How Many Times Must The Cannon Balls Fly ?

Before they are forever banned
The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind
The answer is blowing in the wind

That reminds me of a joke.

" Isn't a gun dangerous ? " asked the little boy.
" Only when you are on the business end, " said the daddy.
" Business not so good lately, " lamented the mummy.

I just watched the movie " The Beach ", starring Leonardo DiCaprio. He's not my cup of tea but many girls and boys just adore him. The rather thin storyline is about a group of people who found an island paradise hidden from the outside world. To protect their paradise from being invaded by the vulgar horde of tourists, the community went so far as to cast out the sick and the weak or even threaten to kill those who reveal their paradise to outsiders. I guess the author of the book for this movie, is trying to say that selfish and heartless people will put up a false front to create an illusion of paradise that the mindless willingly accepts and he just turn his head And pretend that he just doesn't see. How many times must the cannon balls fly ? Well, he thought that as long as he was not on the business end of the cannon then let the illusions be.

Singapore is famous the world over for our very harsh laws and some are even Draconian laws. The ancient Chinese were masters of using such laws so it is not surprising that even these kind of laws are considered part of the Asian values. There is an ancient Chinese saying that  " before you see the magistrate, first you get whacked 20 strokes ". They were so terrified of the law to almost the point of paralysis of the mind.

We gays are unfortunately on the business end of some discrimination laws.

" These laws are unjust ", we protest.
" It's for the protection of our Asian values ", says the authority.
" When does business get back to normal so that our CPF can be restored ? ", the others grumble.

Repeat that again and again, they just turn their heads and pretend that they do not see.

Then one day out of the blue, "VERY sorry, but nothing can be done. You have to go to jail. " was Chief Justice Yong's message to a church deacon who had broken Singapore's tough laws on harbouring illegal immigrants.
He noted that once someone employs or shelters an immigration offender, he would have to go to "the
ends of the earth" to prove his innocence. "There is almost absolute liability. The law is so strict. I feel
sorry for the people who are charged and convicted," he said.

The church deacon is to be jailed for seven months. ( read report here. )

Ordinarily, judges are expected to apply the law and not even pass any comment on those very laws. The Constitution here does not guarantee any human rights so the Judicial here cannot rule that any law is unjust or violates anybody's right. Hence the Judicial has the diminished role of an independent body doing the bidding of Parliament instead of being another pillar of society equal to that of the Parliament. The comments by the C J may or may not have any further meanings but following that, many people wrote to the local papers saying that the law is too harsh or to ask that the law be reviewed.

" This law is too harsh", they protest
" It's for the protection of our society ", says the authority.
" When does business get back to normal so that our CPF can be restored ? ",   the others grumble.

But the law is there for years. Many people were convicted under this law with nary a beep from anybodyelse but those unfortunate ones. Why the sudden interest ? It is because of the church deacon; someone that the religious Right here, thought would never be on the business end of the law. The very same type of law that they implicitly endorse when they think it is "good" for someoneelse.

For years, they turn their heads and pretend that they do not see. The religious Right always preach that " if you have nothing to hide, then you never need to fear any law ".  Now their protests stink of self-interest. So like the daddy said to the little boy, there is nothing like putting someone on the business end of the law to make them see what it is like to live under the threat all the time. If it is unjust, then one day it will come home to bite.