When oppressors feel oppressed

Singapore’s top court recently ruled that it was constitutional for a minority group to be singled out and criminalised. This ruling means that section 377A of the Penal Code will be retained, and that every sexually active gay man is a criminal yet to be arrested (because of some “Scout’s honour” promise that the law won’t be enforced).

It also means that discrimination against LGBTQ people remain enshrined in our legislation, legitimising a whole host of other homophobic policies and mindsets that flourish in aspects of life in Singapore.

Yet conservatives would have us believe that it is them who are the victims here.

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Anything That’s Fit to Print (And Won’t Get You Sued): Freelance journalism in Singapore

The man at the coffeeshop pulled out a Styrofoam box to pack up the leftovers of my beef fried rice. “You and your husband, both journalists ah?” he asked in Mandarin. “Journalism is tough, right? I guess if you don’t write about politics here it’s not too bad…”

“Oh, I write about politics.”

His eyes widened, his brows arching high above his glasses. “That’s so tough!” he exclaimed. “If you write the truth you get in trouble and if you don’t write the truth no one reads it because you’re a liar.”

It seemed strange that a guy who works way more than 12 hours a day in a non-air-conditioned coffeeshop would feel sorry for me and what I do, but he’d more-or-less summed up political journalism in Singapore.

There is, of course, much more to it than that, which is why I’m even bothering to write this.

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In which my writing was plagiarised, plagiarist “hopes I don’t mind”

On 22 October I wrote the blog post ‘What transnational couples really need‘. In it, I highlighted the obstacles in the way of young transnational couples seeking to settle down in Singapore. The article generated some interest, thanks to the helpful sharing and retweeting of some friends. I also did a short radio interview with 938 LIVE on Saturday to talk about the issue.

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