I was initially elated that NMP Kuik Shiao-Yin actually stood up and raised concerns (see video http://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2016/08/16/nmps-vote-yes-to-new-law-on-contempt-of-court-despite-no-clarification-to-concerns). Her raising issues with the bill was extremely important. Because she is an NMP, she does not represent any constituency and is party neutral. She is also representing voices of the youths, a group that I too work closely with as well. Her points were poignantly put across and clear.
Not only that, she also sat down with other NMPs to suggest changes to certain phrasing of the bill.
But on the actual day, the NMPs withdrew their recommended changes and voted YEA together with the other pro-party members. This was a big shock. The way she voted was like a big 180 degrees u-turn from her stand and the reason was that the law minister has answered her concerns satisfactorily. Unfortunately, whatever clarification seems to have not been made available to the public.
The bill will have an effect on this personal blog. Although my blog is mainly surveying and commenting about the Singaporean eduscape, it is inevitable that sometimes, court cases arise that is either because of/in relation to the eduscape, directly or indirectly. And if the case was not concluded, I am not allowed to talk about it if I look at how the bill is worded (although the law minister says otherwise). And one such example? That of Benjamin Lim who committed suicide after police interrogation about a case that implicated him. At that point of interrogation, there was no accompanying adult person from the school nor family even though he is considered a minor.
Everyday it seems like Singapore is becoming more and more sanitized with less and less freedoms. I was catching up with a friend few days back, who is a foreigner. She asks if that matters because societal and political stability have afforded inhabitants on this island mostly carefree days.
I disagreed. Because the youth will have a new set of challenges ahead of them (these days dinning subjects revolve around apps talk, imagine the same conversation will draw blanks a decade ago) and the current SIT DOWN SHUT UP behavior is molding a generation of people who will not think creatively and go out and solve problems whilst at the same time, technology is engineering people http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/technology/as-technology-shifts-more/3053152.html out of their jobs.
So what is the cost of the lost of a little freedom now? I think it will be magnified manifold in the lost of opportunities in the future.