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Posts Tagged ‘Ministry of Home Affairs’

Indonesian riots prove minister’s point on zero tolerance of racist remarks?

In Indonesia, Political economy, Public Administration on 27/08/2019 at 10:53 am

If a racist rap video was allowed to remain online, it could normalise offensive speech and such attacks against other races could become mainstream, said Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam.

Speaking at the CNM Leaders Summit organised by the National University of Singapore’s Department of Communications and New Media on Thursday (Aug 22), Mr Shanmugam expanded on why the Government acted to remove the rap video by YouTuber Preetipls and her brother Subhas Nair, which came in response to a controversial “brownface” advertisement.

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/preetipls-subhas-nair-rap-video-normalised-offensive-speech-11834928

Constructive, nation-building CNA

Well the following article from the BBC about violent protests in West Papua province is evidence that he isn’t talking cock about the probability of violence when there’s official tolerance of racist language. Racist taunts aimed at a group of students from West Papua in Java have sparked violent protests in Indonesia’s West Papua.

What happened in Java last weekend

The groundswell of anger that has fuelled the latest demonstrators was sparked by an incident in the Javanese city of Surabaya at the weekend.

After accusing Papuan university students of damaging an Indonesian flag during Independence Day celebrations, nationalist groups surrounded their boarding house and goaded them with racist taunts, calling them “monkeys”, “pigs” and “dogs”.

Police in riot gear then stormed the dormitory to force the students out. Authorities said the students were briefly questioned before being set free.

This resulted in violent protests in West Papua

The area’s largest protests in years saw numerous buildings torched – including a jail and a market – and resulted in the Indonesian government deploying thousands of additional security officers to an area which is already the country’s most heavily militarised.

The internet has also been shut down to “restore security”, according to the Indonesian government.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-49434277

But it’s more than racist taunts. Papuan students in Java, told BBC Indonesian they are often made to feel like second-class citizens.

“I have been turned away from student boarding houses and told that they will not receive boarders who are Papuan students,” said Benfa, a Papua student in Yogyakarta.

“We face discrimination and racism daily,” Aris Yeimo, from the Papuan student union, added.

Coming back to the spark that started the riots (the racial taunts),  a few Indonesian politicians are showing some sensitivity. The governor of East Java province apologised for the racism in Surabaya, and President Joko Widodo announced plans to visit Papua. But better not to have allowed the taunts in the first place?

Related post:

Brownfacegate: Did you know Shanmugam also said this?

Typical Chinese reaction to “brownface” ad/ Cina also can get upset

Brownfacegate: The inside story?

Brownfacegate: Did you know Shanmugam also said this?

In Public Administration on 05/08/2019 at 11:19 am

In cyberspace, and in particular anti-PAP sites where cybernuts infest, urinate and defecate, Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam’s comments on the video up-loaded by local YouTuber and comedian Preeti Nair (known as Preetipls) and her brother, rapper Subhas Nair, have been given a lot of publicity and scorn. The Nairs were superheroes, the cheering cybernuts said.

The video was said by the Nairs to be their response to an ad for a NETS E-Pay campaign tot by many to have committed the offence of “brownface”: a Chinese guy dressed up to be caricatures of the four major racial groupings. (Read this about how S’poreans got divided into four racial groupings: “Malay race” created by ang mohs, not the Malays)

He was quoted as saying, “When you use four-letter words, vulgar language, attack another race, put it out in public, we have to draw the line and say not acceptable.”

And “This rap video insults Chinese Singaporeans, uses four-letter words on Chinese Singaporeans, vulgar gestures, pointing of middle finger, to make minorities angry with Chinese Singaporeans.” (Btw, wow treating us Chinese the way he treated Christians, protecting our sensitivities: in Religious equality, the PAP way, I said Minister Shan treated equally offended Christians as the equals of easily offended Muslims by banning Watain from performing, here he treated us Chinese as being as sensitive as ethnic Indians. Fair chap, this minister.)

Seriously, he also said

Let’s say a Chinese now does a video attacking Indians, Malays using four-letter words, vulgar gestures, same kind of videos,” he told Channel News Asia. “And let’s say there are hundreds of thousands of such videos. How do you think the Indians and the Malays will feel? Would people feel safe? Would the minorities feel safe?

