Catherine Lim has always been a maverick since her article The PAP and the people — A Great Affective Divide in 1994 create much unhappiness to the establishment . Perhaps, to the establishment, she might have been labeled as troublemaker, but to many who willingly/
daringly read her articles, one could not help but despair over the sad state of Singapore affair. For what she expresses can easily connect to every typical Singaporean alike .
The articles she write mainly question the establishment. How can a society progress with a constant denial of social problems that arose from economic progress ? How can society progress when people could not voice unhappiness, or even do anything at all over decision that affect their lives ? And with these theme, Catherine become a notable writer many come to love .
A society can only progress if people is allow to think, to question and to act. Without each, no matter how highly educated a person is, he is no different from been a
dummy at all. Indeed, it is better to be dumb and know nothing at all, than to know something and do nothing, for the thing that remain unanswered will continue to haunt one forever. A country that is painted too rosy has detrimental effect in the long run because it just habitually bury any incoming issue and hope that it goes away. For Singapore to progress as a society, it has to be opened and come to term with the past, present and future.
Somehow, Geeky (Geeky is somehow sensitive) has been upset by her
mistreatment by the press , cause nothing is more painful to a writer than to get rejected over view that doesn’t align with the norm.
With this, Geeky earnestly hope that Singapore government will continue to tolerate mavericks and not perceived them as troublemaker, because having maverick is what make the society a truly vibrant and unique society . It’s time for government to do the right thing rather than do thing right. Learn to accept mavericks rather than reject them, and that should be part of the theme for Uniquely Singapore .
Geeky hates to be perceived as
troublemaker just because he supports the view of Catherine, but for her, Geeky has nothing but utmost respect. With that, Geeky wish all the best for Catherine and hope that she continue to write more and play her part to enlighten the republic.
And with that too, I wish the best for Singapore government to build a country that every Singaporean will truly call it ‘HOME’
The following is taken from http://journalism.sg/2007/11/05/why-i-am-going-online/
since it is not yet published in Catherine’s blog and can be found in http://catherinelim.sg/about/.
Her blog: http://catherinelim.sg
Why I am Going Online
by Catherine Lim
November 5th, 2007
For the past 13 years, my political commentaries had been published by the Straits Times. Some of them were transcripts of speeches I had made at government organisations such as the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies and the Institute of Policy Studies. It had both surprised and gratified me that Singapore’s leading newspaper was willing to publish articles that were critical of the government and that broached on sensitive topics such as the lack of political freedom in Singapore. While the first commentary titled ‘The Great Affective Divide: the Estrangement between the PAP Government and the People’ which came out in 1994, provoked an angry response from the Government, there had been no official response to my subsequent articles, which was rather disappointing to me, as I had wanted them to give rise to discussion and debate among Singaporeans.
In September this year, I submitted to the Straits Times a commentary on the same controversial subject of the need for a political opening up, which I cast in the format of an open letter to the Prime Minister, pointing out (respectfully) the dismal state of political liberties, the climate of fear, and the emergence of a politically compliant people, under his premiership despite the impressive economic achievements. I ended the letter with a plea to him to do something before it is too late.
The Straits Times rejected the article, saying that there was really nothing new in it. I subsequently submitted it to TODAY, which also rejected it.
As a result I am turning to alternative sources of dissemination, and am going online. For I think I have some important ideas to share about certain major issues in our society which could have serious implications for the future. It does not matter to me if these ideas don’t meet with agreement or even approval, but it does matter that they are shared with as many fellow Singaporeans as possible.
Catherine Lim has published the open letter on her new site, catherinelim.sg, along with other political commentaries she has written in the past 13 years.