We have many restrictive laws here but they are very selectively enforced. As long as you stay away from "hot" topics such as direct criticism of the ruling party and sensitive issues such as immigration, you are ok. But if you make too many waves, there are many ways in which such selective enforcement can come back to bite you.
On an individual level, you will get much more attention on things like your tax returns. Your Provident Fund usage can be limited in many ways(It is a opaque system and they don't need to give you any justifications)
If you own a company, it will also be subject to a much higher tax scrutiny. They can choke your company by limiting the number of foreign talent that you can hire( again an opaque process). They can reject your applications without any reasons and simply say better luck next year.
Even with all these pressures, Singapore is a great place to do business and just enjoy a generally high quality of life as long as you don't do anything foolhardy or get really unlucky with the cards that you get dealt.
On a side note, if the person in question above was involved in some tricky business, then I would not put it past this government to take drastic measures
Rest of world: Singaporeans pay top dollar for tiny apartments, have no nature, no drugs (and thus little art), no real political freedom, are forced to military service (read: military brain washing on top of the social/education system serving) and self-censor routinely whilst claiming their government is really OK! On top of this, they are all kind of insecure because the way work is omnipresent, everyone competes all the time on appearances, the extreme financial burden of having a kid there (even though few do, because they are educated enough to know it's a death sentence of decades of mortgage, even with the government kickbacks) and the increasing immigration of younger, better Mandarin-speaking, less demanding workers from China, India, Indonesia and Malaysia.
True it is compulsory but I think that a great majority of the people who experience it are better off for it. Our country has the highest rate of millionaires(1 in 6) and the kids that come from these households are much better off for the work ethic, value of money and socialization that we instill in them. The training that they go through may not be as rigorous as those who go through full spectrum military training in other countries but it teaches them mental discipline and the ability to give and take orders(20% of each years' intake go on to become commanders) which I'm sure you would agree too many kids learn far too late in their lives. It also has the side effect of providing baseline physical fitness, allowing for a much healthier population in the long run.
Have you been to Singapore? It wasn't nicknamed "The Garden City" for its skyscrapers.
I really appreciate arbus's comment. You're right that it doesn't hang together in a completely rational way, but it is a rare accurate illustration of how Singaporeans really feel. For an empathetic person, it isn't hard to imagine feeling this way, if you grew up there.
People in other countries also have idiosyncratic ways of tolerating the limitations of their systems. Singapore is perhaps an extreme case.
(I lived in Singapore for a couple of years, a long time ago.)
I prefer having more freedoms to less, but in retrospect I quite like the way of life there. There's nothing that I do or have done that would have landed me in trouble in Singapore.
So for a lot of these average people, it's great.
I didn't know our Disney resorts had the death penalty for certain offenses committed within the park.
At the very least though to Florida's credit, at least Amnesty International is confident that they can get a solid read on the number of people actually killed by Florida. There are grave concerns over even the reporting of executions in Singapore.
I think that uprooting from your home, leaving your family, friends and culture behind takes more than just disagreement with the wayyour government is run. This is of course assuming that you or your loved ones are not in immediate danger of any kind.
However, I feel the same about where I live... Fiji. We're run by a dictator at present, but you wouldn't know it unless you got involved in anti-government "activities".
"Family suspects interference in David Widjaja case"
"However, it appeared the court process was intentionally directed to a conclusion of suicide despite evidence showing a strong possibility of murder, according to David's family and the verification team.
"We have strong evidence that he was murdered but that fact was not brought up in the court," David's father, Hartono Wijaya, told a press conference Tuesday at the National Commission on Human Rights."
"He added there was a suspicion David's death was related to his research: "Multiview Acquisition from Multi-camera Configuration for Person Adaptive 3D Display".
"His friends said his three-dimensional study could be used for various purposes, either for entertainment or even for military needs."
"And we must not forget that after David's death, there were two unusual deaths at NTU - his professor's assistant *committed suicide' four days later and another researcher was hit by a car 25 days later.""
EDITED: Having read more about the specific case, it seems to me that the official story sounds plausible enough. It's not at all clear whether there was foul play involved.
