Over the weekend, Singaporeans were bombarded with the news of further detentions by the Singapore government’s secret police, the Internal Security Department or ISD, under the Internal Security Act.

The bombardment started with the government’s press release. The government-controlled local media followed-up with reports: see here, here, here and here for a sampling.

In 1980, Amnesty International issued a Report of an Amnesty International Mission to Singapore. Thanks to Singapore Rebel, here are links to excerpts from that report in 5 installments: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th.

The Internal Security Act (ISA) allows for detention without trial. You get picked-up by the ISD and you’re practically in a friggin’ black hole. No public trial in court to ascertain your innocence or guilt. Meanwhile, you can be held in there for any number of years. As for the general public, its like this: you better shut the fuck-up and believe what we, the government through the local media, tell you. And even if you don’t believe all or most of it, you still shut the fuck-up because we always know what’s best. Or else!

I am as afraid and worried of terrorist attacks and its aftermath in Singapore. Why wouldn’t I be? I was born and raised here. I’ve lived here all my life. And like most, I’ll probably die and be buried or cremated here with GST payable!

But I refuse to allow this fear to totally blind me; to just believe all or most of what is being said; and to take thinks at face value and just keep quiet.

The government may offer the reasons that these are very sensitive national security matters and public trials may affect the racial & religious fabric in Singapore. It shouldn’t be a problem for the government to prove it in court if its so sure about its case against these people. Questions like these have to be asked. And answered. Let the facts emerge instead of only government press releases and regurgitation by the local media.

Ordinary folks like us have as much a stake in the security of this country as those entrusted with our protection. By keeping quiet and taking things at face value, we just might be allowing history to repeat itself. Again. And again……