Sunday, August 21, 2011

Tan Jee Say and Tony Tan Exchange on ISA...

At a forum organised by The Online Citizen, a participant asked the presidential candidates about the ISA. Here is the exchange:

TJS : “I don’t even know whether it was justified in the first place, because the ISA has been used on political opponents and those on the other political side of the law…”

Before Tan Jee Say could complete his sentence, Tony Tan interrupted him.

TT: “When one says this is used against political opponents, I think this is a very serious charge. You must be able to back it up"


Tony Tan spoke about the neccessity of the ISA because terrorism is a threat in modern Singapore. There has been calls to abolish the ISA to replace it with an anti-terrorism act so that it is more effective against terrorism rather than having it as a blunt instrument that can be misused.

Tan Jee Say then said that the ISA was used on "political opponents" and Tony Tan interjected to demand proof to back up this assertion. Actually, TJS did not say the ISA was used on people "because" they were opponents of the PAP. He said the people arrested were political opponents of the PAP.  This assertion is factual because most of the people arrested and detained under the ISA were indeed opponents of the PAP - many, if not most, were opposition members e.g. members of Barisan Socialis, Workers' Party etc. The question is whether these people were arrested because they opponents of the PAP or they were violent communists, anarchists or terrorists....and just happened to be members of the opposition. Singaporeans have been waiting for proof of the later for more than 20 years. Many of the detainees released have stepped forward to say in public that they were not violent communists but socialists or just supporters of the opposition. Not a single weapon, plan of violence, hint or evidence of any sort terrorist intent has been shown to the public for those detained under Operation Spectrum and Operation Coldstore. If there is anyone who has to back up their assertion, it is the PAP govt that detained some of these people for decades. Detainees reported that they were interrogated, tortured, traumatised and were forced to sign "confessions" - if there were acts of violence, it was not committed by the detainees.

Tony Tan said that he was part of the cabinet during the Marxist Conspiracy and cannot reveal more because of the OSA. Lets put it this way, the govt had so little evidence at that time, they had to put the detainees on TV to "confess" their "crimes". These people were re-arrested when they revoked those confessions which they said were made under great duress.

Teo Soh Lung and Vincent Cheng both joined the SDP and went public to describe in detail what they did and what happened to them in speeches leading the last elections.

If you want a president who stands for justice and fairness, you really have to really have to ask yourself whether you can find it in someone who supports and justifies the draconian ISA. No other developed county has it or need such a legislation to ensure peace and security for its people. It was Tony Tan's opportunity to show his independence and he blew it.

It is a mistake for the PAP govt to retain the ISA and ISD as it is a constant reminder of what they have done and how it was used it in the past. By keeping it, they make themselves less acceptable to newer generations of Singaporeans who find such draconian laws unnecessary and ineffective in  a modern society. The older generation of Singaporeans who had gone through the tumultuous years of colonialism, world war and developing world poverty saw a society in rapid transition towards modernisation and prosperity were perhaps more amenable to the ways of the PAP and Lee Kuan Yew. As a society, we have to move on from here and away from authoritarian past towards a more democratic future. The ISA is like a chain that tie us down with fear and a reminder of the unjustified acts committed our fellow Singaporeans.

39 comments:

lim said...

TT tail have finally come out. He still thinks that he is in the government. He cannot get out of it
using threats,

The fact that ISA is used to selience the opponents and history will be record as such.

Cannot get out of PAP mold!

Jinko Low said...

TT was not very presidential when he interrupted TJS. His eagerness to defend his actions as a minister and the party which he used to belong does not make him a viable presidential candidate.

Anonymous said...

I have been following the going ons leading up to the PE and I must say that TT is not spontaneous at all with questions, and if he do give a reply it is mostly evasive. Hard to follow what he is trying to tell the viewers. So typical of PAP style of response. No, he is not the one.

Anonymous said...

"It was Tony Tan's opportunity to show his independence and he blew it."
Lucky Tan

Does it matter whether he blew it or not?

I believe 60.1% don't think so, don't know or don't bother to know, as long as they are OK with bread and butter issues. If not, the recent GE 2011 outcome would not be the way it was.

Why then should PE 2011 be any different? Some more 4 corner fight even better for Tony Tan.

Bo Cheng Hu (没政府) said...

The same old brand new pap's president. Evade questions and question questions.

Anonymous said...

Oh please. It was very clear what he was trying to communicate and imply with that statement. If I say, your mother works for a pimp in Geylang, would you take offense? Or perhaps it's ok, because I didn't say she was a prostitute?

Both TT and TSJ came out of that argument worse off.

TT for taking the bait hook line and sinker, and interrupting. I can't blame him though, as his reputation was being attacked.

I am also convinced that TJS is not the man for Singapore now - seeing how he reacted in anger, and went on despite being told to stop. I would not want someone like that to embarrass the country against more wily politicians in future.

Anonymous said...