"Total pedestrian fatalities dropped from 49 in 2011 to 44 in 2012"  Singapores' population is ~5 million[wikipedia], so the odds of being killed by a car for the total population is ~0.00088%
For a comparison let's look at NYC, which has roughly double the population within City Limits (~8 million for NYC):
"From 2002 to 2006, 843 pedestrians were killed" That's ~211 deaths per year. Making the percentage odds ~0.0026375%
So you're about 1/3 as likely to be hit and killed by a car in Singapore than NYC. That's fairly significant, but there are a couple things to point out. NYC does have a significantly higher population density and I would assume it has a higher amount of vehicle traffic.
I think overall while it's clearly less likely to be killed as a pedestrian in Singapore, I wouldn't exactly call it "rare". And while I'm no professional on Singapore, I don't know why you characterize Singapore as somewhere that doesn't have large roads or many vehicles (There are 965,192 vehicles in Singapore). Also I don't think CCTV is nearly as ubiquitous as you think, from the few news articles I've read they probably only have a few thousand with more only starting to roll-out recently. It's certainly not up to London standards, and I doubt even there ever single pedestrian death is caught by CCTV.
"With a population of 5 million, Singapore has one of the world's highest per capita execution rates. While official figures are not produced, according to Amnesty International there have been at least 400 executions over the past two decades." - The Guardian, 2010-11-16, http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/libertycentral/2010/...
In the short time I have lived in Singapore, there were two kids killed by a truck, and I've seen two or three roadside signs appealing for witnesses to accidents with serious or fatal injuries.
So it's pretty much like other places. People can get hurt, and big brother is not all-seeing just yet.
And when were they documented the first time? It's much more plausible to believe that you are paid by the Chinese government to spread that rumor than to believe what you've written.
Or - they can simply kill him in other way and report that he was hit by car.
And also, you're right, those people do work in the defense industry.
Murder is the most vivid example without adjustmenting for income, but one can trace similar patterns across ambulance response times, food quality, transport efficiency, etc. Transparency International's report on their metric is a good starting point.
 http://imgur.com/a1N5WXm chart!
The USG doesn't tend to assassinate its contractors.
One perspective on this type of activity is that of early Buddhism, which 2500 odd years ago summarized that one should not engage in five types of business. Which five? Business in weapons, business in human beings, business in meat, business in intoxicants, and business in poison. — AN 5.177 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dhamma/sacca/sacca4/samma...
(It's great that you are or seem to be, though, if that works for you. The world I'd be most afraid of would be where 99% of people were pacifist and 1% were sociopaths, though)
Money: not fuckin' worth it.
The notes were surprising, she said later. One praised IME and its management. Another apologised for being a burden to his family. Neither sounded like Shane. One, Shane had never been a burden – “he had excelled at everything he put his mind to,” Mrs Todd said. Two, “he hated the way IME was run and the way top management treated people.” Shane’s girlfriend later said she was sure Shane’s last moments were not spent lauding IME. “He hated his job,” she said.
It's always amazing how in (possible) conspiracies like this, the perpetrators make one simple mistake that so clearly gives the whole thing away.
I personally see it as some kind of horrible sci-fi "Stepford Wives" "smile or die" dystopia... like a yuppie latte-sipping upscale version of North Korea. It makes me thankful for ghettoes and dirt and bums, given the alternative.
People change their minds when it happens to them. It feels fine to romanticize some abstract ghetto. But when your female friend posts on Facebook how someone tried to rape her in the Mission district when she went out for a night, or when your car is the one with its window smashed in so someone can steal the earbuds you left laying out, then you yearn for a more civilized society.
You say that Singapore is an "upscale version of North Korea", but in what ways? First of all, there is no upscale version of North Korea by definition since communism can never produce a high standard of living. Singapore's economy went from the third world to the first world in a single generation while North Korea has languished in squalor.
In Singapore, we see a country that is very well run. It has a low burden of regulation and taxation with a great social safety net. And it is very safe and open to the world. In what ways is it similar to North Korea again?
(This is turning into Libertarian bingo.)
The latter is unknown, as there has never been a true communist country (this isn't a "No True Scotsman fallacy" - a true state of communism is pretty clearly defined in the Manifesto).
I don't consider myself a communist (if anything more of a socialist) but reading this sort of FUD about communism is almost as painful as reading about blind hate for socialism in America.
I consider it an indictment of the modern academy that the gross crimes of communism are constantly deemphasized and excused.
