Especially if they come in the form of Tumblr-worthy quotes.
Committee Session 5 has been a treasure trove of memorable phrases in the Plenary Crisis of NSCRRH and NDC.
News of the ISIS infiltration in Singapore has finally reached the eyes and ears of Singaporeans - and the reaction was huge. A Crisis Committee was even set up, yet little was resolved. This inactivity therefore caused tensions to escalate and culminated into the recent riots. It is interesting to note that viable ideas were mentioned and numerous directives were composed. So why did it take so long for them to respond?
As much as Mothership would like to complain and share our woes with fellow Singaporeans, we are overwhelmed by the fact that the crisis is over. This is attributed to key players who steered the Committee towards a clearer direction.
In remembrance of this preventable crisis, here are some quotes to remember this Committee by:
“NGOs, let’s lean on and support one another. We are essential. We are the first point of contact with our people and it’s evident that this Government of ours cannot walk the talk.”
The Hindu Hub has had few appearances throughout the committee discussions. But in such rare moments, the Hindu Hub has never failed to make a lasting impression on the Committee. The organisation’s criticism of the Crisis Committee reflects the attitudes of Singaporeans too - that the Committee is just NATO (No Action Talk Only).
2. The Swiss Club
Though neutral in stance, the Swiss Club continued to attain the undivided attention of all present with gusto and a clear sense of direction. Even when the Committee paid little heed to small but alarming details in the draft directives, the Swiss Club continued to speak up passionately on behalf of the population.
“Are we going to fall into a dystopian 1994 state? With this directive, yes we are! This delegate stands in solidarity with the Muslim community. He says to this council - freedom of speech must be upheld! No big, violent movements by this government. Shame on this government, shame on this government!”
And on the first clause of the draft directive that was a direct threat to the personal privacy of all Singaporeans, his objection was crafted impeccably.
“Doing tracking at our place of residence? When you’re going to use the lift, you’re going to be watched by our prying eyes! Increasing monitoring at places of worship? I can’t even pray without worrying about being watched by the lot of you!”
3. Tharman Shanmugaratnam
It was evident that certain organisations held onto vital information about the ISIS sleeping cells and Deputy Prime Minister Mr Tharman was the only delegate present that relentlessly persuaded these parties to share what they had. Unfortunately, information was still being withheld which made even the typically calm Mr Tharman exasperated.
“Please step forward, if not we are completely screwed.”
4. Chee Soon Juan
Chee Soon Juan had strong objections towards the desire of most of the cabinet to impose a Censorship Act on citizens in light of recent events, making sure to verbally remind them of the UN Constitution.
“Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that everyone has the right to free speech. This includes the Singapore constitution and we are to make no exceptions!”
And if there’s any more poignant manner to sum up this entire crisis, it’s a quote by Mr Chee too.
“You just can’t spell Crisis without ISIS.”