Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Shades of Grey Part 2.5

Much Ado Over Humanity.

While the 'rights' debate has been largely 'kept silent' after the initial outburst reported in the local press others have taken headlines. These include the IBAHRI report and a UK author. Let's put the disparate pieces (as the press is wont to do to keep our minds befuddled until the next progress package comes along) together to complete the puzzle ....

Both were in for 'withering and scathing' comments by no less then MM Lee and a certain Mr. Teo from the UK High Comm / Embassy (who cares what difference it makes to debates like this - they're both representative of the Singapore government and Singapore at large).

The US weighs in on Anwar's 'detention' again in a seemingly old tactic of 'physically destroying the evidence' or removing the 'witness' as the case may be but here there is absolutely no comment from our First World Government in Singapore.

Seems to be a case of mind your own business while we mind ours no?

So why does Singapore send aid and technical assistance to other countries (too numerous to list here) if not to assist in humanitarian 'disasters?' If a corollary can be drawn to the silence of political stormtrooping tactics used in Malaysia then by extension of logic Singapore should not have sent aid to Burma / Myanmar. But we did.

A case of economic expediency in the hope that Burma will become a huge trading partner for Singapore? Or that Burma, as represented in the United Nations, will 'trade' aid for votes when Singapore is pushing an agenda item - particularly in the Security Council?

And on the one hand while it is criminal to hurt someone else here in Singapore, as it is in most other countries in the world, it appears the same rule does not apply (for Singapore at least) when it comes to the hurt occurring elsewhere? Not a peep? Do we, as a country, have enough backbone and principles? Really?

Or only enough to 'bully' our mostly submissive / apathetic population?

Can we be first in ASEAN to champion rights (not privileges) that can be accorded across the spectrum of political facetiousness in and around ASEAN? Or are the principles of law only subjectively and selectively applied? If subjectivity and selectivity apply from the standpoint of the moral compass would it not be possible then that even within our local jurisdictions this subjectivity and selectivity might occur? I do not have the answers but I do ponder the question.

The right to life, in the absence of mitigating factors such as a crime that warrants death, is a virtual universal right recognized by every legal system in the world. The failure to extend that right beyond one's tiny borders in today's highly interconnected world portends a moral failure. The kind of morality that obliges an able human being to assist another in times of dire distress regardless of condition, save that of sane choice, by which the circumstance was arrived at.

But we can't criticize recent Malaysian actions now can we since we have our own little yards to tend to eh?

As I look around in astonishment and wonder every single day I cannot help but be reminded of the Chinese adage (though I'm sure there is a similar one in many if not all cultures): progenitors beget the offspring they sire and nurture.

Put more loosely in a transliteration from hokkien: this type of parent gets this type of child. Something to bear in mind as we idolise parent figures while taking the MRT or driving around or simply even walking while other pedestrians are around or any social setting in Singapore.

In plain english: Reap What You Sow.

And if there are claims that subjectivity nor selectivity are in place then the full weight of the law must be brought to bear on those whom we can make a direct impact and influence on be they in our borders (a man made illusion of control) or without (the real world as it existed before and will exist in time to come). In this case, Singapore should take a stance on what is happening in neighbouring Malaysia just as we did, collectively in Burma.

Psst, by the way. A strong defence and critique, witty as some of them may be, in return to the comments of others, in the diplomatic and legal world, typically points to some fire behind all the smoke.

Here's how to intepret what's really going on. Charge: you are authoritarian. Response: we are special and what works for you does not work for us. You claim you are right and we claim we are right!

(Nevermind what the truth is - it is rarely self-evident especially when there are iron veils of stupidity, misinformation, malinformation and outright brown nosing foisted upon the population on a daily basis.)

See! Intelligent huh? No admission. That's what happens when lawyers become politicians!

There is a great deal more to learn from observing the tactics and reading between the lines! Now, can we turn the tables and return the favour?

Majulah Singapura

Vote Wisely, your children depend on it.