Race Issues

Though a sensitive subject, especially in Singapore, I believe it is important that we all acknowledge race issues openly rather than skirt them. That's what this space is for!
A note of caution though - because this is, after all, Singapore, do be sensitive to other people's feelings. Be open and critical, but not rude and bigoted. I would also advise all reading this space to take comments with a pinch of salt, given that these are only opinions of individual people, made in the light of advancing further critical discussion and encouraging a more open, intellectual mindset. :)  

Read the article below. Do you agree with the writer? Why?

Dec 7, 2007
Beware hazards of playing the race card
By Janadas Devan

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Censorship and Mass Media

In 2006, mrbrown was suspended from TODAY newspaper after his article ‘Singaporeans are fed, up with progress!’ (http://www.mrbrown.com/blog/2006/07/today_sporeans_.html) was published in July. Three days after this article appeared, a letter from K Bhavani, Press Secretary to MICA, was also published (http://www.mrbrown.com/blog/2006/07/letter_from_mic.html).

A hot debate about censorship in the media soon followed after mrbrown’s suspension and the subsequent resignations of Mr Miyagi, a fellow blogger and TODAY columnist, as well as the editors of TODAY by the end of 2006. 

Today, mrbrown is still continuing with his podcasts and blog, www.mrbrown.com , on which he still expresses his opinions about events in Singapore.

In the 2006 National Day Rally, PM Lee also made references to this issue: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/nationalday/rally/english6.htm (Section 9e).

Practice the AQ!

To what extent should the “mainstream mass media” (as quoted from PM Lee’s speech be subject to censorship? Your answer should make reference to the passages and your own knowledge and examples.

*NB: It is important to understand the context of the situation above as well as the issues raised by the situation, before you attempt this question.

  • arza90

the art of ART

The word “art” can be defined in many ways. Art can be defined as a piece of work, for example, paintings, poetry, songs, drama and many more. Since many people define art as described above, people who create such pieces are usually known as artistes. However, what most of us forget, is that art can be considered as a technique in doing something, such as the art of magic and the art of war. This makes art a methodology. However, in relative to the scope given in this post, I shall focus on the first definition of art and what are the criteria of art, such that it is a piece of work produces when an artiste expresses his feeling, emotions or thoughts.

I believe that each of the three images; A, B and C, given here has their own message to convey. For instance, my interpretation of image A, is a bidet. Since an art piece is open to interpretation, I think that the artiste is unique because he chose to draw such a specific uncommon object, almost often viewed negatively, since it is perceived as dirty due to its association to toilets. He is probably trying to convey that even such a picture can be a work of art, despite its appearance. He had altered the typical shape and design of the bidet to make it a unique piece. He is probably trying to convey that art is something very abstract and deep and that we need to view it in many different ways to understand and appreciate it. He has managed to make a typical bidet have an interesting outlook.

However, in image B, the artiste is trying to convey something generic. His art shows an overview of a town where one part of it is licked in huge flames and the flame causes a collateral pollution, for instance, air pollution, affecting the entire village, as illustrated by the twirling of the wind in the sky. This artiste is trying to convey that in any circumstance, when one person fails it has a ripple effect and can affect the others in one way or another.

Image C, on the other hand, illustrates many things are happening at once, and there seem to be a state of confusion of the artiste’s emotions and thoughts. This is so because the picture shows a mixture of man and animals painted in distortion. By looking at this picture, I gather pain, agony, torture and unhappiness felt by the artiste.

Comparing the three images, I prefer image C as it paints a thousand words. From the image, many interpretations and possibility can be deduced. It is a picture where one is not restricted to make any conclusions and one’s imagination can run wild in making any deductions. In addition, the compilation of the drawing is compact; every possible space available is used to express something. This evidently shows that a single picture such as image C, can convey numerous, countless interpretations.

Thus, this explains why image A and B cannot make it as it lakes of images in its drawings; too simple and vague, such that not many interpretations and conclusions can be made as compared to image C.

View pictures here:

Section 377A - Go for it!

I refer to article On Section 377A ... Forum on gay law well-attended, but change unlikely MPs


I personally feel that before for Singapore to actually progress as a society, our government must be more politically open. From the article I can feel Mr. Baey frustration on the whip which disallows him to comment on section 337A any further. He was being forced to do so to protect the government's interest or rather People Action's Party (PAP) interest. The homosexuals community are still consider the minority in Singapore, and the survey results does do them any good, as most of the people still disagree of homosexuality in Singapore.


Singaporeans are people who are more realistic and down to earth. The small community must show what good and significant they can bring to the society before they will be accepted. Such is the case of IRs where 10 years ago, it was unacceptable by the people's context but now due to the great amount of money it can bring in, the government accepted this proposal. Thus money is still the thing that makes the world goes round.


"Pitching your arguments in terms of civil rights ... will not take it very far." This point shows that the fabric of Singapore is closely knitted by religion and people. People are the only human resource in Singapore, and religion are beliefs of the people. From my own personal knowledge, no religions have admitted homosexual are accepted. This poses a mountainous task for the homosexual community to convince the government. Let me remind all readers that Singapore is a socialist society not a democratic one. The differences between these two are that civil and human rights are only given to the right extent to protect the Country's interest. While in a Democratic society eg. USA, human rights are deemed above the law. This explains for the approval of gay marriages in California.