Singapore is a thriving metropolis with negligible crime and essentially no graffiti, has the third-highest per-capita income in the world, and manages to govern four major ethnic groups without devolving into pogroms or race riots. Is it really so strange to idolize such a place?
Singapore does have the death penalty for a few too many things, I'll admit, but you're not likely to get the ax for carrying a little weed. (You might get caned, though.) It's also true that it has laws against homosexuality, but (as with the many US states that have anti-sodomy laws on the books) they're essentially never enforced. Singapore also has no meaningful democracy, but this is a feature, not a bug. (I'll fear the worst if the quasi-communist Workers' Party ever wrests control from the ruling People's Action Party.)
like a yuppie latte-sipping upscale version of North Korea
North Korea is a prison state with the 197th highest income per capita. Singapore lets you leave any time and allows you to become a permanent resident by paying a small fee (~$150) to start a corporation, which then hires you.
Singapore and North Korea are alike the way 18th century Prussia and 1930s Germany were alike: ruled, in effect, by a single individual. But Frederick the Great was no Hitler, and the Yews are no Kims. Do you really not see the difference between Lee Kuan Yew and Kim Il Sung, just because neither is Barack Obama?
I personally see it
Have you personally seen it? Spend an evening strolling around Marina Bay some time (don't miss the Hooters!) and see if it fills you with longing for ghettoes and dirt and bums—or for the famines and death marches of its putative Korean doppelgänger.
Also note that its human development index is higher than the UK's, so we're talking about a country that, on paper, is extremely good at providing for its residents: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_Human_Deve...
From an American perspective of course, these things are not impressive: we don't need green cards since we are free to work anywhere in a giant, highly-advanced, not-particularly-repressive society. But from the perspective of someone living in, say, Indonesia, where living standards are very low, the possibility of immigrating Singapore could potentially be a godsend.
Obviously it's shady what happened to the guy in op's article, but it's not like there is some other magical country where nothing bad every happened to anyone.
As this story suggests, it's also an authoritarian oligarchy in which you have no real rights and can be "disappeared."
I honestly found it disturbing to see it idolized by smart people. Do they have no appreciation for cultural freedom? Or do they really believe that yuppie upscale boutique fascism is an ideal worth aspiring to?
Seriously, watch a film called THX-1138. "Buy, and be happy..." Sometimes I think politicians watch dystopian films and think "wow! that's a great idea! I never thought of that."
Learn to appreciate your local ghetto. Like the song says: you don't know what you've got 'till it's gone.
Yes, there is crime, yes, bad things can happen. But I fear the ghetto very little even now. I am a Caucasian, although that should not matter.
If I was a women, I might fear the ghetto, but I might fear parking garages and late night walks, too.
That says something about our society.
Still, I fear living in a state like Singapore more than I fear a ghetto.
On the flip side, public drinking and prostitution are legal in Singapore.
We rarely get serious cases of cover-ups being exposed, so if this is the real deal, it'll be a very interesting one, especially if it concerns foreign governments.
> Hours later, in the middle of the night, someone went into Shane’s hard drive and accessed five folders, all labelled IME. ... Since the time of Shane’s death is uncertain, Massoud could not say who looked at the IME files.
> But Massoud found activity, again, on several more IME files on the night of June 27, three days after Shane’s body was found. He said someone looked at
IME folders – including one labelled “Supervisor” and one labelled “Goal Setting”
Edit: Usually the actual suspect would want to remove the evidence itself – in this case, the harddrive is carefully tampered with. Still the contained information is enough to put the blaim on a party – or the actual accuser is more profound than it is semed?
Certainly harddrive is again manipulated long after it had been detached from the laptop by police.
Whenever we watch Holywood hacking movies, we couldn't help but notice the hilarious 'techie' scene. However, there shouldn't be such consistencies in this article because this is supposed to be based on reality.
This is ridiculous. The Todds lost their son. The police did a desultory job of investigating his death, and the family have the drive only because of how poorly the police secured the scene. On what planet do the Todds owe the police anything?
