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If Ned were in Parliament… October 24, 2007

Posted by Ned Stark in Uncategorized.

( This whole post is not meant to impugn on the Parliament of the Republic of Singapore, that sacred and untouchable institution, by law said to be free from all fault, Mr Chiam, Mr Low and Ms Lim not included of course.)

Mr Speaker sir, I have had the benefit of reading my learned parliamentarian’s speech and shall now attempt to engage in such a discussion with as little emotion as ever, since I am of course extremely unwilling to subject my learned parliamentarian to the “harrassment” she was subjected to by rather “violent” people after her comments on homosexuality was made known. Of course I shall not comment on whether the article was well researched or not for I am but a simple faceless netizen without the impeccable credentials of a professor, what more a law professor. Nevertheless I find it rather strange that she should be surprised by such rancour; after all if you insinuate that a person is a sexually depraved monster you can’t expect him to come up to you with a smile and give u his other cheek for you to slap.

That aside I must say that as my learned friend Aaron has said, I am confused as to the idea of the “conservative” majority. In fact I must question just what makes a person a conservative majority? His homophobia? His desire to have three children? The fact that he goes to church? Indeed, Ned believes in ideals such as honor and justice, concepts dating back to the middle ages and beyond. So am I a conservative?

Moving on, my learned parliamentarian has said that the repeal camp is “marinated” with fallacies which obscure what is at stake. She claims that the repeal will subvert social morality, destroy the common good and undermine our liberties. Such a statement must receive a cautious reply. Regarding liberties one can respond with but one question, “What liberty?” But snide comments on Singapore aside, one must wonder what is the liberty and common good is she talking about. Furthermore what social morality is there to be safeguarded. Indeed I would also contend that social morality can be safeguarded by criminalising adultery, raiding Geylang, dispensing with Casinos (or if you would prefer IRs). Indeed, I find it rather weird that marital rape is still permissable under the law! So it is socially moral to rape your wife! Fascinating is it not?

Now on to harm. Indeed I do not dispute that harm can be intangible or tangible. The question is what harm? If A and B engage in homosexual intercourse in the bed room, what harm can there be? Maybe they made too much noise and woke their neighbours; the law relating to nuisance will deal with that. Maybe if they were in a hotel room and they broke the bed, then negligence will deal with that. Is there a need to impose criminal sanctions on people?

On the issue of science, one must wonder on what basis does the learned parliamentarian diss science, it is undeniable that scientists do have certain subjectivity (as do judges and all of us) but one cannot deny that research is in itself an objective enterprise. Indeed if one would like to rubbish science then one would have to do better rather than dissing science using rather doubtful examples of homosexuals who have turned straight (see this post for more information on that).

Furthermore, having a law and not enforcing it (or claiming to anyway) makes a person confused. As the late Lord Denning once so eloquently said, ” it tends to the discredit of a legal system in a country if its Parliament makes laws or its courts make orders which they cannot enforce“ Indeed what happens if A hears his neighbours getting it on, and knows that his neighbours are definitely both male? If A calls the police, would the police say, “Sorry but we are forbidden to enforce the law!” Indeed it would be a mockery of the law if there is no desire to enforce it. I do agree however that the retention of 377A does send a strong signal; to the inquisitors, this is a sign that the government does look favourably on them; this is in essence a tacit approval for them to commence their hate campaign against fellow human beings. This law is a signpost, that the law considers homosexuals to be no better than rapists; true from a strict literal interpretation it says nothing of that sort but from a broader perspective it does suggest that homosexuals are criminal or criminally inclined.

Furthermore I fail to see why the call to repeal a law which is discriminatory is tantamount to hijacking human rights. Indeed calling for the repeal of 377A is an action which shows great respect for this idea of human rights. Those calling for repeal are not limited to homosexuals; in fact NMP Siew is himself a heterosexual. Mr Hri to is most definitely not homosexual. I myself, last i heard am as homosexual as Aaron is homosexual. Indeed the composition of people calling for repeal is more varied than what is suggested by the learned parliamentarian; I know Christians who seek to repeal the law but do not approve of homosexuality, and Aaron has at times said he was slight homophobic. All those seeking repeal seek these things: That religion be kept out of the picture and that people be treated as equal as possible. Its a matter of human rights and attempting to fudge around with concepts such as equality and fairness cannot change the fact.

I now turn to the matter of the petition to Keep 377A. It maybe that there were 15 000 rather concerned people who signed. However one must question whether this is a good indicator of anything if “Jesus” himself signed the petition. Furthermore, just because many people say its right does not make it right. In National Service it is common for people to be tekaned, does this make it any more right? What about the murder of Jews? What of the prejudice against the african americans or africans? Did the fact that society deemed it right make it anymore right? There was also a time not too long ago when Christians were fed to lions in the Roman Arena.

Unfortunately not only is my time short, I must admit I lack the eloquence of my learned parliamentarian. Therefore I shall end off by addressing her use of history. While I must admit I do not know much about homosexuality in China, save that there were Emperors who were homosexual, I must say that I find it interesting that she talks about how there were the “bad old days” in Greece where homosexuality was allowed. Indeed it is rather interesting that she talks about the bad old days. I would like to highlight this salient fact to this august assembly, that the very institution, nay the very place, nay the very act, to wit, of debating now, indeed our very idea of government stemmed from those bad old days. These bad old days also gave us the Hippocratic Oath sworn by doctors, and philosphers such as Aristotle. In fact the bad old days of Ancient Greece gave rise to heroic men such as the 300 Spartans who chose to stand and die at Thermopylae. One must wonder whether one can find 300 NS men willing to do the same in morally upright Singapore. And with regards to Sodom may I highlight this interesting piece done by Mr Wang, it provides a rather interesting perspective.

