Chee Soon Juan is undoubtedly a very wise man as can be clearly seen from his blog Singapore Democrat. Please see the links below. He had a few days ago reported that his party the Singapore Democratic Party will not contest the elections at Punggol East so as to further the chances of the opposition being returned through the Workers Party and because he believes this is what the people want. Please see his interview with government reporters below.
And here is what I wonder. Has Chee Soon Juan changed completely from what we knew of him even as recent as 2 years ago.
Remember, from as long as I have known him or known of him from as early as 2 decades ago, he was a firebrand. He was the only
Today, I would say he is a changed man. I understand that he no longer espouses civil disobedience as a future for the island's path to democracy. He does this, I believe, because his supporters feel that such political activism, given the submissive nature of the
I think this sort of thinking for a leader is wrong. This is not my understanding of leadership. Leadership means doing what you think is right regardless of what your people think, because in the end, the right and just case always succeeds.
On the other hand, comprising what you think for the expediency of satisfying the masses may result in success in politics, but that success would be standing on a weak foundation, on clay and mud, unstable and unreliable. What is worse, you would be going against your own beliefs, and after a point you wouldn’t be able to recognize yourself in the mirror.
And once you begin comprising, it leads to the slippery slope of even more compromises, eventually leading to losing your way completely. Chee's SDP website the Singapore Democrat shows a much larger and sophisticated support base from what it was before when he was taking to the streets. It would appear his supporters are all of the opinion that holding mass civil disobedience protests along
You will see in the above video clip the Harvard Professor espousing the teachings of the American philosopher Rawls who says that freedom of speech, expression and assembly are demands which cannot be compromised, which people are entitled to have and demand, and if peaceful protests are necessary to attain it, it must be done. Here you see Chee speaking for these virtues, but he stops short of actually having the will to carry it out.
Chee no doubt believes that freedom of speech and expression are not merely rights which one should hope for; I believe that he too agrees that the people have the right to use all universally accepted legal means such as peaceful protests and assembly to force a government to comply. Why he stops short is because he thinks wrongly that a good leader is one that obeys his supporters even if he thought they were wrong.
I would ask Chee to think otherwise. By Chee making his decisions on merely what his supporters want, he ends up just like the other opposition politicians under Lee Kuan Yew's one party state like dogs chasing their tails till kingdom come without an iota of progress for half a century.
I ask Chee to get out of this comfort zone with his supporters. The right thing to do is to shake the very foundations of this illegal government of Lee Kuan Yew and demand, I say demand, a free society as required by the Constitution, through peaceful protests, mass civil disobedience or what ever. This path of action may result in his political party dismantling and descending into disarray but so be it. Who needs people such as that. Who need rabbits. What we need to happen is for the government to realize that they simply cannot go on suppressing people’s rights and that we will force a change. But if Chee is going to be surrounded by a bunch of collaborators who refuse to have the courage for the right thing, he would be chasing his tail like that dog until kingdom come.
If Chee is hoping to be another Low Thia Khaing and enter parliament through appeasement instead of principle, he should not be wasting time showing videos of Harvard Professors speaking about Gandhian principles because it would be simply hypocrisy to claim a certain set of beliefs but not have the courage to walk that path.
Finally I must say that Chee Soon Juan has done a lot for his country and his people and undoubtedly deserves credit, no doubt. We all respect him. But I only hope he sees my argument and now embark on a course of change for
I want to see the Chee Soon Juan I knew. The fighter. Not someone who has descended into a placatory enabler.
Attorney at Law
A Singaporean in Exile
Tel: 510 491 4375