No alt media publication seems to report this. But to fair to alt media, the constructive, nation-building media (that alt media copies and paste from) don’t give much prominence to these remarks.

He has a very valid point about the possibility of Chinese attacking Malays and Indians verbally, hurting their feelings: or worse if they physically attacked them. Doubtless there will calls to protect them, and I’m sure anti-PAP sites like TOC (with writers based in India, not S’pore because of the cost here: TOC: A lot of bull) will say that the PAP govt is not protecting minorities.

Fyi, I have no problems with the ad or the video. Live and let live, I always say. And I’ve lived as part an insignificant minority in London, Sydney and Melbourne: those were the days when Red China didn’t allow its people out. Life was really good as a Chinese in ang moh places. Us Chinese were considered to be model members of polite society, those Hongkies and spit on pavements who cut queues excepted.

How the establishment view the ad, video and Shan’s comments: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/preetipls-ministers-religious-leaders-rap-video-brownface-ad-11766998?cid=h3_referral_inarticlelinks_24082018_cna

How s/o JBJ views the ad, video and Shan’s comments : https://kenjeyaretnam.com/2019/08/01/we-need-to-talk-about-race/

How the BBC views the ad, video and Shan’s comments   https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-49205225. And in case you don’t read thru to end, I’ll post the concluding paragraphs:

The country is no stranger to satire, but the liberal use of swear words in K. Muthusamy, and its sharp, direct and caustic tone in discussing racial discrimination, is unusual and would be considered shocking to mainstream Singapore.

But a small and growing number of Singaporeans – many of them young, voracious consumers of online content that has a similar tone to the video – see nothing wrong with it.

This is a group that yearns for a franker and bolder conversation about race, and is frustrated with the careful tones of the discourse in the tightly-controlled local media. They are not content with how mainstream society and the government get to impose a certain definition of racism, and rules on how Singapore should discuss race.

The decision to censor the video and investigate Preetipls and Subhas, coupled with a perception that those who came up with the “brownface” advertisement got off lightly, may only stoke that frustration.

Related post: Indian lady takes issue with charge that Nets ad was “brownface”

Religious equality, the PAP way

In Public Administration on 20/05/2019 at 11:04 am

Yesterday was Vesak Day and this reminded me of the way the PAP govt treats the sensibilities of the various religions: equal treatment of intolerant religious views.

Recently minister Shan gave the lie (in the religious context) to the view that “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” 

The Christian preachers, when they talk to me, say ‘you are very, very strict when it comes to anti-Muslim, anti-Islamic messages…They said: ‘You treat the Muslim community differently than the Christian community.’

Minister Shanmugam

True, very true in my opinion. I had always tot that easily offended Muslims found it very easy to obtain satisfaction from the PAP govt compared to easily offended Christians. (Declaration of interest: I was once upon a time a very liberal Methodist. Didn’t believe that God created the world in seven days; didn’t believe that bible is the only record of what God says; tot that it didn’t matter if Christ never rose from the dead; and relaxed about LGBTs and divorce etc.)

So what did this PAP minister do after hearing out the Christian preachers?

I looked at it and I thought that there is some truth to what they say, I won’t say that it is completely true but it is an approach.

Result Watain’s performance was banned, upsetting its Malay fans.

“You have a group of Malay young men, showing the one-finger sign, supporting the group,” CNA quoted the minister.

“If a group of Chinese went and showed the finger sign and said that we should allow it – how would you all have felt? It is the same.”

Watain ban: playing the easily offended game can backfire

He’s being very fair in trying to ensure that all easily offended zealots of all religions are not offended, and if as a result of his actions, others are offended, juz too bad. No longer true (if it ever was) that “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” Remember what George Yeo once infamously said, “Christians are less likely to riot”?

But what this even handed illiberal attitude does to S’pore’s aspiration to be a global city on par with London and NY?

As intolerant as M’sian Talibanites? Uniquely S’porean solution

S377A: Ex-ST tua kee thinks Christians won’t harm him?

