criticism?

    I think it is the people's liberty to criticize me as much as it is my liberty to criticize Lee Kuan Yew regime. But I hope I am not criticizing LKY famiLEE LEEgime BLINDLY. I support many activists and political fighters including Mr. JBJ, bearing the differences in styles and values in between us, we work together on common areas that we can complement each other. For example Mr. M Ravi's anti-death penalty campaign, as Internet community is aware that my manifesto blog proposed death penalty for the worst of corruptions.

    I support & encourage the anti-death activists especially when this regime put police pressure on them. I proposed abolishment of mandatory death penalty especially on small time drug traffickers, however I believe that some of the worst corruptions deserves death penalty. In that light, my support for the anti-death penalty group isn't blind nor hypocritical but just in accordance with my value and faith. My support to Dr. Chee and his party is just similar. People are however always free to criticize me, just I hope not criticizing blindly.

  • 6) As someone who is famous in the Singapore Internet community, do you think the Internet can play a role to bring about more democracy in Singapore? How do you think this can be done?

    In my own view, Internet in it's future developed form in particular will be the key medium for reform and democratization as well as it is for almost any social; economical; medical or industrial developments. It's role is the most crucial of all. There will be web-based opinion polls; gallop polls; exit polls; tracking surveys etc, and may be even the actual election poll would be done over Internet in future, I have no doubt about it. It is a shame that the ability and advantage of Internet is far from being fully utilized by reformists and politicians at the moment, PAP included. Even with the present limited use, differences that would be otherwise impossible had been achieved, by combination of efforts including SG Review as example. Singapore would surely return to stone-age if we had only the 154th media to count on.

    Internet is a prime factor in my view. As Internet technology develops rapidly and creatively, the use of it must be very flexible and adaptive as well as courageous. Web is already begin to combine with Mobilephones.

    I see SG Review itself transformed in the way the Internet infrastructure is being utilized. I helped SDP to begin Pod-Casting, and before we could fully develop RadioSDP, You-Tube came up, and SDP is quick to drop Pod-Casting and adopted You-Tube. We only adapted to Internet's development, as we can not really predict it. I stress as an Internet activist that we must not leave the non-Internet-user Singaporeans behind us. Internet is an advantage with us, but we would not just stay within Internet, I took the fight out from Cyberspace to streets where I faced Riot Squad; ISD; Police; Judge and prison guards, people from the Internet community may think that I am stupid, but I think it is practically important to physically bring our advantages gained within the Cyberspace out to the physical world. Lee Kuan Yew regime tolerated my bold Internet activism very well, but I am forcing them to take it the same way outside Cyberspace. So far the activists outside Cyberspace are gaining good grounds against what I call the LKy famiLEE LEEgime. :-)

    I call the Internet activists to come out and extend the fight out beyond the Cyberspace. We are going to fail if we left non-Internet Singaporeans behind our Cyber-speed's smoke & dust.

  • 7) Can you explain the notion of non-violence and the importance of such a strategy to bring about change in Singapore? How effective do you think this strategy will be?

    I appreciate that non-violence strategy in one form or the other had been and continue to be used by people of many nations, Singapore won't be any exception. It had contributed positively and significantly in making the differences. Even Internet activism should be viewed in general as a form of N-V action. I caution that people should however not be overly indulged or blindly expect beautiful fairytale results from it. Reform would not come cheap, and without paying all the necessary prices please don't dream of freedom and rights or justice or democracy.

    N-V strategy continues to be a reformist tool, even in the future far beyond LKy famiLEE LEEgime's era. I want to point out that just one tool is far from sufficient, and restricting just to N-V boundary will most unlikely get desirable results. At the present, we can observe that massive and long lasting million-activist anti-corruption movement in Taiwan failed to oust Chen Shui Bian so far. Similarly the peaceful protests in Thailand failed to oust Thaksin, it was the Thai military in fortunately non-bleeding coup that ousted Thaksin, which is in theory a non-democratic way to oust a 'democratically elected PM'. However, in my own view, that was a very practical thing done following the meaningful N-V actions strongly demonstrating the wish of Thai people, which justified the ouster by force.

    Thug-sin would had still be in power today otherwise, and probably mass arresting and bankrupting the activists fighters after his wholesale replacement of the military commanders.

  • 8) How do you think Singaporeans can be educated more on democracy? In your experience, do you think organising seminars and lectures by respected international experts on the subject can help spread the knowledge and build up greater awareness on this topic in Singapore?

    My experience in this area of democracy education is very little and insignificant. Learning from other countries, seminars and workshops or conferences are very common practices. Singapore had been too deprived in these areas, but fortunately had seemed to improve. I think more external tours and cross visiting exchanges with vast international partners are crucial. We can not however just be blind copycats, and again innovations plus adaptations as well as combination & separations from the other nations' experiences would be important. I am glad so far, that many foreigners are willing to assist and cross-learn together with Singaporeans, we are not being left out.

  • 9) Do you see the younger generation of Singaporeans as having the passion to fight for a better Singapore? Do you think it is enough?

    Unfortunately that is very inadequate. Children brought up by LKy LEEgime's education popularly begin with PAp kindergartens, put children into development from young age in the way that limits their passion in this necessary area. Defective education is the most difficult to heal sickness of Singapore suffered under LKy rules. Reform must not count on having this to get the success, rather only after the breakthrough of ending LKy LEEgime, there is only then true hope to begin corrections. And it is going to be a very long term hard work to re-cultivate such passion among Singaporeans, these works need to extend far beyond the transition after post-LKy era. There may be a real Golden Age after that. :-)

  • 10) What advice do you have for the younger Singaporeans who wish to embark on this struggle to fight for more democracy in Singapore?

    Singaporeans have to recognize that it is their own duties and interest only to do so. I don't wish to see Singaporeans continue to be a passive lot always awaiting their government to move and motivate them for everything, beginning from reproducing our population, to patriotism, to defense, to plan for retirement and old age etc.

    The grievous Lack of Spontaneity in the first place is a main cause leading to the current scenario that this regime can totally exploit and manipulate our 4 million people so easily and conveniently. If Singaporeans can not be awaken to that, I am afraid any advices from myself or any person would not help at all. And under such circumstance, the only natural replacement after LKy famiLEE LEEgime for Singapore would just be yet another dictatorship which may be worst exploiters than LEEs & gangs.


    Learning from the histories of other nations as well as our own is crucial. We must understand how had we reached our current state of plights in the first place, before we know what to do and not to do in the future. If it was only the fault of just Lee Kuan Yew alone, we wouldn't had become this Singapore, every citizen including the past citizens, have a part in this.


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