Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Confusion over EQUALITY....

"No. You suggest to the Malays that we abolish the (Article 152) provisions in the Constitution, you will have grave disquiet" - MM Lee response to Viswa

I was a bit confused over how MM Lee could have linked the call for greater equality with the removal of rights for Malays under section Article 152. I always thought the extra help and protection for minorities who may be disadvantaged due to discrimination by a majority race can help to level them up and bring about greater equality. Anti-hate laws and affirmative action for minorities in other countries such as Native Indians in N. America and aborigines in Australia serve to bring about greater equality and is consistent with equality being a goal that a society aspire towards. I think MM Lee views equality narrowly as 'equal treatment' rather than a social goal. As the economic inequality between various segments of society grows, we need to bring back govt commitment to greater equality. Whether our pledge is an aspiration or ideology, greater equality is a worthy goal especially when we are seeing both poverty and conspicuous consumption (the French cooks among greater mortals?) are growing at the same time. NMP Viswa's speech in parliament is a timely reminder to do what is right for Singaporeans.

Here NMP Viswa's reply to MM Lee:


Anonymous said...

Sinkapoor special mah.
Like we need to label the elites as "White Horse" so that they DO NOT get special treatment and level the playing field.

Anonymous said...

MM Lee is working very hard these days.

He is digging a bigger and bigger hole to bury all PAP cronies.

Last I heard Vivien Balakrishnan was attempting to explain to a bunch of students why the pledge of equality is a distortion of the constitutional rights of Malays.

I think it is easier for the ministers to request for MM Lee to gracioualy step down - less hassle right?

LuckySingaporean said...

anon 13:55,

I guess helping the poor, handicapped ..less fortunate will also go against the pledge since it always interpreted by the PAP as "equal treatment"....we cannot have special rights for the handicap such as ramps at MRT and so on.

I think you're right the MM is burying his own people - they have lost their own ability to think - even some one as articulate as Vivian turns into a robot after a few years in the PAP.

Anonymous said...


Since when was Vivien not with the PAP?


Oh you mean the period when the Straits Times (your source for Truthful news?) was painting him as the Singaporean Obama?


Funny, I dun agree with the MM except for the one single point that equality should be "equal treatment". Affirmative action (in your exampes) merely breeds more resentment and drives the hate underground.

History in USA has shown that only time and greater understanding of each other will work. There is no magic bullet.

PS: Personally I feel that subsidized taxi (for the handicapped) is a better answer than ramps in MRT.

Chee Wai Lee said...

Viswa looks totally cowed in the video. Guess he meant what he said when he felt a noose hanging around his neck.

I suppose most people would be at a disadvantage holding a debate against LKY. A mix of awe, fear and helplessness since everyone is constantly reminded of the consequences of crossing his path, even when he's clearly wrong.

LuckySingaporean said...

anon 14:45,

Vivian? That was I met him in person before the PAP got to him. Try as the "truthful" paper did, they just could prop him back up anymore.

As for underground hate, it seemed to have faded away without sunshine and fresh air. The KKK don't seem to be able to recruit anymore.

The history of USA? I don't understand your point. It was just 20 years ago that we had the LA riots...20 years later harmony? Greater understanding promotes equality...and we can have true "regardless of race" after we get this understanding. Since understanding is going to take so long, we better do more to close the divide.

Yes, taxi is better than bus & MRT. But puts the needs of the handicap at the mercy of the kindness of taxi drivers. Still, it will work if not for the high cost of living that make our taxi drivers hungry for every paying passenger.

LuckySingaporean said...

Chee Wai Lee,

I think he had to give a few paragraphs of tribute to the MAN before he get to his points otherwise the noose might start to tighten. ..if the PAP gets really uncomfortable with an NMP what will they do? I guess Viswa doesn't want to be the first to find out.

Anonymous said...

pap is out of ideas and just hope to buy over swing votes using the least amount of money.

race is never a problem in modern singapore. maybe this one thing we should credit pap.

they are unwilling or unable to tackle the issues of ftrash taking over local jobs and high cost of living to win back votes.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lucky

Now u are talking!

but there is no substitute for time and greater understanding/mixing ard/info flow.