 

Watain ban: playing the easily offended game can backfire

In Public Administration on 12/03/2019 at 7:15 am

Easily offended Muslims are paying the price for being easily offended and making police reports etc, and getting other S’poreans into trouble. Their actions have had consequences. When social media took after here, all those years ago, some easily offended Muslims were forever making police reports or complaining loudly publicly about posts they found offensive. Well easily offended Taliban Christians (minority here thankfully) were watching and listening, and learning.

The govt said Watain targeted the Christian religion specifically and hence the ban. Fair point given that if the band insulted Muslims, it’d have been banned because the authorities didn’t want easily offended Muslims to be upset, and making known their unhappiness.

But because “Christians don’t riot” (BG Yeo said this when he was a minister: remember him?) some civil servant tot it fine to let them in to perform? I’m glad the govt is being even-handed in its illiberal attitude*, which I personally disagree with.

I note the band also targets Jews.

But they don’t insult or diss Islam or Muslims. Why, despite Islam being an Abrahamic faith too? I can only suppose because jihadists even in Sweden kill or threaten to kill those who mock Islam or Muslims. Christians and Jews in Sweden ain’t so violent against those who insult their religion, I suppose.

This is another reason to ban them: for having only the balls to insult those who they know won’t kill or threaten to kill them for the insults. Christians don’t riot remember? Ditto Jews? The Jews only file law suits.

And I agree with the Minister with responsibility for the welfare of pets, among other duties, who warned the Muslim community that it has responsibility to show that it lives in a multi-cultural society and must be aware of others’ sensitivities, just as it expects others to be sensitive to its sensitivities.

“You have a group of Malay young men, showing the one-finger sign, supporting the group,” CNA quoted the minister.

“If a group of Chinese went and showed the finger sign and said that we should allow it – how would you all have felt? It is the same.” Very true. Something for the Malay community to think about.

As the photo has gone viral “across the Christian community”, Shanmugam said that it was crucial to show that the picture does not represent what the Muslim community thinks. “They won’t realize that this a small group of Malays, but they may think, is this what Muslims think of us? So now we have to send the message that this is not what the Muslim community thinks. These are black metal group supporters, they are not the mainstream community.”


*Minister Shanmugan said, “The Christian preachers, when they talk to me, say ‘you are very, very strict when it comes to anti-Muslim, anti-Islamic messages…They said: ‘You treat the Muslim community differently than the Christian community.’ I looked at it and I thought that there is some truth to what they say, I won’t say that it is completely true but it is an approach.”

Added 21 hrs after first publication.

 

 

 

Security: Kampong spirit or software better?

In Public Administration on 07/06/2015 at 9:56 am

DPM Teo called for what I consider the “kampong spirit” to combat radicalisation after it became known

A Singaporean youth has been detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for terrorism-related activities since April this year, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) announced on Wednesday (May 27).

…another youth was arrested in May under the ISA for further investigations into the extent of his radicalisation.

–  –  –

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Teo Chee Hean said Singapore faces real threats from radicalisation, similar to other countries. He noted that attacks can still happen, even if a country is already on high security alert.

“Our community leaders have worked hard to counter radical ideology. And we should all, from all communities in Singapore, support one another … All of us must play our part. If you know or suspect anyone who is becoming radicalised, please notify the authorities early,” Mr Teo said.

“You may be helping to save that person from harming himself and others. And our security agencies will do their utmost to detect and prevent any terrorist attacks.”

“We must strengthen our community resilience so that if an incident were to occur here, we can recover and emerge even stronger, and more united,” he added.

(CNA)

Err what about more high tech stuff?

In the UK, schools are being offered new software that helps teachers spy on pupils’ potentially extremist online activity.

It alerts teachers if pupils use specific terrorism-related terms or phrases or visit extremist websites on school computers, laptops or tablets.

Teachers are encouraged to look for a pattern of behaviour rather than raise the alarm after a single warning.

http://www.bbc.com/news/education-32996327

Seems we don’t have similar software because “Fortunately, another person who knew Arifil [the detainee] noticed the changes in him, and had brought him to the attention of the authorities, who were then able to investigate the matter and take action before he could carry out his violent attack plans in Singapore,” said MHA.

