1. JOURNALISTS FRUSTRATED BY PRESS CONTROLS
I think the only thing that surprised me in this cable is that the reporters seem to want to pay tribute to this elusive-to-the-States-Times concept called journalistic integrity. That shows how much respect and faith I have in the press in Singapore.
What the journalists said in the cable are pretty much how I feel about a possible career in journalism in Singapore. In short, what the fuck is the point? Censorship is one of the things that I've absolutely hated since I learned to have an opinion on things. I'd rather be a lawyer than to be a journalist in Singapore. Considering how much I hated my job, that's really saying something.
2. RULING PARTY YOUTH WING COZIES UP TO CHINESE, STEPS UP RECRUITMENT
After the February trip, YP chairman Teo Ser Luck told Singapore press that associating
with a Communist organization did not trouble him: "We're not worried because it's the governing party and Singapore-China relations are so close. We don't talk about political philosophy." (In a throwback to the PAP's early days as a member of the Socialist International, YP members still use the honorific "Comrade.")
Teo Ser Luck is such a tool. Then again, we've already known that at least from the campaign period of the General Elections this year.
Comment: YP appears focused on trying to make the ruling party more attractive to young people and acting as one of the many channels through which Singapore fosters closer relations with China. As a result, it currently places little emphasis on substantive thinking or on trying
to influence public policy. For example, Leong, although in charge of YP's international activities, claimed to have no opinion about the state of bilateral relations between the
United States and Singapore; he merely commented that YP leaves such things to the civil servants. Likewise, though Leong and Chng said YP is an effective conduit for transmitting young people's feedback and ideas to the government, they were unable to give a single concrete
example of this. They also claimed that YP helps the PAP change with the times by keeping "an ear to the ground," but in support they offered only the vague and commonplace observation that as young Singaporeans become better educated and cosmopolitan, demands will grow for greater openness in government. Singapore will have to respond, they said, but only incrementally over time. Meanwhile, two other young Singaporeans recently told PolOff in unrelated conversations
that they have considered joining YP - not out of affection for the People's Action Party, but because they think it would enhance their career prospects. End Comment.
1. Sounds so typically Singapore/PAP/lack of critical thinking in Singapore's eudcation system - no substantive thinking; no opinion about the state of bilateral relations; unable to provide a single concrete example; commonplace observation.
2. Further to point 1: this organisation sounds like a waste of resources to me. It's basically useless. It wants to recruit young Singaporeans? Sorry, but the majority of the young Singaporeans who have a brain would probably rather die than to be associated with the PAP. I've never even heard of this organisation. I sincerely hope that I'm not paying taxes every year to fund this useless and frankly nauseating organisation.
3. SINGAPORE'S COUNTER-RADICALIZATION PROGRAM CLAIMS ZERO RECIDIVISM, BUT SKEPTICS REMAIN
Marranci expressed concerns that there is growing discontentment among Malay youth that could provide fertile ground for the recruitment of extremists in the future. Over the past year, Marranci has interviewed 250 Malay youth (aged 13-28), 240 of whom expressed a strong dissatisfaction with life in Singapore and told Marranci they would emigrate if they could. Many Malays feel marginalized in Singapore, and extremist attitudes appear to be intensifying, he said.
This actually makes me quite sad and it really concerns me. Maybe I've bought too much into government propaganda about how Singapore is racially harmonious and whatever, but I genuinely have the general view that Malays, at least those of my generation, see themselves as Singaporeans first. What I mean is that although I've always been proud of my ethnic roots, I don't, and will never, identify with mainland China. Along these lines, I've had the impression - and I still believe this to be true - that Malays generally don't identify with Malaysia.
I suppose, though, it's easy for me to think this as someone of the dominant, majority race. But my ignorance is borne of sincerity and not arrogance. I don't feel passionately about most things regarding this country; in fact, most of the time I'm complaining about what I perceive to be bullshit that happens here. But one of the rare things that I do feel passionately about is our racial make-up. It's for this reason that I absolutely, absolutely cannot stand any hint of Chinese chauvinism here; therefore, I cannot stand the PRCs that come here to work and can't fucking speak English, seemingly thinking that Singapore is a Chinese country.
We're not. We're a multi-racial society. And I hope, I really hope, that we remain as such despite what appears to me to be the PAP's implicit attempt to increase the Chinese population here. There is little that I would defend about Singapore, really; but I will defend vehemently our right to be a multi-racial society, and our claim as one. It's what makes Singapore unique; it's what makes this country Singapore. If I wantd to live in a homogenous Chinese society, I'd just move to Taiwan (no way in hell I'd ever live in China, thanks).
On a slightly different note, if this Marranci person is correct, then I worry that the idiot Chinese PAP leaders wouldn't know how to deal with this issue if it blows up, or even before it gets worse. The cable quotes an Israeli official commenting that "the Government of Singapore does not even have a good understanding of ethnic Malays in the country, let alone how and why some ethnic Malay Singaporeans have turned to religious extremism".
I don't think an Israeli has any right to talk about understanding Muslims; but in this case, this Israeli is quite spot-on. In the first place, the government barely understands the practical problems that the average Singaporean faces; how can anyone expect them to understand ethnic Malays?
On an unrelated note, I hate how law students call themselves "lawyers". Don't be so full of yourself and stop choking on your own self-importance. You're a law student, you haven't been called, you're not qualified to call yourself a lawyer.
Besides, when you actually are a lawyer, you'd probably end up regretting ever calling yourself one.