LA riots is precisely the point. They had "affirmative" action way before that but its not a magic bullet. Recently, some black professor was also arrested in his home but at least he wasn't beaten up... and i would say that the internet, etc, is probably a strong reason for KKK's decline but in the backward South (also known as Republican Bush-land) they still exists. Really. Racial Integration is most obvious in New York city, where cultures mix\battle freely and the only color that matters is the color of your money. every1 is equally rude to every1 else.

the "affirmative" based on race is maybe neccessary in the early stage (to get some level playing field) but in the long term it is self defeating. it demeans the achievements of the minorities. America celebrates it black sporting heroes. They dun need no affirmative action. Black sporting heroes\President was certainly not a social goal.

and have u seen how poorly the aborigines down-under has fared?

"Equal treatment" is imho a better solution. Now if only the MM walks the talk. In SG, we have this "cultural day" thingie for years but does it really work? artificial ways of closing divides does not work. Humans are by nature racists ... its evolution! band together=survive. etc.

You must have met Vivien in school then ... but nvm ...

Anonymous said...

I thought the greatest culprits of inequality was PAP itself!

PAP insists on paying themselves multi-million dollar salaries, and maintaining close links to GLCs, stat boards, trade unions and other core businesses in Singapore. A number of their children are also on expensive govt scholarships!

If the average-joe did something like that, we would have long been charged for nepotism or biasedness.

PAP pays itself millions of dollars each year, while many of us are expected to make do with salaries of less than $2k per month.

If that isn't inequality, what is?

Anonymous said...

Anon 1649

I do not understand the point you are driving at. Could you elaborate in simpler terms?

Based on the post, all I could understand is that there is confusion over what is exactly EQUALITY. I did not get the full picture and I do not know what article 152 constitutes.

In my opinion, the discussion over this equality is a bit out of hand because I thought NMP Viswa is just highlighting the essence of equality in general, but now, in parliament, MPs and pple are linking equality to over every other thing. Some people here mentioned before. To me, they should have dealt with it and get on to other real issues. Or perhaps discuss something that is more specific instead of linking to every damn article ###. Earlier comments also highlighted the need to address the issue of income inequality and depression of wages.

As for the racial issue, I do not think there is too much of a issue yet, though I must admit we must never take racial harmony for granted. In the United States and Australia, I think there is a underlying reason for them to establish some kind of racial equilibrium longer than us. The blacks were mostly slaves and native indians were oppressed by the whites who took over the land. Therefore, whites reigned superiority over other races. In Australia, it was also the same thing. But in Singapore, it is slightly different in the sense that all four races were 'here' at the same time. Though Chinese were the dominant race, the so-called true dominant race were the colonial masters. Hence, racial tensions here are slightly differemt from the racial different tensions elsewhere. In addition, we are surrounded by muslin nations.

The point is that Singaporeans (more or less) have grown to accept each other after like some 200 years together. Note acceptance doesn't mean that all is perfect. All our forefathers were migrants. I think the real issue at present is the influx of many new migrants in a very short time. Again, racial issues can be discussed with regard to whether it is a homomgeneous population. In this case, Singapore stands a better chance because we are, in essence, diverse group of people. Compared with countries like Japan and Korea, I think it will be a tougher issue.

Conclusion is that with regard to the article being highlighted, I think what NMP Viswa highlighted in his maiden speech, is whether we can move to a 'higher' ideal form of equality since the society has already progressed. E.g. no more separate channels for different languages. CH 5 should screen all shows in all languages or the elimination of 'race' in forms etc etc.....other than that, I am also confused about the whole affair.

Anonymous said...

Viswa probably read 'to catch a tartar' and knew what he would be in for if he didn't bend.

Another one bites the dust.

I envisage one day, a few people on the streets of orchard start to recite the pledge, over and over again. More people then join in to say the pledge. Finally a peaceful realisation, of where we are and how we want our future and our country to be, crystalises. And the people who recited the pledge decide to stand on their feet to make it happen.

Anonymous said...

Long live the singapore pledge. long live.

yamizi said...

I pray for the well being of NMP Viswa...

Anonymous said...

Don't worry. I'm sure NMP Viswa will be fine as long as he keeps his mouth shut for the rest of his term. He is part of the establishment. He has "learned his lesson" and know how to behave from now on. Only those who do not know their places have to be made and example of. There is no shortage of that. There is only one simple rule. Never cross the old man if you want to prosper in Singapore. Why is it so hard for people to understand?

Anonymous said...

The KKK don't seem to be able to recruit anymore.

The reason is clearly explained in the freaknomics book.

What do KKK and real estate agents have in common?

The freaknomics is an insightful and interesting book on how incentives underlies everything and others.

