If Ned were in Parliament… October 24, 2007Posted 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.