Thursday, August 26, 2010

You say tomato, I say incitement to violence

The implementation of laws against incitement to violence or hatred is always problematic as they are very much open to interpretation.

Abdul Malik Mohammed Ghazali, a 27-year-old Singaporean, was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly inciting violence after criticising a minister in a comment left on a Facebook page.

Adding to the barrage of criticism on a page called "I hate the Youth Olympic Games organising committee", Abdul Malik attacked Vivian Balakrishnan, the sports minister, for his handling of the event:

"THIS IS THE TIME FOR US TO BURN VIVIEN [sic] Balakrishnan AND THE PAP!!!!!!" he wrote, referring to the ruling People's Action Party. "RALLY TOGETHER AND VOTE THEM OUT!!!" 

[Comment taken from a screen grab published by The Online Citizen, a Singaporean citizen journalism website.]

Abdul Malik has insisted that the use of the word "burn" was metaphorical although he hasn't yet been able to convince Singapore's police of his argument.

The opposition Singapore Democratic Party contrasts his comments with those of one Lee Kuan Yew, former prime minister and current minister mentor:

"Everybody knows that in my bag I have a hatchet, and a very sharp one," Lee once said. "You take me on, I take my hatchet, we meet in the cul-de-sac."

As far as I know, Lee has never been arrested by the Singapore police on suspicion of incitement to violence.



  1. Yes you are right Ben, LKY issued the challenge publicly, either his hatchet or knuckle dusters to take any one on.
    There is also his unflattering racial comments about the Malays.

    The question is why in hell the AG and police commissioner did not jointly take issue with LKY ? Does not matter if he was the Prime Minister then!

    This is one reason why many Spore citizens think their judiciary has degenerated to kangaroo justice, especially when it can be seen PAP and familee members are more equal or above the law.

    Having said that, it is a nation's disgrace when the head of state has no sense of decorum, no qualm speaking in public like a bloody gangster ?
    Even infamous dictators like Hitler, Saddam, Pol Pot, Kim, Mugabe, Castro, Gaddafi, Marcos, never displayed such audacity compared to LKY.

    Burn Noitice for MIW.

  2. Whoever has the power has the Right to interpret word(s) as he/she and they wish. No argument.