I was caught by surprise by my nephew's concern remark that I will get into trouble and be arrested by the police if I say anything against the government. Good grief - here we have a 9 year old boy who is already fearful of our government! This is not a good sign.
What happen is that I was writing on my blog and he came and sat beside me. He was curious what I was writing. I took the opportunity to explain to him about being kind to animals what it really means. I gave the example about Sentosa Resort World trying to import in dolphins capture from the wild to be trained to perform for the public. How cruel it is and that government should not have allow it in the first place, since S'pore is committed to protecting wild life and have laws on it. It is at this point that he was concerned and told me that I should not say anything against the government.
I let him know that if all of us are so fearful then there will be alot of injustice around us. Government is make up of people and people cannot be right all the time as they are only human. If they are wrong, we have to speak up.
I truly hope he gets my point as children do understand the concept of 'fairness'. If it is wrong - they would say .."It is not fair, lah!"
However, this 'fear' is very real. Coming from a child it appears funny. But when it comes from an adult - when there is no strong reason for it - it is bordering on ridiculous. I have to amend one of my blog because in it I mentioned 'my friend heard that...... job that used to employ local S'porean, now employs PRs.' There was no name mentioned and I wrote it as 'heard'. I was accused of not checking my facts with the company....etc. Good lord, this friend told me about it and also mentioned that I should highlight it knowing that I enjoyed writing as an expression. Just because I wrote 'my friend...' - it got this person worry and fearful of getting into 'trouble'. (I change the sentence to 'I heard that...' and leave out the 2 'sensitive' words - 'my friend')
A climate of fear does exist amongst ordinary citizens in S'pore. This is certainly not healthy even if the fear is unfounded. Perhaps it could be attributed to the name our politicians make for themselves, sueing international foreign press for large sum of compensation for reporting the 'wrong' thing. They also sue opposition party members for saying the 'wrong' thing, some of whom went bankrupt as a result.
These few politicians from the same Party (also from the same family) could likely enter the Guinness Book of Record for bringing up the most lawsuits against anyone who spoke against them. Another record achievement for Singapore. Hurray ??