My thoughts on Thor Halvorssen’s letter to PM Lee – by Alps Tan

In a recent letter to PM Lee, Human Rights Foundation founder Mr Thor Halvorssen requests that Dr Chee Soon Juan be given exemption from his existing travel restrictions (which are imposed on all bankrupts, not just him) in order to travel to Norway and speak at the Oslo Freedom Forum.

First things first. ARE YOU KIDDING?

As a Singaporean, I find it very offensive that someone goes off to a freedom forum to bitch about my country. Yeah I know we have the right to complain about expensive cost of living or the right to poke fun at SMRT’s annoying breakdowns, but this is different.

This a Freedom Forum we’re talking about here; where all the oppressed people of the world gather to share real information about real problems. And Chee Soon Juan, of all people, represents Singapore and tells the truly oppressed people of the world how he’s being oppressed? In order to be part of the club, he’s trying to put Singapore on the same footing as all those countries.

 And really, are we?

Singaporeans have 2 years of National Service. Those people have Joseph Kony and child soldiers, where every other guy is running around waving an AK-47.

Singaporeans face a rising cost of living. Those people face extreme poverty, and we’re talking lack of clean water, food and sanitation here.

In Singapore, underage prostitution is what, 17 years old? In many third world countries, thousands of women are being forced into underage prostitution at 13. Or even younger.

Singaporeans are free to criticize their government on all kinds of websites, blogs, facebook, twitter. And unless you threaten to set a Minister on fire (or something equally violent), you sleep soundly at night knowing nothing will happen to you. Those people know they’ll get jailed for life, shot, or worse, for criticizing their government.

Chee Soon Juan has been charged for defamation (and the defence to defamation by the way, is simply to give evidence that what you’re saying is true), while his fellow speakers at the Oslo Freedom Forum have probably had their family members executed, or they’re been jailed and tortured for years.

So please la, Dr Chee. Don’t insult Singapore by trying to tell the whole world what a horrid place we are just so you can appear the martyr.

And don’t insult the other speakers of the Oslo Freedom Forum by trying to put yourself on the same pedestal as them. Because by doing so, you trivialize their sacrifice for the freedom of their people and their countries.

by Alps Tan
Source : My thoughts on Thor Halvorssen’s letter to PM Lee

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