I would prefer if TT had cleard any queries on Patrick Tan. Having fulfilled my NS obligations and a son will will be doing his, I would want that answer and the truth. In any case, my take is why am I voting for a man who will enrich himself knowing that he has job limitations? At least if I had voted for any MP, I can meet him/her at the MPS and make my position heard, can I do it with the EP? Don't think I am getting any worth for the taxes I've paid and will continue paying, direct and indirect.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...21/8/11 09:59

The question was asked in the context of ISA and so-called Marxist conspirators.

Both of them answered in a way they thought fit. Both of them thought they were attacked by the other side.

That aside, you have to ask yourself whether they have answered justifiably the question asked in the context of ISA and the treatment of the so-called Marxist conspirators.

TSJ was interrupted and we never got the chance to hear whatever remaining message there might be as the flow & momentum was uneventfully disrupted.

And now the whole conversation is veered or redirected onto the so-called rude & unpresidential (all sort of adjectives used) interruption and the equally unpresidential lack of control & emotion shown.

who got balls? said...

Tan See Jay got some heavy balls here. Sngaporeans men should wake up and find their balls and women finds their brain. Vote for Tan See Jay!

while it might not immediately improve whatever circumstances you are in immediately and you might die a poor and unprivilieged death eventually, you will however die with your honour intact

RP said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RP said...

Simply watch this video clip again and focus your attention on Tan Jee Say. He remained in his smiling composure despite having felt being accused. He did not confront, but merely defended his position and remained head-on on the issue at hand and insisted that he is to be given the opportunity to clarify before moving on.
We need a man like Tan Jee Say in the international stage to defend and fence for Singapore when we got accused or given snick remarks.We need a man like Tan Jee Say to disagree when we disagree and give support when we agree.

Anonymous said...

How about the billions of dollars he blew on bad investmeints?

Anonymous said...

Anger and emotion are a good thing in politics because it show passion.

For people here who say anger and emotion, let me ask one thing, will you think that Old fart will have won the people over if he did not use emotion and anger to convict people of his vision ? Please look at the past video of LKY in the youtube in election rally of 1960s.

Without those characteristics show at the right time, how can people ever convict that the president will help them ?


Beside, can anyone imagine why Tony Tan is such a failure whenever he go ? Because underneath he is using the same threat to those who question him concerning the lack of investment foresight, etc during his charge in GIC etc... Little wonder why Singapore lost big because of Tony Tan behaving like Old fart

Anonymous said...

TT "fox tail" finally revealed.

You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time. -- Abraham Lincoln

Ghost said...

Frankly, I think neither Tan Jee Say or Tony Tan covered themselves in glory in that exchange. Anon @ 9.59 is correct, both came off worse in hat exchange. Tan Jee Say almost accused the moderator of being unfair and Tony Tan was taken aback by Tan Jee Say's strong defence of his statement.
However on the whole, as he is the favorite, it hurt Tony Tan more.

Anonymous said...

I had hoped that TJS, touted as SDP's "star" candidate, won in the GE 2011 he contested but he didn't.

In fact he got only about 39% of the votes then, which is not even close to winning.

So can he win the coveted Presidency when he cannot even win for a MP seat? (which is only just one of 80 over MP seats)

I think Tony Tan, despite being "unpopular", etc etc, will win the presidency.

Why?

For the same reasons why PAP won the last elections, despite being "unpopular" etc, etc.

Still not convinced of outcome on 27 Aug?

Anonymous said...

Tony Tan used a threatening interjection when it was TJS turn to speak. TT should have waited for his turn to response. He didn't. He thinks he is already the President of Singapore.

Do you find TT answering any questions really? TT is most of the time, selling a belief system. That's why he takes a longer time. He wants to sell you a belief system. So that it doing so, the question dissolves within the beliefs he is telling you.

And you are left wondering, what did he actually say.

He didn't expand on any solutions. But he wants you to buy into his perception and reality of the world as he sees it.

With this sort of person, there is nothing to stop him from selling to singaporeans that malaysia MIGHT want to attack us anytime soon.

Anonymous said...

TT was rude to interrupt TJS. Definitely did not project a good image.

The moderator was not being fair to TJS, who was trying to make his point. He should have stopped TT instead.

Contrary to what was reported, TJS was smiling & did not lost his cool.

Thumbs up for TJS.
Thumbs down for TT.

Alan Wong said...

If TT is ever elected, he will carry the stigma of his son's privileged NS deferment and it will be such a disgrace for a President to face Singaporeans in the near future. Instead of uniting the people, he is actually the reason for causing the people to resent him more.

Even if he won, I think he has already lost the moral authority to be the peoples' President. If I were him, I'll withdraw from the Presidential election to save myself endless struggles within myself in having to put on a false front in facing the people. I'm sure that will shorten his remaining life by a couple of years.

Anonymous said...

TT impressed me as never iterested on PE post. Seemed he refused in 90s and it went Nathan then. On hindsight if he was the EP, he wouldn't be in charge of GIC and someone else in his place nay never consider invest in the western banks and probably warned TM against so. He could have today relinquish his presidency and join GIC with all the benefits of hindsight of bank failures to give him the wisdom of today's decision in an impending uncertain world to put in his own words. But alas, it was not to be and as president the least he could do is learn mistake over holding to bruised ego and veto any future silly investments. But will he?

Anonymous said...

