Wednesday, October 22, 2008

What we must reclaim: Seelan Palay

Seelan: A statement by me written for http://yoursdp.org

Since I began to read actively in my teens, I have been keeping myself aware of civil disobedience and how it is effectively used by people all over the world. In relation, I could always see the merit, reason and rationale in the actions of Dr Chee Soon Juan. Meeting and befriending him a few years ago helped assure my opinions.


I found that we shared a vision to see a freer, fairer, more compassionate Singapore. But there was a burden to carry for that, which Dr Chee definitely carried more than me. And so I decided that I must help him as much as I can, because I could not just stand by and watch the Singapore government try to ruin this honest man.

We mostly worked together from then on and then came March the 15th – a day I knew was going to be different. On that day, we were going to send a strong and clear message to the authorities that we've had enough.

Almost everyone was arrested, myself being dragged on the road by police officers who refused to tell me what I was being arrested for. This Thursday all 18 of us will be tried in court, and after that, probably jailed.

But I will continue participating in protests and demonstrations. My experiences in Malaysia and Indonesia have taught me that protests are important because they give people a sense of belonging, community and hope. And through my participation in protests here I want to prove these values to be true.

In the years to come, I hope for you and I in Singapore to reclaim the term "nation building" from the government, its institutions and its media. And in doing so, open the way for Singaporeans to participate more actively in all facets of life so that we may together build a future that we can call our own.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am Malaysian who once worked in Singapore for many years.I alway hold the opinion that Singapore will be a much better place to live if the people is not so "kia soo". What I meant is how many Singaprean is alike of Dr.Chee or you?

Howie

Anonymous said...

Hey i was jus wondering, u say protest is impt to show community and hope,but in Singapore u shuld knw that protesting can't get u anywer expect in jail...In order for a protest to be successful, the public must care...and lets face facts dude, most Singaporeans do not care("i take care of myself,u do the same" ) I Understand ur reason for doing it, and i find it very uplifting that u care so much but u shuld try in other ways to get ur idea thru...other than protestin...sorry if i said anythng wrng....


-Rave