[Questions To Debate] Are Singaporeans too afraid to speak up?

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Are we too afraid to speak up or have we become conditioned to not do so? 

How do our media landscape shape us?

 What diverse platforms can there be for us to express constructive criticisms to the government?

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 10 Questions to think about 

  1. Why are students not taught in our education system on the political landscape/ideology of Singapore e.g. Compare freedom of speech, censorship, political systems of Singapore with other countries.
  1. Are Singaporeans aware that other countries are much liberal in terms of what can be spoken about the government? e.g. Citizens allowed to openly question or criticize policies.

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  1. Why are defamation suits or fines from the government to the people so costly? Not only is a person’s reputation tainted, they are also left with financial and occupational woes.
  1. Some people, press or organisations may make untrue or exaggerated allegations. Still, can there be more effective ways e.g. showing transparency or rebutting – to prove fabricators wrong other than the method of suing?

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  1. Mainstream media comes mainly under these 2 main branches. Could this be for easier control over what to censor or what to promote to local audiences/readers?
  1. Why are local political films given such a heavy ban? If there is little to hide as the government is clean and uncorrupt, why fear what fabricators would say?

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  1. For political film content are really untrue or biased, wouldn’t sensible adult Singaporeans be able to differentiate and evaluate between what is true or false, and right or wrong?
  1. If almost any form of criticism towards the government is shielded by media censorship and defamation suits, how opened or democratic a state is that?

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  1. What possible outlets can the media or government provide – to allow people to openly and meaningfully express their constructive criticisms, opinions or feedback towards in-depth and important social/political issues (e.g. Policies, government expenditure)?
  1. With the lack of diverse platforms and autonomy for citizens to openly question and express what we feel the government may be lacking or can do better in state matters, how is Singapore going to strengthen, grow and progress together as a nation?  (Since citizens make up a nation.)

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Written by: Cass

Stay tune in the week ahead to.. We say we want Freedom of Speech but how ah?

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Article for reading: 1994 – 2015: A Chronology of Authoritarian Rule in Singapore

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