I'm not sure what powers the Singapore police may have, especially since the Todds may already be out of the country, but they certainly didn't have any problems persuading a filmmaker to turn over her phone, laptop and desktop for an investigation:
Thanks for the Spuddings link; that is fascinating. I especially appreciated the complaint about non-uniformed vs uniformed police. Due to a quirk of technology adoption around the time I lived in Singapore (i.e. everyone else was already on mobile phones), you could be reasonably certain that every Chinese man in his 40s-50s with sensible shoes and a pager on his belt was plainclothes police. It was amusing to watch them watching, and I can confirm the complaint that they paid more attention to Asian residents on labor visas than to anyone else. You would never see a clutch of skinny Indian guys walking around, without one of the plainclothes guys trailing them by twenty yards.
I've got it in black, it came with the dock pictured, and it actually looks quite a bit like a speaker when standing, because the lights at its base that indicate activity look like grille holes when they're dark.
Now they're in the USA, and Singapore's rules no longer apply to them.
The police can do anything with a disk image they could have done with the original disk, except tamper with the evidence. If they still claim to require the original disk, that clearly demonstrates their intentions.
In the cozy world of web startups, we engineers have an incredible amount of freedom and control over our lives and what we do... but megacorps and companies connected to the defense/war industry are known for treating their engineers as fungible resources that can easily be disposed of once they get the job done. Sounds like something out of a hi-tech Tom Clancy spy novel? Think again, things like this happen for real, there's your proof.
Like someone else said here, stay away from that industry altogether. For the people in control of that industry, engineers aren't super ninja rockstars like they would be at a Silicon Valley startup, they are just means to an end.
No, it sounds like a case of Chinese government murder, something they have plenty of experience with. They must have known that there was a good chance that he would talk to the US government. The more interesting aspect is that the IME, a agency of the Singaporean government, would appear to be in on at least the suppression of the story.
I don't think it would have come as much of a surprise to the US that China is interested in cutting-edge semiconductor tech, nor would be the details of what IME was up to. I don't see much of an upside for China killing him, shedding tons of light on his work, and Huwei's dealings with IME, plus losing their top specialist. They tend to just blanket deny things when caught red-handed anyway.
When Shane's death was ruled a suicide by the Singapore police I was deeply shocked but felt that I had no option but to accept it. However, as more details emerged it soon became clear that his death was not his own doing.
It is still incredibly upsetting that Shane's parents Rick and Mary may never have the answers and closure that they (we all) need. Please spread the word as best you can about this story. Please be careful with yourselves, wherever your careers may bring you.
Good. This is pretty much the only sane way to handle digital evidence, anyway.
I'd look for evidence that the hard drive shows evidence of usage by the victim here.
I find it odd that the Todd family did not invoke the attention of US gov earlier.
They argue that Shane Todd had been anxious and feared for his life for some time before his death. Had that been the case, and Shane Todd was unable to leave Singapore due to his situation, surely the US gov should've been informed of the situation and help transfer Shane back to the US. The US gov would also have had an interest in doing so since Shane Todd had reported to his mother that he was possibly compromising the security of his home land due to his research in Singapore.
Quote2 [“He said he felt he was being asked to compromise American security.”]
Quote1 indicates Shane means to dedicate his life to 'God'(phrased Father) if he survives. I assume that any parent hearing their child stating this would immediately take action as to save the life of their child and thus contact some instance of US gov.
Shane had deep misgivings about the project he was working on and feared he was compromising US national security
The fact he didn't walk away in the first moment he felt this way, most likely means one of the US agencies killed him. We are apparently already allowed to kill citizens without trial when they are not on US soil.
Well written article though and the presentation was helpful.
The obvious thing to do in such circumstances is to offer your services to the CIA as an inside source.
I'm not sure this makes any sense. Your theory is more believable if:
1) He had no foreseeable plans for leaving.
2) Singapore was more friendly with the US, rather than being in bed with China.
3) Based on #2, Singapore is a surveillance society. I would imagine they would be pissed if the US did this on their soil, and they would probably have some video footage proof akin to what Dubai had.
4) If he didn't have a hard drive full of a Chinese company's trade secrets, that he intended to bring to the US. Why would the US do this before this data made it back to our shores?
Please correct me if I'm wrong.
1. How did he come to the conclusion/concern he might be violating US national security?
* He could have come to the conclusion on his own, he was apparently a smart guy.
* He could have been asked about his work by embassy officials.
* He could have heard/overheard a conversation that lead him down that path.
* other reasons I don't have any knowledge of.
