Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The PAP government is illegitimate (My comment to former ISA detainees)

On 14 November 2009, myself and 400 others attended the launch of 'The Fajar Generation', a book which recounts the incredible cruelty that was inflicted on political detainees by the PAP around the time of Singapore's independence. The book was sold out in minutes.

Speeches were made by the authors, former ISA detainees Dr Lim Hock Siew, Dr Poh Soo Kai, Tan Kok Fang, and Mr Tan Jing Quee. This is probably only the second time locally that Singaporeans got to hear them speak about their ordeals and the horror they had to go through during ISA detention.

This is the comment I made during the brief Q&A session:

My name is Seelan Palay. I'm a Singaporean activist of this generation. And I'd like to start off by speaking on behalf of my current generation of local activists, that we greatly respect and honour the men sitting in front of us and also the men and women who have suffered under the PAP regime, under the ISA.

I'd like to say that history is written by people who have won only because they have cheated, and if they want to call that a victory and feel proud of it then that's their business. But I find no honour in a victory that is won by cheating, through the abuse of power, through the abuse of the law, through the complete control of the media.

And that is why I reiterate that the current government in Singapore, the PAP government, is a illegitimate government. I'd like to say that the current generation of activists will bear in mind some of the ideas of people before us and I'd like to quote Dr Lim Hock Siew: "We will never concede. Bitter sacrifice strengthens bold resolve."

We are still colonized in Singapore, previously by white men, and now by men in white. - Endquote.

I say that the PAP government is illegitimate because if the countless numbers of Singaporean men and women were not detained under the ISA, bankrupted, or humiliated in the local media over the years - the PAP may very well not be the government today.

Here is the must-see video of Dr Lim Hock Siew's speech at the launch:



And here's a report on the event by the Singapore Democratic Party.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

"And that is why I reiterate that the current government in Singapore, the PAP government, is a illegitimate government."

"Illegitimate"? Strong words, indeed. I fear you have overstepped the boundaries of reason. On second thought, make that common sense.

Regards.

Seelan Palay said...

If over the past decades since independence, the countless numbers of Singaporean men and women were not detained under the ISA, bankrupted, or humiliated in the local media - the PAP government very well may not be the government today.

Chia Ti Lik said...

Illegitimate = lack of legitimacy.

When a government does dirty things behind the cover of cleanliness, the government is one that lacks legitimacy.

PAP does dirty things under the cover of the white uniform. No matter how white the uniform is, it does not make up for the fact that PAP lacks legitimacy.

Hence, illegitimate.

Anonymous said...

I'm not affiliated to any political parties. By saying the PAP govt is illegitimate, you're doing a disservice to majority of Singaporeans who have supported the PAP since independence. Seelan and Chia, no action and talk cock only. Join a party and contest in election. I bet you get back your deposit. Hahaha

Seelan Palay said...

Dear Anonymous,

We are not doing a disservice to "majority of Singaporeans" because the majority did not even get to vote for every single election since the introduction of the GRC scheme.

And nothing can change the fact that the PAP government is illegitimate because they have used illegitimate means to hold on to power.

Anonymous said...

"We are not doing a disservice to "majority of Singaporeans" because the majority did not even get to vote for every single election since the introduction of the GRC scheme."

Dear Seelan,

I can agree with you that our electoral system leaves much to be desired. But that does not allow us to make the great leap to brand the PAP Government illegitimate for a variety of reasons.

Let me raise one consideration: you equate political legitimacy to legality, but the concept of political legitimacy encompasses more than that. (I'll concede to your point concerning the Singaporean electoral system for the sake of argument).

P/S: Mr. Chia, according to your estimation, all governments must be illegitimate then. Surely your definition of legitimacy needs reworking, no?

Chia Ti Lik said...

:)

I did join a party and contested in the last elections :)

I got back my deposit too.

Fighting the PAP is not something to be feared of or embarassed about instead it is something ot be pround of :)

Anonymous said...

and i can see the solemn pride behind taking potshots under the cover of anonymity. so much for the bravado of challenging others to stand for office.

stereotypical behaviour of a lapdog

Anonymous said...

Gerymandering makes a government illegitimate