Failed Minister, Failed School, And Failed Press.
The tragedy of Benjamin Lim presents a failure in our state to protect Singaporeans. In this particular case, the rights of a young student. However, the PAP would claim only a small chance and percentage of people will be so unluckily.
Despite its failure, it is an acceptable norm for majority of Singaporeans. We have agreed with the PAP government in the way they handle the case and accept the fate that we can’t do much, like what Benjamin’s father told The Online Citizen:
[When asked if the family would take action against the police, Mr Lim said, “My family is not so well-to-do so we do not know how far we can pursue the case. But although we are poor, we have our dignity.”] #1
[As Benjamin’s father, it is now my duty to seek justice for my son. We do not know if he has indeed committed the alleged offence of “outrage of modesty” of the 11-year-old girl. Until the coroner hearing, we do not want to speculate whether the offence has indeed taken place.] #2 latest statement from the family
A Failed Home Affairs Minister
A Failed School
A Failed Press
Instead of assuring the public, especially parents, the safety and rights of Singaporeans, the Home Affairs Minister uses the press to attack the Workers’ Party about their position of Non-constituency members of parliament#3. If he wants to voice his views on NCMP, he can easily join the parliament debate. With his minister’s position, he can even find more time to speak in parliament. Why he only gave his comments when the motion had already passed? He cleverly used the NCMP issue to cover and sidetrack the tragedy. Up to now, we only hear the Police will review their procedures about interviewing minors.
Interestingly, he also never helps the Lim family to get a lawyer, like the case of cat abuse suspect.#4 Home Affairs Minister, Mr. K Shanmugam, also gave the following reasons:
[The minister said that he thought about it and decided that it was his duty to help Lee get a lawyer: “The court can then get all the facts and decide on the question of whether he is guilty, as well as the appropriate sentence, if (with emphasis), he is found guilty."
“I believe that Singaporeans (including all those who were angry and appalled by the cruelty done to the cats) are at heart generous people, and will understand why we are helping to get a lawyer to act pro bono for Mr Lee,” Mr Shanmugam added. “I don’t think people will therefore assume that I or the lawyer condone cruelty to animals. Far from it.”]#4
I find his silence a strange act and cannot understand his logic. However, I think I now have a better understanding of ‘the PAP political manoeuvring’.
If you read the TOC report as well as the family statement, the school, likes the Police, is ill prepared to prevent the tragedy. In paper, in standard operation procedures, Education Ministry and the Police can easily claim they are just doing the right things, although without a human touch. We have seen so many incidents that the government is just carrying out the administrative orders and laws passed by the Parliament.
Above all, we cannot expect the press to do an objective reporting. This tragedy deserves an investigation, rather than a normal (and not so accurate) reporting. The mainstream media once again shows their colour and this is why they deserve to be ranked so low in 153th place in the world.#5
Perhaps, the key question is we have given the government the freehand to interpret the laws. Most of us will not question the basic rights. Only when tragedy happens, we then see noises here and there. Very quickly, it is back to normal again.
GE2015 shows that majority Singaporeans think our present way of executing laws and orders is at the optimal level. It is not perfect but better than many other poor countries. This optimal level ensures our economic prosperity and gives us (Goh Chok Tong) a gracious society.
So, most of us are happy with our
Optimal justice and policing as defined by the PAP government.