2. Once he became concerned, what actions did he take?
* He kept it to himself and his family.
* Being described as an all-american boy, he could have gone to the US embassy with his concerns. The general perception of US citizens is if you report things like this, even if you're unintentionally involved, you are not targeted.
* He could have started asking uncomfortable questions at work.
3. Why did he copy a bunch of (presumably NDA) "trade secret" research onto his own hard drive?
* He just wanted a copy of his work. (I know I've done this with certain bits of code)
* He wanted to give a gift to his new employer
* He wanted something to bargain with in case the USG investigated him.
* He was just going to hand it to the embassy.
* He didn't do it with any intent, it was just part of a normal backup routine and he didn't even think of it.
4. Why would that hard drive not have been destroyed or taken, particularly if it was accessed after death? (especially since the place was unlocked)
* Deep spy game stuff -- the accessed files were altered to be "wrong"
* There isn't foul play
* There is more dangerous information that they were really worried about, not the stuff he had
* No one realized the information was not on the company network, and some IT guy was just spot-checking against official work to make sure stuff wasn't lost.
5. If there are national security implications, what things are we not being told because of classified?
No speculation on my part here. I have no way of pretending to have a reasonable understanding of this world.
6. What don't we know about Shane Todd? (Not in a blame the victim way, but there is lots of a person's life that can't be described in an article of this size. Is there something about him his family didn't know? Is there something they are embarrassed to talk about?)
Speculation dependent questions:
1. If he went to the USG as a good citizen, what did they do?
* They could have advised him to not abruptly up and leave for personal security reasons.
* They could have asked him to get them copies of the research.
* They could have blown him off, or told him, "thanks, but don't worry about it".
2. Who are all the people who would be interested in targeting him?
* His employers (as speculated/suggested in the article).
* The US government, as you speculate.
* Governments who pay/partner with his employers
* Singapore government, wanting to keep various ties quiet
3. If they are after the research, why kill him rather than just steal his computers?
You should be more concerned about traveling on the highway, traveling by plane, the food you put in your body, the amount of exercise you get, and how often you risk being hit by lightning.
That said, if you find yourself in Asia being asked by agents of foreign governments to violate US security concerns... smile and nod your head then hastily get your ass to the US Embassy for debriefing and extraction.
(Source: http://www.hrw.org/world-report/2013/country-chapters/singap... . Points below are all direct quotes)
* Singapore's Internal Security Act (ISA) and Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) Act permit the authorities to arrest and detain suspects for virtually unlimited periods of time without charge or judicial review.
* The Misuse of Drugs Act permits the authorities to confine suspected drug users in "rehabilitation" centers for up to three years without trial.
* Outdoor gatherings of five or more persons still require police permits. The city-state's Speakers Corner -- where people may demonstrate, perform, and hold exhibitions -- remains the only outdoor space where uncensored speech is allowed in the country.
* The Singaporean government and senior government officials have frequently brought charges of "scandalizing the court," criminal and civil defamation, and sedition to silence and even bankrupt its critics.
* Singapore's 208,000 foreign domestic workers are still excluded from the Employment Act and key labor protections, such as limits on daily work hours.
* Human rights defenders in Singapore risk being fined, imprisoned, bankrupted, and banned from traveling outside the country without government approval.
Human rights is another issue and on this they do very badly. They are among the worst places in the World to get arrested for basically anything and they have harsh laws that restrict all sorts of personal freedoms. But that's not corruption.
I still laugh about the interview I saw with Lee Hsien Loong in which the obsequious (although perhaps rather clever) interviewer asked him whether he had been upset when Goh Chok Tong had immediately succeeded Lee Kwan Yew (Hsien Loong's father) as PM. LHL squirmed and laughed nervously, and stammered, "Well, ah, of course not. One cannot have unreasonable expectations." Even he was embarrassed for his country then.
eg. "In 1991, the Junta laundered $400 million through a Singapore bank as down payment for Chinese weapons." - Jane's Intelligence Review ... or see http://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2007/09/singapores-debt-of-h...
If the men in power decided that Shane's death needed to be covered up, and the men in uniforms followed orders - then that is exactly how a non-corrupt police state works; you have strict order but that order doesn't neccessarily favor the people.
