WHY I DREAD WAKING UP EVERYDAY AS A SINGAPOREAN

This year, i’ve started feeling more helpless about living in this country, and the events of this week have really ramped it up for me.

The death of a boy lures a politician-giant out into public to disparage the boy’s final moments and shut down the dawning realisation that we are all endangered by agents of the law. A mother seeking justice for the loss of her son is told that the armed forces to which he was lost is immune from being tried in a court of law. She is made instead to pay for the legal costs of those from whom she seeks justice. In both cases, it is faith in public institutions, and not the protection of individuals, that is upheld by the law.

On the horizon, the digitization of our movement, the seizing of privacy by the State; the destruction of the natural world for our convenience, both violences committed apparently in our own interests, like a snake devouring itself.

A migrant worker is grievously injured and is told a day in advance he will be repatriated without any medical assistance for what might make him a lifelong cripple. We learn that his colleagues probably failed to attest that he was injured in a work-place accident because they are afraid of retaliation from their employers.

A website that for 10 years now has represented an independent alternative to government-sanctioned narrative has its integrity assassinated in parliament; the mainstream press describes with glee how the website’s editorial team is reduced to one man, while it hands itself its own awards.

It’s an endless, endless, endless repetition of the same thing over and over again: the human being, the citizen, online or otherwise, is thumbed down, mocked and savaged by the state. The state claims with a vicious lack of irony that it’s all in the citizen’s interests. The human being is not of interest. Sometimes I dread waking up.

Joel Bertrand Tan
A.S.S. Contributor

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