I suggest that politicians and policy makers read it.

Anonymous said...

The KKK don't seem to be able to recruit anymore.

The reason is clearly explained in the freaknomics book.

What do KKK and real estate agents have in common?

The freaknomics is an insightful and interesting book on how incentives underlies everything and others.

I suggest that politicians and policy makers read it.

Anonymous said...

Anon 19:03

It was Lucky who mentioned the LA riot!

One reason why we bring in some many unrelated points is that SG is really too small and boring to ... make a point?

The point is that Equality is really about equal opportunities. color-blind. Instead of allocating positions to "help" the minorities.

U may be too young but when Lucky was growing up, there were no quotas in kampungs. Chinese grandmothers with no education could gossip fluently in Malay. Uneducated Malay aunties could speak better hokkien than most young SG chinese these days. the so-called racial riots were almost all politically motivated.

Fast forward to present day. How many of us have close friends of a different color. not many. But HDB have "affirmative" action u know. There is a quota for minorities. It does not help except breed resentment\headache ... when u have to sell.

to further simplify:
Lucky seem to think that the Gahmen(!) needs to intervene.
I think Gahmen is the problem and should out of the way.

sadly this blog is getting a bit stale with the Lucky dumbing down to the level of his supporters and his supporters more interested in being virtual chastity belts than apostles ... can u bring more fiends to this blog?

Anonymous said...

"I was a bit confused over how MM Lee could have linked the call for greater equality with the removal of rights for Malays under section Article 152." Lucky Tan

If MM Lee said you said it, it means you said it.

He has never lost a defamation suit before, regardless how weak and flimsy his case may be.

Dare to dispute MM Lee is akin to calling him a liar and a cheat. And we all know what happens to those who dare to rebut MM Lee.

In fact, I have never seen this title before in the 154, "XXX rebuts MM Lee".

It has never been done before.

MM Lee is God of Singapore.

Anonymous said...

Hey Lucky

What has Obama changed?
Economist has an interesting article.


PS: Equality will not come from electing yet another smooth talking politician... fight for it.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I still cannot get quite the point you are driving at....perhaps, I am really the lesser mortal.... : )..unable to reach the level of your train of thought and line of argument.....


Just to add...(from Dictionary.com)

"snigger" - to laugh in a half-suppressed, indecorous or disrespectful manner.


Guess I belong to the group of people who are not as interesting and insightful and whatever.....

Anyway, coming to this blog...the most interesting thing is reading how people think, Lucky included.....anyway, a certain anonymous has other ideas and of course other conclusions...and seems to know readers of Lucky's blog very well....e.g. readers here are young and ignorant...not as intelligent...not as insightful...not as "I don't know what else"..... : )

Anonymous said...

So to the rest of the other readers except that anonymous, I enjoy reading your thoughts and feelings...and though may be as 'enlightening' and 'insightful' as that anonymous, it has been a pleasure. No matter how 'small' the group of people here, it has been still (so far) interesting and gratifying to know that people can comment graciously without putting down on others.......every one of us is different and biased to certain set of values or perspectives. That is what makes us human, but putting graciousness and 'generousity' of mind is achievable.....

Anonymous said...

lucky, there is no EQUALITY in singapore.
we only have EQUALEETY.

can u imagine the wealth of a nation can just be discussed over a simple familLEE dinner table.

does anyone realise how dangerous this is???
if during chinese reunion dinner terrorist bomb strike the table how?? singapore economy collapse!

Paul said...

Vivian has been an establishment figure since his days as a student.

Many of us still remember how USSU was shut down when Tan WP and Juliet Chin were Presidents.

It was only reopened when a second year student became President of NUSSU. He succeeded in transforming a politically active body of students that stood up for the rights of students and Singaporeans into a club that organised Jams, Hops and Tours.

(Not that I did not enjoy the Jams and Hops, thanks Vivian!!)

Anonymous said...

MM Lee, just like UMNO politicians in Malaysia, is using the race issue in arguing against equality to suit his agenda. What an irony as he once campaigned for a Malaysian Malaysia (equality of races) when Singapore was part of Malaysia! This was the reason why Singapore was "booted out" and became independent. Not his choice then.

But his agenda is different now because he wanted to divert attention away from the serious income gap divide, foreign talent better treatment, etc and other serious economic and social inequality issues in red dot.

Indeed he is a "lst class" politician and that's why he and PAP can survive for so long!