But I have said too much, and fear that I would be subject to a rigorous analysis which would tear my argument apart. Indeed I fear that will be burnt at the stake by the Inquisition like Joan of Arc and thus shall say no more. Save this, I too was raised to believe, stand up and to speak for a cause. To speak up for what is right. And I say now that retaining 377A serves only to bolster those who seek to spread fear, hatred among members of society and that is stands, not as argued for morals, but for sheer prejudice, sheer disregard for the feelings of fellow human beings.

Sir, I long to be a member of a compassionate society, a city of possibilities; a place where men practise what they preach. But for 377A, this would forever be a way distant fantasy.



1. Desmond Lim - October 25, 2007

beautifully done.

2. Popagandhi » Like A Straw Up Your Nose - October 25, 2007

[…] survivor, since we’re on that topic The Molly Awards Parliamentary Classic: 377A (Part 1) If Ned Were in Parliament 2007 24 […]

3. teh_si - October 25, 2007

Well done, cheerful 🙂

One nitpick

You said : “Maybe if they were in a hotel room and they broke the bed, then negligence will deal with that. ”

Issit? I think they cannot be said to be negligent. Should be hotel negligent. Hotel has duty of care to have good beds for….ya know…

4. Vincent Liu - October 25, 2007

I’d wish that our parliamentary debates were as colourful as yours is, Ned. It’s sad to see that our parliament is dominated heavily by just a singular party, who could have their way in denegrating others from the assuredness of their grip in power. (See http://www.mrbrown.com/blog/2007/08/police-outdoor-.html for an example)

When I watch British or Australian parliamentary debates, I really hang my head in shame, not just for their forceful, condenscending attitudes of the Singaporean ministers, but mostly for the lack of wit and candour in providing a coherent sensible rebuttal.

5. 2007 October 26 « The Singapore Daily - October 26, 2007

[…] by The Singapore Daily on 26th October 2007 Section 377a – Winter is Coming: If Ned were in Parliament… – la nausée: Thio Li-Ann’s Speech in Parliament — A Rebuttal – PKchukiss: Ideology can’t pay […]

6. Ian Timothy - October 26, 2007

hear hear!

7. Stunned « Used Brains For Sale - October 27, 2007

[…] If Ned were in parliament… […]

8. Pat Law - October 27, 2007

I paid Dr. Thio Li-ann a ‘tribute’ for inspiring my latest series of wallpapers. Check them out here: http://patlaw.wordpress.com/2007/10/28/straws-and-noses/

9. guojun - October 30, 2007

like i said long ago ned. ‘conservative’ is not defined on purpose! That way, everyone is conservative and they can represent the masses. Thio Li-Ann will NOT define ‘conservative’ explicitly, and nor will any politician with regards to this matter.

However, everyone wants a definition right…too bad that discourse is not encouraged in Singapore haha if not we’d have some very interesting things indeed.

10. Sad. - November 1, 2007

other might think your little contribution to the present controversy to be ‘cute’ (laity-defined “nice looking but ugly’), i think you have not done anything constructive towards it. Infact, as someone who is borderlined on this issue, I have decided to take a harsher stand simply because of bloggers like you who dun engaged brains with emotions. Thanks for the tirade, but not thanks for being deconstructive.

11. Ned Stark - November 2, 2007

One might also define Prof Thio’s comments on straws cute; but likewise some might contend that she has engaged brains with no emotions.

Furthermore it is rather interesting that some people take a stand simply because they dont like what the other side is saying. Arguably it saves time on rational thought; but little else. Extrapolating that line of argument, one might say that after reading talkingcock one would indeed become more pro government because they are merely providing tirades and not doing anything constructive!

12. YCK - November 4, 2007

I am as confused about the “conservative” majority as you are. In the days leading up to the debate, polls and lately Detenber’s study has been used to support the contention that the majority do not want the law repealed. I do not recall that Detenber et al. queried respondents about the repeal. Do feel free to write to me if you want to confirm this and cannot get the full article. But a friend argued that this evidence could still be construed as showing that Singapore has a “conservative” majority, though it says nothing about whether it is one that is willing to live and let live.

What I find disturbing is that a vocal group of people could be so easily rallied around the banner of the “conservative” majority. In short they exhibited a scary resemblence to a lynch mob. I have wondered since if powers that be have made an unintentional slip in their repeated reference to this “conservative” majority.

13. JustSayIt - November 4, 2007

377A was kept on considerations of whether Singapore as a society wants to mainstream homosexuality. The answer is no. It’s got nothing to do with gay freedom. Gays have lots of freedom.. now, if only the activists would find something else to do… for me, I am continuing with my life..

14. Ned Stark - November 5, 2007

Ah… sure thing. As long as it doesnt affect u why bother?

15. guojun - November 5, 2007

hmm, yeah you dont have to bother. It’s got nothing to do with gay freedom, admittedly. The question is one of acceptance. Given our govts track record on not always being in touch with the people, then who are they to represent everyone by saying that homosexuality is not condoned? If a large majority said no, i have nothing wrong with that. It’s just the govt saying that they know for sure which is the problem.

16. tinkerbell - January 6, 2008

when the cold wind blows and the wind howl howl, the loner wolf dies but the packet survives.

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