Are we or are we not a democracy?


We are a democracy because

… no by-election will be called when a minority Member of Parliament resigns to stand for election as the President

… the constitution has been amended such that, for the next presidential election – more than 99 per cent of the populace would not qualify to stand for election

… the speaker of Parliament can and has rejected written questions from Members of Parliament – to be asked in Parliament

…  we need to be aware that – “Seditious tendency 3.—(1)  A seditious tendency is a tendency —

(ato bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against the Government
– “(2)  Notwithstanding subsection (1), any act, speech, words, publication or other things shall not be deemed to be seditious by reason only that it has a tendency — (a) to show that the Government has been misled or mistaken in any of its measures” (Sedition Act)
…  we cannot write about an on going court case or police investigation? (Administration of Justice (Protection) Bill)
… we cannot write about anything that may be deemed as harassment? (Protection from Harassment Act)
… we cannot write about race, religion or nationalities or different classes of people?
– “(e) to promote feelings of ill-will and hostility between different races or classes of the population of Singapore” (Sedition Act)
… we cannot write about anything that may be deemed as defamatory? (Defamation Act)
… we may not write about or use Lee Kuan Yew’s name or image or likeness in such a way as may be construed as “(not) accorded dignity and respect” (Guidelines of the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY))
… we cannot write about anything that may be construed as in some way, be related to “any evidence given, or any documents presented to the (Select) committee (appointed by Parliament), or extracts
Leong Sze Hian

About the Author

Leong Sze Hian has served as president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), invited to speak more than 200 times in over 30 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of Indonesia and Brunei. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.