After ranting on about how the world did not get irony, I was proven wrong by the Singapore government. Although the insitution has never been known for it's sense of anything outside moral fortitutde, the morning's turn of events proved me delightfully wrong. Just when you expect peolpe to be depressing, they surprise you.
Yes, I am reffering to the "Easing" of the ban on outdoor protest, which was screaming as the front page lead. Oh my, now we have a situation where, guess what, you can have a gathering of more than four people without having to apply for a police permit. So, it looks like we may have a reached a stage of political maturity, where the government has decided it's ok to give us an extended curfew.
It's going to be interesting to see how the drama plays out. A part of me shudders at the thought of giving Singaporeans a bit more freedome at times. In my short little life, I've noticed that 'freedome' tends to be expressed in the most ugly of ways - look at the liter that Singaporeans leave in Johor. Then again, look at what happened when they first let go of the laws on censoring movies - people went crazy. Are we now going to get a bunch of crazies hogging the headlines now that they can protest - you'd be surprised by the things people protest over.
Then there is the government. How serious is the government about allowing protest? This is, after all a government steeped in a culture of hanging onto control. Furthermore, this is a government lead by a Prime Minister, who has, in his DNA, instincts to get as much power as he can. So, when you consider all these things, letting go, is a revolutionary step by this government. It's like ...suddenly, they've gone against everything they've ever believed in. One should not be to surprised if they find a reason to clamp down again in the near future but for now, I think the government deserves kudoes for taking such a move that runs contrary to what it's always done.
Having said all of that, I don't think much will change. There's remarkably little that one needs to protest about in Singapore. City runs like clockwork, for the most part and it's got a pleasent living environment. So, although it's now legal for me to gather a group of people and get them to march in the streets - why should I? Of course, you may find some smart arse in one of the government departments thinking that the city is a little dull without outdoor protestors and in true Singaporean tradition, you may find that the government will see the need to teach people how to protest against the government.
No, I'm not being silly here, this is well within the range of the government-people dialogue in Singapore. I mean, can you think of another society in the world where you actually need the government to teach a horny young man and horny young woman what to do when they're in the same room? So, I guess the next thing we should look out for is government organised classes on how to be rebellious against the government.