I would think TT is doing voluntary National Service by contesting in PE.

Just like male Singaporeans doing National Service, except that it is compulsory.

Of course the nature of National Service and the sacrifice made can be in various forms and ways lah, and all for the nation in times of need.

Anonymous said...

//Anonymous said...21/8/11 12:13
For the same reasons why PAP won the last elections, despite being "unpopular" etc, etc.

Still not convinced of outcome on 27 Aug?//

You may be right. Perhaps not this round. But who knows for sure. For the same reason that it took many rounds & parties before the "invincibility" of GRC was finally breached in Aljunied.

Once people find that certain things can be done (e.g mile under 4 minutes by roger bannister), a lot of people will start to do it. There was no contest last few rounds, now there are 4 candidates ? What do you think the future will be ?

Anonymous said...

Too bad the excerpt only had 2 of the 4 candidates. Those two did no favors for themselves with their responses.


TKL made the most logical response, which is that he would look at the evidence when deciding on detainment, but not only on one side.

TT went on a detour about Norway when the question was about 1987 and the role of the President. He totally sidestepped.

TJS never answered the question either about what he would do as President. He should have taken the opportunity given to him to elaborate.

TCB also sidestepped the question by discussing a hypothetical scenario where ISD and the PM differ about a detainee.

The only one who came out of the whole exchange well was TKL.

Anonymous said...

Correct my earlier post: TCB spoke correctly about the power of the President when it comes to ISA detainees when he discussed his hypothetical. President can only break a tie when ISA advisory board and cabinet disagree on whether to release a detainee. As such I should not have said TCB sidestepped.

JeffGoh said...

In the world, mainly gangsters, tyrants and desperate men use threats.

Vote Tan Jee Say

Anonymous said...

I dislike TT immensely.

He never answers directly but beats around the bush and talks about things that is irrelevant.

He is the source of PAP think.

Anonymous said...

Your bold quote on TT, sounds very much what LKY would say or the exact words he word use.

Anonymous said...

None has the charisma and oratorical skill of LKY.
These jokers would have been demolished if LKY is in his prime.

Anonymous said...

I would be very careful not to vote for another LKY. Lest, 40 years down, we will be demolished by the same joker we were impressed with.

Anonymous said...

My view is that regardless what netizens want, TT will be EP because Singaporeans are still daft. You will be surprised how majority of daft Singaporeans view the world. Yet, not all netizens, though majority have waken up to the reality. Daft Singaporeans deserve the downfall of this tiny country. If the Singapore's totally unaccountable and opaque governance model is copied in other developing countries, I personally think the human history might have to be stagnant for at least another generation. Singapore has little future if the existing governance model continues despite many ignorant people and ass-lickers are trying to promote it using 'Asian Value' as an smoke.

I am Singapore said...

Majority may be 'daft'

But it is not in perpetuity.
Incremental improvements towards enlightenment will erode the 'daftness' to less than 15%.

It will take some time, and we will get there as long as the internet and the likes of lucky tan are able to spread knowledge to as wide an audience as possible.

We have already taken the first step of voting against what we believe to be an unjust and uncaring leadership.

This is our home, this is what makes us. I for one will not sit and allow someone to badger me into something I disbelieve in.. especially if it is done in my own home!

I will not leave. If there is anyone that should leave, it will be the politicians who screwed up my life.

Anonymous said...

Yes, you should sit on top of a double decker bus and let the mare in the driver's seat take orders from you then your life will be like the heavens glowing with the glory of your emperor.

Anonymous said...

Tony Tan = Orang UTan (monkey see, monkey do proxy of the PAP)

Tan Cheng Bock = Bo Chap Tan (has strong PAP mindset & value but shoot from the hip, ala like a cowboy)

Tan Kin Lian = Kwai-Lan Tan (has some PAP mindset & value but now pretends that he has left for the dark side)

Tan Jee Say = Rambo Tan (since the govt intends for the President to be the "check & balance", let's make sure they get what they ask for)

A simple Singaporean said...

To me TJS showed passion on those people being detained under ISA that was why he got angry.

Anonymous said...

TKL spoke up for the man in the street during the recent 2008 global financial crisis, when many ordinary people lost their life-long saving due to the toxic products like Lehman Mini-bonds, DBS High Notes etc

Where were TT, TCB and TJS back then?

Do you remember what they said for the people affected? Did they spoke up for victims of commercial frauds? Investment scams etc.??

Vote TAN KIN LIAN for a better Singapore.

Anonymous said...

That's right! Vote Tan KL because he is the best person to hold sissy Loong's hand when oldfart departs, maybe even coach Ah Loong to walk without his trademark gait.

Anonymous said...

Singapore Artist spoke in Venice of Secret Detention Prison in Singapore and the ISA. Military and Police seaching wrong places for Mas Selamat who escape via Longkangs!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hkn0gAD8nqs

Anonymous said...

Interesting check out All the Lines Flows Out by Charles Lim.
He won a Prize exposing the Politico Social exploits of the Singapore Govt through ISA and Land Acquisition.

muebles tres cantos said...

In my opinion one and all should browse on it.