A corrupt state would have the relevant police officer be bribed individually and/or extracting favors from the relatives; corruption requires weak structure, where the system is centralised in theory but decentralised in practice, as decisions are made or changed by corrupt officials. But if the authority decides to do an evil thing and the system executes it without question - then that's a perfect example of an efficient, noncorrupt police state that achieves it's goals and spits at the costs.
Mexico is an example of a country with a lot of low-level corruption (you can bribe the police to get out of anything). The United States is an example of a country with very little low-level corruption, but with (arguably) lots of high-level corruption.
Singapore is a country with almost non-existant low level corruption in my experience (i lived there for a time and have visited many times), and their system is specifically designed to eliminate high-level corruption: they pay public servants high salaries and punish any corruption with very long prison sentences.
Not if the high-level law permits this kind of thing.
Whether the men in power are making the morally/ethically-correct decisions regarding this case is a separate matter altogether.
What I suggest is that the legal structure of a state might give it the option to approve and perform those things. You'd be surprised how many western countries have also invaded places or killed people for specific corporate interests that coincide with those of the state.
It's not as if they do it for the benefit of some small company. We're talking corporations with the level of influence and budget that's bigger than a lot of countries.
At least they did something about it.
And with Stalin/Hitler, you'd also have to look at the neighboring historical eras. For all you know Germany historically was also very non-corrupt. (not a challenge, if you do know, please speak!)
Corruption is an integral part of the system in those countries. It is not that respective governments have limited authority (quite otherwise in actuality) - they allow this to happen. It is how they function. What you perceive as lawlessness is a normal (desired) state of affairs.
If, for instance, you're a honest law enforcement official or a dutiful member of the parliament, you will not fit in and will have to either accept the rules of the system or be expelled (imprisoned or killed if you're stubborn).
Doesn't matter, this still refutes the original statement.
Heh, this gets downvoted for what? Oh well, feel free to stay in your bubble, and don't ask questions that will contradict your beliefs.
Parent is right, a lot of the negative media attention is completely over blown. Things like "outdoor gatherings of five or more persons still require police permits" while I think is still technically true, is never enforced. Obviously, because then you would require a gathering permit for a small family and the police would be running around every day busting school children.
Some of the laws are strict, but you'll see people breaking minor laws everyday with no repercussions. Just like every other city, the police have to use their brains to determine how best to spend their time.
They definitely take some offenses very very seriously e.g drug trafficing and possession. And some things seem a bit crazy like banning chewing gum. But I was there when this law came into effect and the difference it made to the city's cleanliness was noticeable.
There are other good things too. Its quite modern. Smoking is banned almost everywhere. It's really safe. Even for women at night. Public transport is good. It's multicultural and you get all the major religious holidays even if they are not your own.
It's actually a pretty good place to live.
I spent a couple of weeks in the US, and never ran afoul of bad cops or drug laws. I conclude very little from this, because even if things are as bad as reddit says, I would not expect to run afoul of those things in such a short time if I'm not breaking any major laws.
What bad things would you expect to see in just a few days, if the western media's Singapore bashing is not overblown?
You're free to stay in your bubble, too.
It is not perfect, but if you don't do any of these, and you just rely on the western media, how is it better? If you see the parent of my original post, I don't think it is better in any way.
Of course, the truth is a bit more nuanced than that.
Like vandalism and petty theft. And just look at how successful those "free countries" have been in addressing those categories of crime!
What you call "ridiculous" is simply what you have been conditioned to think, no more. Elsewhere in the world it might be called "effective".
It's about values and freedom. If you don't care about that, safety is easy.
I believe you to be quite misinformed in your understanding of fascism, freedom, and everything else. As far as I can see, the only "freedom" on offer in the society you hint at is the freedom to not be punished effectively for your crimes.
Please, Americans: if you have to mention the word "freedom" in your argument then you are probably talking shit. Think about it.
So you only address the punishment issue, but you don't say a thing about the sham elections. And yes, I'd prefer to step in gum once a year than have some 20 year old kid get beaten because they didn't conform to my narrow societal goals.
This is the difference between the west and the east. It is a chasm in philosophy that will never be bridged.
The US kills its own citizens without trial using hellfire missiles in drone strikes. So what's the difference?
BUUUUUT, I will bite on one thing.
How many Americans have been killed by drones? A handful? How many of those were actively fighting for terrorist organizations? All of them.
