Saturday, April 14, 2007

Well Duh!

Visiting politicians refused permission to speak at a forum on democracy? In Singapore, then they say it is like an authoritarian state. Eejits, Singapore is an authoritarian sate:-

Singapore uses the death penalty extensively and has, according to Amnesty International, the world's highest execution rate relative to population size. The government has contested Amnesty's assertion that this constitutes violation of human rights. Caning, in addition to imprisonment, remains a routine punishment for numerous offenses. Internment has been used to deal with espionage, terrorism, organized crime, and narcotics. Citizens’ privacy rights occasionally have been infringed, and the government has restricted freedom of speech and freedom of the press and has limited other civil and political rights. Censorship of sexual, political and racially or religiously sensitive content is extensive.
Singapore does not offer a civilian service alternative to two-year compulsory military service. Four conscientious objectors, all members of the banned religious group Jehovah's Witnesses, were imprisoned in 2004-

-Although some restrictions on indoor political meetings were lifted, strict government controls on civil society organizations and the press continued to curb freedom of expression and were an obstacle to the independent monitoring of human rights.-

It has been for a long time but because it is authoritarianism in service of the free market it is politely not remarked upon which may explain why these MEP's were so surprised. After all it's all shiny, is a big player in the global financial markets and you can have lovely holidays there!:-

Singapore has been accused of acting like an "authoritarian state" after refusing to allow European Parliament members to speak during a visit.
The seven MEPs, as well as a Cambodian and a Philippines congresswoman, were denied permission to speak at a forum on democracy in Europe and Asia.
One MEP likened the Singaporeans' to repressive regimes such as North Korea.

The Singapore government said foreigners did not have permission to address the event.
The seven MEPs, from the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE), came to Singapore after earlier speaking at a forum in Indonesia.

"I fear that, in this sense at least, it puts Singapore in a league with North Korea, Myanmar and the People's Republic of China," MEP Graham Watson was quoted as saying by the AFP news agency.
"What has happened today proves that Singapore is an authoritarian state," said Ignasi Guardans, a Spanish MEP.

The MEPs had been invited to speak by the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) led by Chee Soon Juan, opponents of the People's Action Party which has ruled the island state since 1959.
"Singapore's politics are reserved for Singaporeans. As visitors to our country, foreigners should not abuse their privilege by interfering in our domestic politics," Singapore's Ministry of Home Affairs said in a statement.-