I myself, approve the existence of gay and hope to see them in Singapore. Not because I¡¯m gay or because I have no religion. But I do really hope to see Singapore progress as a society. Based on my own knowledge, no Asian country have approved of gay marriages, Singapore the first to do so? Why not? After all WE are a "city of possibilities".

Read your articles here : 

Graffiti - The New Generation of Art

Graffiti is the new generation of art as people mainly use it to convey messages across. Graffiti has three types of aspects-political graffiti, gang graffiti, and graffiti art. The common bond that these three share is the opportunity to express their feelings freely. According to Susan Phillips, political graffiti artists make wide use of symbols to further internalize relevant quests for power and solidarity. On the other hand, graffiti artists put a lot of time in their work as they try to express their feelings. Gang graffiti artists use any kind of object such as markers, stickers, spray paint, etc to write their name on any visible spot in a matter of seconds just to gain recognition from rival gang members or to mark their territories. All these types of graffiti can be considered art according to the artists themselves, but to others, such as shop owners and police offers, graffiti is vandalism if done on prohibited spaces.

Artists take their time when drawing on property with the owners permission whereas vandalists, also known as taggers, "seek recognition and respect by competing over the quantity and the visibility of their tags” Using several types of art supplies to display their work for many on lookers in the community, artists want people to admire the artwork while taggers throw up their tag name to let others know that they are there. Graffiti artists put long hours into their artwork and at the same time, they make it very meaningful by displaying messages to let others know how they feel. On the other hand, taggers mark up an open space in the spur of the moment because it gives them the thrill and excitement of not getting caught by the authorities. Although artists can take days to display their colourful artwork on an open space, people won't care what it is if the drawing was done illegally. Thinking that an irresponsible vandalist who had too much time on their hands did the drawing, people will pay little attention and ignore the intended message that's being displayed if the drawing violates the law. Therefore, graffiti is art when it's legally permitted, otherwise it is considered vandalism.

Drawing on public property such as the library is usually considered art when owners give graffiti artists permission to do so. In return, owners expect the artwork to convey a positive message that relates to the building being painted on. Viewing graffiti as art is limiting when it comes to law enforcement because artwork is considered illegal if it is against the Law. Drawing on private property without the owner’s permission can lead to hefty fines, hours of community service, and possible jail time. Although colourful pictures can convey positive message such as "say no to drugs" it can be considered vandalism if it defaces people's property because the artist went against the law and marked up space that was not their property to begin with. Gaining the permission from property owners determine whether or not graffiti is art because it's considered vandalism if there was no consent to begin with. Even though some artwork has great potential to be in art museums, artwork turns into vandalism as it continues to be illegally drawn on prohibited spaces.

local theatre and homosexulity.

It has been an unofficial saying that homosexuals are more creative and artistic than hetrosexuals. However it may not be true. But there are reasons for us to believe such as well. In my opinion, a homosexual would be much better in expressing himself creatively and artistically. If a homosexual is bold enough to let know his true identity in a society in which homosexuality is alomost a taboo. I think he or she would be bold enough to express himself much better than a hetrosexual both artistically and creatively.  Not that a hetrosexual is unable to do such, but i feel that the homosexuals are more bolder in doing so.

Refering to the first article,


We realise that our Singapore stage plays have been one of the first few to portary homosexuals in a positive way even before SCV or other movies did. Chay Yew's Ten Little Indians are one of the examples of such plays, which came out in 1988. In some of the plays like Jakson On A Jaunt by Eleanor Wong, the Ministry of Community Development even withdrew its funding as they were afraid that homosexuality might be encouraged as normal in the Singaporean society.  From this it is quite obvious that homosexuality is considered a taboo not only in the society but also in media, like stage play. Being homosexual does not come from influence but it comes genetically. The government was not willing to accept that and it even criminalizes homosexual activities such as oral or anal sex.. It is obviously a preference of a person like how one is allowed to smoke and drink alcohol which is harmful to the health. In my opinion the government should give people freedom in their actions when it comes to issues such as this. I feel that one has their own right in deciding if they were to be a heterosexual or homosexual according to their genetics.  That does not mean that the government should allow homosexual marriages. But they should not criminalize their homosexual activities. The local theatre has been portraying homosexuality in a positive way even from the time when the topic of gay was a taboo.


Refering to the second article, its very obvious that homosexuality is not only a non-taboo subject but it is accepted in a society such as San Francisco. They even hold parades to celebrate their identity as a homosexual. If it is acceptable in other countries, why not Singapore?  Why cant we accept our people as who they are and not intimidate them by criminalizing homosexuality. In  my second article a woman has mentioned that she will not allow her child to brought up in a society where homosexuality is acceptable though she knows as a personal in the medical field that it come with the genes. Homosexuals are not monsters from whom we should run away from. They do not harm us. They are human being as wells. They are jus like how normal people are but they only differ in their love partner as they fall in love with someone of the same gender rather then someone of  an opposite gender like most of us in our society.



Article 1: http://www.fridae.com/newsfeatures/article.php?articleid=1725&viewarticle=1&searchtype=author&textby=Ng+Yi-sheng


Article 2:  http://www.straitstimes.com/ST+Forum/Online+Story/STIStory_140397.html