Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Vivian, Vincent and the Video

I am sure most of you all would by now be aware of how the PAP team for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC, headed by Minister Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan, has released a media statement asking for Dr. Vincent Wijeysingha, a member of the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) team contesting Holland-Bukit Timah GRC, to be open about whether he or his team will be advocating for homosexual rights if and when they are elected into Parliament.

In perhaps an attempt to not appear entirely anti-homosexual, the statement says that the issue is not whether Dr. Wijeysingha is homosexual or not but that he has to open about his political motives and agenda.

Hmm, so if Dr. Wijeysingha was, instead of being recorded as participating in a forum discussing about homosexual rights, shown to be an advocate for, for example, the environmental cause, the anti-shark fin consumption cause or the secular humanist cause, Dr. Balakrishnan and his team will also put the spotlight on him and implore him to be open about his political motives and agenda? (Okay, maybe if Dr. Wijeysingha is shown to be an advocate for secular humanism, the spotlight will still be placed on him, in light of how secular humanism can be mis-constructed as being anti-religion)

Quite evidently, despite their claims otherwise, the issue here, or at least the issue which the PAP team for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC think people should take note of and be suspicious of, is that Dr. Wijeysingha may be a homosexual or be an advocate for homosexual rights.

I do not know about you all but I am quite saddened that in this day and age, in a country where the governing political party prides itself on practising pragmatic rational politics, such an (non-)issue is played up. Of course, although I may not be a supporter of the SDP, I must say I am somewhat disappointed that it, a party which seemingly prides itself on speaking up bravely for the disenfranchised, when faced with an accusation that it is supportive of the homosexual rights cause, quickly comes out to disavow this accusation.

Ironically enough, what Dr. Wijeysingha said in the now "infamous" video appears to be quite true: "I think the gay community has to rally ourselves". Indeed, it seems that they have to, when no political party, governing or opposition, seem to be on their side.


Meanwhile, in other news...

1 comment:

Charmante said...

I have not seen the video but I hope that doesn't impair my views too much since the issue appears to be about the PAP's response rather than the actual content of it.

Some have called it a smear campaign on the part of Dr. Balakrishnan, but to me, he's just doing what politicians [should] do - challenging their opposition's views, opinions, policies when they are being equivocal, or do/say something that doesn't seem to have a clear political aim/message. I would rather it be challenged so that people understand what the SDP is trying to portray than people assuming what they are trying to portray because their message is not clear.

You suggest that if the forum had been about another topic, Dr. Balakrishnan may not have picked up on it. It's a possibility, but I think we should remember that the 377A issue happens to be very topical and current; it could look ignorant if he didn't mention homosexuality, or mentioned too little on it.

I hope I haven't missed the point (whatever it is) in expressing my opinions - do correct me/rebut if I have.

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