Article: CCTV to put Singapore’s Leadership into 10-parter Documentary I came across an article recently on how China’s State Broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) is in Singapore to film a 10-part documentary on Singapore’s model of governance. The article reported on how the series, endorsed by China Vice Premier Xi Jinping, aims to provide with a blueprint for China’s incoming administration. Mr Xi has also mentioned about his admiration for how Singapore maintains a one-party dominant system in a prosperous and stable society in the article. While reading through the article, few interesting thoughts came into my mind and I would like to share my thoughts and opinions here. Firstly, as a Singaporean, I feel proud and flattered. Singapore is after all a small country but we have the larger countries and in this case the largest country, China, coming forward to express their admiration and desire to learn from our leaders on how our country was governed and run.
The very fact that the series was endorsed by China’s supposed leader-in-succession, Xi Jinping, shows that Singapore has not only succeeded in branding the nation as a role model in governance internationally, it also proves that with the limited resources and time, Singapore is also an economy framework worth learning from. Secondly, I personally feel that the whole saga about China learning from Singapore is somewhat overrated and exaggerated. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, Singapore is after all a small country whereas China is a huge country. The political and economy framework in Singapore might just be suitable only for a small country like Singapore and it might just not work out in huge countries like China.
Yes I will not deny or retain any credits that our forefathers and the government has done a pretty good job of getting Singapore to where we are now, but Singapore is a small country with tiny population and honestly, small numbers are certainly much more manageable as compared to the population in China which has over 1.5 billion and counting. Thirdly, though it was not clearly mentioned or much talked about, China is actually a communist country. And by comparing Singapore’s “one-party dominant system” to China, I cannot help but to feel that our political system from our building days are in fact, that of a communist’s one.
Yes, there may be presence of opposition parties in the government, but in my personal opinion, Singaporeans are in fact so comfortable to the “one-party” rule that no one actually bothers enough to take a step back and decide if the political system in Singapore can actually be improved for the sake of the nation and its citizens. But then again, without the “one-party” rule in Singapore, no one knows if we could still enjoy the peace and stability that we fortunately have now. Lastly, to conclude, although I feel proud that a huge country like China is willing to learn from Singapore, this article has actually raised more doubts and questions which overshadow the pride I am feeling within, but I guess I will never be able to get an answer in the short run, not when Singapore’s independence is only at 45 years.
Name: Cheong Boon Kit (123906Q)
Article: Man, 27, Arrested for Smoke Grenade in Bedok
The article I chose is on how police managed to apprehend a 27 year old man in connection to the case of illegal possession and ignition of a smoke grenade used by the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF). According to reports and sources, the unnamed man was caught 2 days after the ignition and also after extensive ground work and investigation by the Singapore Police Force (SPF). According to the article and my own research, the man was understood to have been arrested for illegal possession of a smoke grenade under Section 13(1)(a) of the Arms and Explosive Act, Cap 13. If convicted, the man is liable to be fined up to $5000 and be imprisoned up to 3 years. In my personal view, the purpose and rationale of this law is to deter anyone in Singapore to be in possession of any illegal arms or weapons or ammunitions, especially so for those who are serving National Service (NS) and will come into contact with any types of ammunitions.
From my knowledge, SAF itself has a stringent set of rules and regulations when it comes to the dealing of weapons and ammunitions. However, there will still be loopholes as from what I understand, in the case of this mentioned article; servicemen will only need to return the safety pin of the smoke grenade after ignition. Some ill-thinking and ill-behaved servicemen can just claim to have ignited the smoke grenade and lost the safety pin and they can simply walk away with an intact smoke grenade after filling up a signed statement.
Although checks will be conducted, ways can still be devised to smuggle the smoke grenade out of training areas. Therefore, outside of the SAF, the above-mentioned law will be in place to deter and punish any person in illegal possession of any ammunition. In my view, this law is designed to protect civilians such as the affected ones mentioned in the article as foolish acts like this can cause great disturbance. For me, this law is effective and necessary and does not need any fine-tuning. However, these acts can be addressed through non-legal methods such as education especially for serviceman in the SAF and those working with ammunition in Singapore. They should be well informed of the serious consequences should they choose to breach the law.