So the Public Order and Safety (Special Powers) Act was passed yesterday to allow police to respond swiftly and with greater flexibility during urgent serious incidents like a terrorist attack. This means that the Police Commissioner can order a curfew and a stop order on communications to ensure the secrecy of security operations. But only with the authorisation of the Home Affairs Minister.
This gives the Minister and the Police a lot of power during a crisis ok. And why do we need it ah? One big problem that people have with the bill is that it assumes Singaporeans cannot be trusted to do the right thing and then need to set such a draconian law.
Well, we really must say it is hard to say if Singaporeans will really do the right thing sometimes leh. Cos you just need one or two persons to start filming police operations during an attack and sharing on social media and that’s it liao.
See some recent cases of why Singaporeans really cannot be trusted to be left to themselves sometimes:
- Singaporeans bo chup and damage We Bare Bears inflatables that were not fenced up
2. Anyhow park Obikes all over the place and now we need a new Bill also for this
So, really not say we want to say Singaporeans, but we really sometimes do need laws to make sure we behave properly lor.
Also the question flips to the other side lah, do we trust the government to do the right thing also with the power they have? This is the biggest concern for us.
But honestly, no law or system is fool proof to people who wants to abuse it. One day, we may meet with some wayward politician but we hope the bigger system and civil society will be able to curb him/her first.
Because it is also not correct if we are scared of an unknown and then don’t want to take steps to enact laws that can be helpful to our society right? Imagine if we really kanna a hostage situation in Singapore and we need a tool to limit what the terrorists know about our rescue operations and we don’t have, then a bit too late already right? By then cry also no use liao.
Also, if you don’t intend to do any wrong things, don’t need to be scared of any law also lah.
No matter what system or laws we create, anyone at some point can come along to change it, for better or for worse. You see like China, they put laws in place to shift away from a one-man rule then now it has been changed back again.
So yup, you can’t predict life. So we say, pass the law if it is a good thing. But on our citizens’ part, lets keep a sharp lookout to prevent any abuse of any law.