Melvyn Tan or Us?
I left a comment regarding the Melvyn Tan affair at Kway Teow Man’s blog. Here’s an amended version:
I am of the opinion is that the whole Melvyn Tan media spectacle has quite fascinating effects. Killing many Tweeties killed with one stone—if any at all. (In comparison, Molly fails miserably in this bird-hunting business.) The fact that a controlled media is allows some form of discussion insteading of
The wonderful effects of the spectacle (purely Molly’s speculations and do not necessary bear any resemblance to truth):
1) Take some attention away from death penalty. And other issues like casino bidding, seditious bloggers, etc.
2) Since people complain, we have the chance to implement harsher penalties than ever. Harsher punishments are a way to maintain the status quo and preserve social order.
3) A good way to test waters—test the success of years of national education. See how people react to the issue.
4) If people support the punishment (or think the punishment is too light), they acknowledge that NS is necessary and defaulters have to be punished. (Otherwise, they will be saying that the punishment is unfair to Melvyn Tan.) In the process, they are voicing out an implicit willingness to go through NS.
5) If they don't support the punishment:
(a) Perhaps they think it's too light. "So, ok lor. We make it harsher next time. See who kena more jialat." Next time even fewer people will dare to go against the system.
(b) Perhaps they think it's too heavy: why must people be forced to a corner because of one sacred state policy? Aha! This is the only possible flaw. But has anyone said so yet? Predictably, no. Play on the people's simple-mindedness and capitalize on their very sense of inequality to make it seem as though a particular policy is well-supported—and it is!
6) Those people who talk about democracy and human rights (stupid Dr. Chee! always making trouble!) cannot say much. If they talk about human rights and democracy issues (involved in punishing Melvyn Tan), they will alienate themselves from people who feel that Tan already has too light a punishment.
The Great Ones: 7
The Peasants: 0
Winner: The Great Ones! Hurray!