DPM Teo & GG (or WP): gentle reminders for next week

In Humour, Political governance on 08/05/2012 at 7:23 pm

DPM Teo has been busy in April, what with opening a temporary carpark in Hougang, praising Desmond Choo (assumed PAP candidate there), talking abt the dangers of the internet, and pushing onto us the task of integrating FTs onto us, despite many of us wanting first-world FTs, not the garbage we’ve been getting in ever increasing truck loads, I’d tot I’d remind him of shumething he said in March concerning violent, ang moh FTs.

In March,  in parliament to a question from “Kate Spade” (the real people’s princess, not that NSP, TJS groupie gal who was from RP and who is looking to move on from NSP, not her boy friend: I mean tin looks ordinary, Nicole has star quality), he told us very upset S’poreans that Home Team was conducting an internal investigation on why two violent ang moh FTS who beat up two S’poreans badly in 2010 were allowed to post “peanuts” in bail; and why the police investigation took so long? They took the opportunity to cock a snook at S’pore by moving on.

He said the investigation would be completed in April, and implied that we would told the conclusions.

As it’s now May and parly sits next week, he should be abt to tell us abt the conclusions. And if the investigation has yet to be concluded, why not?

Tot he might need reminding as he seems to be trying hard to join Tharman, Sailor Lui, $8 Khaw and PM, as a teller of jokes in bad taste.

And I hope Gerald Giam (the apprentice who overthrew his si-fu Eric Tan) remembers that the WP called for the nationalisation of the bus and MRT systems in its 2011 GE manifesto, and that he wrote this on nationalising the public tpt system in July 2011.

If neither he nor any other WP MP raises this issue in parly next week, or explains why the WP has changed its mind of nationalisation (despite the apparent failure of the government’s model and the voters’ disgust with the government on this issue), the WP should have the decency to take down the manifesto from the WP website. First, the WP changed its benchmark that the WP wanted ministerial salaries to be referenced to, and now this. Said manifesto isn’t worth the paper it is written on even before the WP comes into power.  In first-world democracies, manifesto promises are ditched after the party wins power, not before: another WP first? Other firsts https://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?fbid=449379458422514&set=at.281804541846674.87911.280285461998582.555162557&type=1&theater

Heads must roll in the Home Team

In Political governance on 13/02/2012 at 6:00 am

Disgusted to read that another violent ang moh FT is allowed by the FT-loving Home Team to run away  and for the ang moh tua kee Home Team taking so long to investigate the matter. After another violent ang moh FT ran away in the middle of last year, why didn’t the appropriate squad in the Home Team (the police force or immigration department, or both?) take action to ensure it didn’t happen again, and to hurry the case along. Really, for two out of three suspects in an assault case to be allowed to run away while the case drags on, is a cock-up and outrage of major proportions. (BTW, looks like the mat salleh FT (from Oz) that got jailed is really, really very stupid. No brains to run away. So much for the “T” standing for “Talent”*? At least the other two violent ang moh FTs had the talent to run away.)

In addition to taking internal action against the ang moh FT lovers and ang moh tua kee people in the Home Team, and assuring the public publicly that violent ang moh FTs do not have an option to assault and injure people here and run away, the government should publicly assure the public that it is trying its best to bring these fugitives to justice. If the Saudis can get Interpol to help them catch a twitter, why can’t Interpol be used to catch these violent FTs?

Contrast the lax attitude towards these violent FTs with the attitude taken towards a S’porean. She is not allowed to keep her passport even though she resides in Johor. She has to rent. Her crime? Her company is being investigated (over a year now) for cheating greedybut brainless investors. The judge and police think that she may run away.

Didn’t anyone in the Home Team think that the violent ang moh FTs would run away? Stop loving FTs and treating ang mohs as tua kee, Home Team.

I doubt if any MP will raise this issue in Parliament. Mrs Chiam is consolidating her power and perfuming her hands. The WP believes in the power of silence. And the PAP MPs are PAP MPs. Since Siow Kum Hong was not renominated for a second term, and Eunice Olsen served the maximum two terms allowed: NMPs know their place, not seen and not heard. Jos and Terry are the model NMPS.

Update at 8.15 am on 13 February 2011:

*Look up “talent” in a dictionary, and it means “special natural ability. By definition, most people don’t have it, including  the 85,000 foreign workers brought in in 2011 (up from 53,000 in 2010).

Updated in May 2012 (related post)