The Singaporean Paradox Essay by JPWrite

The Singaporean Paradox
This paper discusses the Singaporean paradox: The co-existence of Singapore as a model of Western culture and achievement with Draconian laws, which limit political opposition, freedom of speech and expression and even relatively innocuous acts.
# 64586 | 2,910 words | 2 sources | MLA | 2005 | US

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This paper explains that the Draconian laws of Singapore, which would hardly be tolerated in Europe and North America, have gone without much criticism from other democracies. Singapore still enjoys a reputation of being a successful example of democracy in a region that has suffered much political instability. The author points out that, although Singapore is a parliamentary republic, the People's Action Party (PAP) has had a politic monopoly ever since the United Kingdom granted Singapore its independence. Opposition parties do exist and contest elections, but the PAP holds 80 of 83 elected parliamentary seats (1 is vacant) and all the ministerial positions. The paper relates that the penal code permits caning, in addition to imprisonment, as punishment for some 30 offenses involving the use of violence or threat of violence against a person, such as rape and robbery and for such non-violent offenses as vandalism, drug trafficking and violation of immigration laws.

From the Paper:

"But do Singapore's ends justify the country's means? Although Singaporeans go to the polls once every five years and many people thus are under the impression that Singapore is a democracy, the country's leader are not at all shy about their hostility to Western-style liberal democracy. Following January 2000's general election, won by the ruling People's Action Party (PAP) in a landslide, Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong said the result showed Singaporeans had "rejected Western-style liberal democracy and freedoms." Education Minister Teo Chee Hean has said that "a two party system would put us on the dangerous road to contention when we should play as one team", while Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew recently told Hong Kong people not to "waste time talking about democracy. There never was any democracy in Hong Kong in the first place."

Cite this Essay:

APA Format

The Singaporean Paradox (2006, March 28) Retrieved May 27, 2020, from

MLA Format

"The Singaporean Paradox" 28 March 2006. Web. 27 May. 2020. <>