Now I do think it's only a matter of time before the US turns that power inwards and starts flying drones over the US. The NYPD already has drones and no one is quite sure whether they're able/willing to equip them with "non-lethal" weapons very soon, but it hasn't happened yet.
This guy above me loves the fact that people are executed for marijuana possession, which is almost completely harmless physically, of negligible harm to society, and largely beneficial to health if not abused.
How would you know? There were no trials.
(American born) Anwar al-Awlaki's 16-year old son was killed in a separate drone strike, 2 weeks after his father was killed. No suggestion was made that the son was guilty of anything, but that 'he should have had a more responsible father'.
No, I'm pretty sure he never said that, and I'm almost as sure he doesn't.
Your political opponents are not evil.
Surely you don't mean that, so I don't understand what you are trying to say here.
And have it your way. I'd prefer to ride in clean, non-vandalised trains, and the 20 year old would-be vandal was beaten after their first indiscretion, and never did it again.
Seems to be it's less an unbridgeable chasm between east and west, and more a chasm between lazy Berkeley ideology and pragmatism.
When is your book coming out? Can I write the foreword?
Also, nice homophobia, "foreigner." I lived for a year and a half in Taiwan, so I've maaaaaaaybe had more experience than you think.
P.S. Elitism is an ism too. You may learn that if you grow up at some point.
As he puts it, fascism is one part capitalism and one part brutality (if I recall correctly I believe he specifies murder, but I think the relation and general sentiment is clear.)
The crime rate in Western countries, including the US, has been falling steadily since the 90s. Given the differences in cultures and legal frameworks ... nobody is really certain why.
Compared to the surrounding countries Singapore is like _the_ safe place and not the other way around.
And personally I like drugs.
There are people out there that say "And personally i like to beat my wife and kids" and there are societies where this is accepted behaviour.
After being in Malaysia and Indonesia i felt very safe in Singapore and had not the impression of a state the oppresses its people.
In short words: Every country has its rules to live by. Singapore may have strict laws but gains a lot in terms of overall safety.
Don't equate smoking marijuana to beating another human being. I've never even tried it, for the record, but I don't see anything wrong with getting high if you want to, as long as you don't cause harm to others.
Anyway, back to topic.
The point is that Singapore has one of the lowest crime rates in the world , that doesn't come ouf of nowhere and is bought with very strict laws.
Actually i was trying to make a point to not equate your own understanding of legality with another. We are all bound by certain laws and what we take for granted may sound very strange to others. For example, i find it very, very strange that, in the U.S., people are allowed to carry guns. Can't get it in my head. But well...
That seems to be a side-effect of prohibition though, not the drugs themselves. It was the same when alcohol was illegal in the US. If the drugs weren't illegal, would this still be the case?
Seriously, if you need some crazy draconian law to make sure people aren't littering everywhere, then something is very wrong with your people's culture and level of civilization.
In Japan there aren't any laws like that, yet it's safe to say that it is the most civilized country on the planet. It's extremely safe, criminal violence is virtually unheard of, levels of cleanliness are superb and the people are generally very polite and pleasant in everyday situations.
It's a living proof that you don't need to intimidate people if their morals and sense of responsibility are in check and they know not to do "bad things" because they're wrong and harmful to the society, and not because they will get caned otherwise.
Do not drive after drinking alcohol. Driving under the influence of alcohol is strictly prohibited and will result in a fine, imprisonment or penalty. When a driver is arrested for DUI, the driver and the person offering the car will be fined a maximum of 1,000,000 Yen, and all other passengers in the vehicle knowingly allowed the driver to drive will be fined a maximum of 500,000 Yen.
And what do you mean with "In Japan there aren't any laws like that"? Are you kidding me? Japan has very strong laws against drugs! So in the end you support my statement.. strong laws = lower crime rate (how surprising). What would it have to do with people. People are not a unique mass, there are drug dealers, psychopaths and what not in every society.
And how you change people culture and "level of civilization", by magic?
>In Japan there aren't any laws like that, yet it's safe to say that it is the most civilized country on the planet
Beter to compare to Malaysia (which is way closer to Singapore). Just cross the border and you see the difference.
It is also a dictatorship. It may not be the worst of its kind in that it actually has (the thin conception of the) rule of law, but it's not a free country and it lacks decent human rights.
