Chaos erupted during the unmoderated caucus fuelled by the release of Mavis Yeo’s video. Shouting was heard from one end of the lecture theatre to another as delegates tried to grasp the current situation of emergency.
To start off, the delegate representing the Ministry of Law proposed that censorship should be heightened, in view of the video. Despite her good intentions, this delegate was refuted by the delegate representing the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) who accused the delegaterepresenting the Ministry of law of attempting to ‘curb human rights’ and stated that censorship should not be heightened solely because of the video.
Whilst this discussion went on, the delegate representing Chee Soon Juan claimed that ‘censorship should not be in Singapore’ and simply refued the idea of censorship on the basis that it was proposed by the People’s Association party (PAP). He even stated that this video was for netizens to ‘just have a laugh’. With such a sensitive issue presented in the video, I am appalled by this delegate’s words. How can he simply brush off the offensive statements made by Mavis Yee as a mere joke? Is the delegate of SDP willing to tarnish Singapore’s delicate multiracial fabric just to simply be in an opposition party?
After an unmoderated caucus where it could be seen that delegates are separated distinctively into 2 different sides, the delegate representing Teo Chee Hean stated that it was essential to control such videos and claimed that this video should not be discussed under the grounds of free speech.
Things got spicy when the delegate representing the Ministry of National Development accused the delegates representing the swiss club for having a naïve view of society, as the swiss club tried to promote freedom of speech in Singapore. This was swiftly refuted by the delegates representing the Swiss Club who questioned ‘are people in Singapore not educated enough to know what is right and what is wrong?’ The air in the lecture theatre grew tense upon this question. The delegate representing the Ministry of National Development calmly replied that it is not good to assume that all Singaporeans are able to discern between right and wrong.
‘What more is there to say about freedom of speech?’ the delegate representing Chee Soon Juan asked as a moderated caucus regarding freedom of speech was started by the Ministry of Finance. As the delegates continue to spar between censorship and freedom of speech, the delegate of the Singapore Buddhist Association put forth a noteworthy point: that the intent to hurt someone else was stated in the video and amongst all the debate about freedom of speech. To quote him, ‘there is something more harmful than speaking your mind’ and delegates should learn from what is happening to ensure it does not occur again. This idea was supported by the delegate representing the Young Women Muslim Association of Singapore who is ‘angry and disappointed’ because of the lack of action from the community.
Amongst the discussion, the delegate representing The Worker’s Party brought up the claim that several ministries were withholding information from the rest of the council. This was followed by an exclamation by the delegate representing Majils Ugama that there are ISIS sleeper cells in Yishun. This prompted the delegate representing Tharman to step forth to encourage all the relevant ministries to share information.