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Protest shows that Singapore respects civil liberties: Asian Freedom Index

Posted on 17 February 2013

Assembly for anti-establishment cause allowed to proceed undisturbed

Singapore is an exemplary example of a country that respects freedom of expression, said a press release by The Straits Times today, which published the inaugural Asian Freedom Index.

Unlike many other countries which do not respect the right to free speech, such as Myanmar, North Korea and China, Singapore has consistently outperformed its counterparts by allowing protests to take place, said the release which ranked 30 countries in Asia according to indicators formulated by Singapore’s national broadsheet.

One example was yesterday’s protest against the high immigration rate, which attracted more than 5,000 people despite the rain.

Pic stolen from Say "No" to an overpopulated Singapore facebook page

Pic stolen from Say “No” to an overpopulated Singapore facebook page

“We did not arrest anyone, nor did we try to bring in the tanks, or throw tear gas into the crowd, which could potentially be rowdy,” said a spokesperson from the Singapore Police Force Zhuo Jing Cha.

“The speakers were allowed to spread their misinformation about the government on stage too, and we allowed the slander against our leaders continue undisturbed. They only have to apply for a license beforehand. Isn’t that a hallmark of an exemplary democracy?”

Singapore ranked tops among all the indexes of the Asian Freedom Index which included indicators for freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of media and labour rights.

“As the country’s gold standard of journalism, we aim to report only the facts,” said Editor at The Straits Times, Warren Fernandez who also served as lead researcher for the index.

“The fact is, Singapore is a country brimming with vibrancy, colour and freedoms. The ill-attended event at Hong Lim with only 1,000 participants is a key example of how we respect the right to opinion, even if it is wrong. I am heartened to know that the government is big-hearted enough to accommodate the views of the lunatic fringe who obviously don’t understand that a 6.9 million population is actually not that much at all.”

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Wang Pei can be considered a new citizen of Singapore. She has been here all her life, just that her environment's changed beyond recognition.

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