It's not that I don't see your point. Often democracies are inefficient. I just still prefer democracy.
The only problem is that it's hard to find someone who does not fall into the 'absolute power corrupts absolutely' category, which is why we as a society are rather uncomfortable with the idea of a dictator.
You get caned if you overstay your 90 days.
As an entrepreneur who has seriously considered moving to singapore in the past I am much more interested in what can happen when you do obey their (quite reasonable) laws.
I'm trying not to come across as some pro-authoritarianism masochist in this thread but am I really alone in thinking that there's some merit in deciding a set of laws, then enforcing them?
Overstay your visa? Is that really a minor crime? Does that happen by accident? When was the last time you "accidentally" stayed more than 90 days in a foreign country?
In my country, Australia, you'd be "punished" by being flown home at our expense. Wow. What a deterrent. That'll stop them .. er, using the same passport the next time they try.
There are a lot of things to love about western society but the blind adherence to this 1970s "never harm the child" ideology is fucking crap. Corporal punishment works. It's as simple as that. We have dispensed with it in western culture - without an effective alternative - to our loss.
Suggesting that it could ever be a suitable punishment for violating the terms of a visa is ludicrous.
If that is the sort of thing that you want to buy into, then I guess all I can say is that the rest of western society is better off without your perspective.
Tell you what, if you think that isn't torture, then you go get caned. If you can tell me it isn't torture afterwards, provided you are not in shock, then I'll take it all back. But if not, then I get to watch you attempt to cram your apologetics up your ruined ass.
Yeah man. Why don't you say "Tell you what, if you think prison isn't inhumane, you go spend 25 years in prison"
Way to demand an unreasonable precondition to progress in an argument. Is there a name for this fallacy?
Anyway, that video is hard to watch, and I would be sympathetic to an appeal to reduce cane size and weight.
I don't know if it has an official name. I call it the "Jury Fallacy." The Jury Fallacy says that, to have the right to express an opinion or form a judgment about some behavior, you must have personally experienced, or taken part in, that behavior. Which would mean that, to serve on a jury in a murder trial, you must be a murderer. But it's neither true nor sensible -- to qualify for a jury, to be able to draw a conclusion, all you need is to be competent to evaluate evidence.
So ... the "Jury Fallacy."
I think your example is subtly different though, and is similar to what I think of as the "You Don't Know What It's Like Fallacy". So named because of its typical use when criticising or commenting on X: "How dare you. You don't know what it's like to be X". X being any group you care to name from Atheists to Zoophiles. Or, in your example, murderers.
This case is slightly different, since the fallacy is to claim that you cannot criticise A, where A is an act, process or tradition, unless you have a personal connection or experience with A. If I had used this fallacy against my adversary, I could perhaps have claimed that he has no right to criticise the Singaporean justice system since he is not Singaporean, or that he has no standing to criticise because he has not been a victim of violent crime.
Personal Experience Fallacy? Personal Connection Fallacy? Outsider Fallacy? Insider Fallacy? I'll think about this.
It is true that no printed newspapers may be published in Singapore without a permit .
Does anybody have a link that might work better ?
I know this is poor, please check this out on the real site when you can.
I'm currently operating under the assumption (which seemed likely to me) that the Singaporean government / police had a motive for not wanting to involve the FBI. Hence the more reason for the FBI to be there.
I recall reading accounts of a similarly "suspicious suicide" several years ago. It also included sympathetic interviews with a grieving family in denial. Read for yourself how that turned out:
Initial suspicion report, 2007: http://www.sfweekly.com/2007-07-18/news/who-killed-hugues-de...
Example of another suspicion report: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18559_162-6599236.html?pageNum=1
Whelp, "independent" (kinda) investigation says probably a suicide (2009): http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/local/san_fran...
Some continue to push the murder theory (there are many more recent news articles too): http://huguesdelaplaza.blogspot.com/
The fact is, no one really knows. Once you hear the other side of the story, things get more convoluted. It seems that the police have a decent reason to classify it as a suicide, but it also seems that the case may have been a murder. So it's weird.
These sorts of cases seem to pop up from time to time. Most likely some are murders, and most likely some are suicides. I'm not confident in my own ability to determine which is which by simply reading a highly biased account in a newspaper.
Edit: you insensitive jerk.