From ‘MP Zainudin draws flak for posting ‘offensive’ quote’, 9 May 2013, article in Sg Yahoo news.
Member of Parliament Zainudin Nordin has drawn flak for posting on his Facebook page a fantasy author’s quote equating gang rape to the exercise of democracy. The MP for Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC was criticised by people online for being rude, offensive and insensitive after he posted on Monday a quote from “Sword of Truth” fantasy series author Terry Goodkind with the line “Gang rape, after all, is democracy in action.”
The controversial statement prompted a flurry of over 140 comments, most of them expressing outrage. “Even if you did not say that yourself, it is still a very dangerous statement to quote. I simply do not understand why you chose to quote such a thing. Shame on you,” posted Facebook user Joel Yap.
Another Facebook comment by Pauline Leong called the quote “truly, highly offensive” and demanded an apology or explanation from Nordin, while Freya Cyen accused him of being “unable to differentiate democracy, human rights and freedom.”
Nominated Member of Parliament Lina Chiam of the Singapore People’s Party on Wednesday released a statement on the issue, asking Nordin to “retract his statement and apologise to women in Singapore.”
So is spray painting ‘Democracy’ on the Cenotaph. What the quoted writer intended was that no nation should be so ‘democratic’ that your right to free speech or thought turns into action that transgresses basic human rights. In fact, some of the world’s self-proclaimed ‘democracies’ are far from utopian societies. North Korea is the DEMOCRATIC People’s Republic of Korea. The Democratic Republic of Congo is the WORST place to be a mother. The world’s largest democracy India has her recent string of high profile raping, and both Congo and democratic South Africa have been termed ‘rape capitals’ of the world. It may be more accurate, however, to connect gang-raping with Anarchy than democracy, though the vandal who decided to exercise his free will to deface a war memorial clearly mistook one for the other. We may not have people raping others in huddles here, but we do get glimpses of unhinged anarchy at NATAS fairs and K-pop concerts.
But before we decide to ignore Zainudin’s Facebook post because he simply quoted someone else’s provocative analogy and people decided to zoom in on it because ‘rape’ and ‘democracy’ were in the same sentence, there have been people investigated by the POLICE for ‘quoting’ other people on their timelines, except that these were the kind of stuff that our government believes would incite race riots over the island and tarnish this whole ‘democracy’ thing. In 2011, NSman Christian Eliab Ratnam quoted Roy Egan on how ‘Islam is a cxxt that glorifies death’, while another blogger in the same year ‘shared’ a picture of a pig on the Kaaba. