When Will You See The Light, PAP?

A momentous development in Malaysia this week was overshadowed by news of the scandalous trial of 44 men charged with commercial sex with an underaged prostitute.

The Malaysian government has tabled a Bill to amend its Printing Presses and Publications Act (equivalent to Singapore’s Newspapers & Printing Presses Act) to greatly curtail the Government’s powers to control the press, and by implication, allow greater criticism and free speech.

The amendment will remove the Home Minister’s “absolute discretion” in granting or refusing a printing press licence, remove the requirement for annual renewal at the Minister’s discretion, remove his power to specify the period of validity of such licence, remove his discretion to grant a proprietor of any newspaper in Singapore a permit allowing such newspaper to be imported, sold, circulated or distributed in Malaysia.

The Minister’s powers to grant, extend, suspend or revoke licences will be subject to judicial review if the Amendment is passed.

To add insult to injury (to Singapore), PM Najib also announced that Malaysia will review the highly unpopular Sedition Act (again, equivalent to our Sedition Act).

Malaysia will preserve the key elements covered by the Sedition Act. It will still be seditious to oppose the monarchy, stir racial enmity, or to question Articles 151, 153 and 181 of the Federal Constitution [Art 151: Preventive detention; Art 153: Special position of the Malays and natives of Sabah and Sarawak; Art 181: Sovereignty of the Malay Rulers], etc. But the Act will be reviewed specifically to make clear that no one shall be detained under the Sedition Act for his political beliefs.

Together with the abolishment of the ISA, Malaysia is demonstrating that even a country that has far higher potential for ethnic and religious tensions can afford greater political and civil freedoms for its citizens.

Malaysia has seen the light. Or perhaps more correctly, Umno has seen the light.

When will you, PAP?

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Someone who sees beyond PAP and "opposition" in Singapore politics. To understand more please see the Top 10 link below.
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15 Responses to When Will You See The Light, PAP?

  1. Yelp. That is what I told my German frens in a German forum. http://gintai.wordpress.com/2012/01/27/to-tweet-or-not-to-tweet-thats-the-question/
    We may be first world and third richest country in the world but we can’t lift a candle to our neighbors in Msia, ROC, Philiphines, Thailand etc. Its a shame on the PAP clinging to powers at all costs.

  2. Pingback: Daily SG: 19 Apr 2012 « The Singapore Daily

  3. Michael says:

    Their recent moves to repeal that very law which helped them so much in the past could be seen as a political move under the guise of giving more civil liberties.

    The BN coalition might lose their majority in the parliament in the upcoming election. Their survival are hanging by a thread. They are now doing what they can to win more votes. Additionally, their new security bills are worded with vague words which still give authorities wide powers; almost no different from its old laws.

    I think you have to compare and contrast the usage of that very law between Malaysia & Singapore in recent years to make a fair comparison.

    • I agree. Please see my ISA post.

      Notwithstanding this, Malaysia proves they can do without ISA, that they can survive with a free press, with a revised Sedition Act, etc.

      • Michael says:

        Sorry. Let me add on.

        Malaysia’s act of amending their Sedition act is flaw. Notice stirring racial enmity is still covered under their Sedition act. Although BN have boldly claimed that no one will be charged under Sedition Act for “Political Beliefs”, they are also aware there are political parties which are racially inclined and promotes racial supremacism (ie: the Malay/Hindu/Chinese racial supremacists). Those nationalists come together and they have formed political parties; surely, their manifesto are inclined to their own race. Any insensitive moves by these racial supremacists will attract the Sedition Act to them.

        So are these racial supremacists views considered political beliefs? Or do they have the potential of causing racial unrest? [i.e: Stir racial enmity]

        ————————————————
        Malaysia will preserve the key elements covered by the Sedition Act. It will still be seditious to oppose the monarchy, stir racial enmity, and question Articles 151, 153 and 181 of the Federal Constitution [Art 151: Preventive detention; Art 153 Special position of the Malays and natives of Sabah and Sarawak; Art 181: Sovereignity of the Malay Rulers], etc. But the Act will be reviewed specifically to make clear that no one shall be detained under the Sedition Act for his political beliefs.
        ————————————————

      • Don’t miss the wood for the trees. The point is they are revamping their Sedition Act.

        Notwithstanding the above, I think it is not wrong for Malaysia to place limits on stirring racial enmity, etc. in their Sedition Act. Particularly in the context of preserving the special position of the Malays, etc., which is in the Constitution.

        I personally don’t see why politicians should aim to create racial disharmony in their attempts to gain power. The Chinese and Indians may not like it, but any attempt to displace the Malays will never be tolerated, hence better to have a Sedition Act rather than to have the Malays start attacking those who want to displace them.

        As for the Malay supremacists, the ones who want even more Malay rights, I seriously doubt any Chinese or Indians will be able to make a case that what they’re advocating is seditious.

        Like it or not, Malaysia will be for Malays first, foremost and always.

  4. theonion says:

    PW

    If that is the case that Malaysia is only for Malays, what about the rest of the races, the kadazans, ibans, bajaus , orang asli, etc who though bumiputra are not given the same.
    Frankly, this negates at a glance most of your thoughts since Malaysia is supposed to be multi racial and shows you biasness.

    • The rest of the races have to play second fiddle. That is the basis of the NEP, of the special position of the Malays, etc. I didn’t invent those policies or laws, they are what they are, nothing for me to be biased about.

      However, political reform can take place, even with Malay rights, Malay privileges, etc. as evidenced by the recent Bills and amendments.

  5. theonion says:

    PW

    The basis of the NEP was not to ensure that other races play second fiddle.
    The NEP at the source was to ensure that no races were identified by economic activities and similiar to a game of golf so that all can have a chance. By the comment of 2nd fiddle, i would opined that would be Umnoputra thoughts which you wish to propagate to Singaporeans.

    In that case, you wish to be a old style political warlord.

  6. theonion says:

    PW

    Please read the autobiography of Tun Dr Ismail who was the main architect of the policy together with Tun Razak.

    If you were to read the preamble to the Rukunegara or even the aims of the NEP policy itself, it was clear to uplift the economic situation of bumiputras for a set period and forthwith to have competition.

    In regards to the special rights of Malays, well look to the actual Constituition and the Cobbold report.
    Frankly, to me, it just smacks to me that you are not interested in any political equality but rather just economic gains to bumiputras.

    regards

    • Thanks. Autobiographies and memoirs are one thing, implementation and actual experience on the ground are another.

      I am not sure how you derive a conclusion that I am not interested in political equality. Frankly, I’m not Malaysian and I’m not concerned whether Malays are more privileged than other races in Malaysia. It’s not my country.

      I only brought up these points in the context of the Bills which are before Parliament now. The fact is, Najib still wants the Sedition Act to protect the special position of the Malays. Despite this, I have hailed the reforms as something Malaysia has done better than Singapore.

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  8. LinCH says:

    The Malaysian so called liberation is not real. They still have a lot of bullets to fall back on if they want to use them

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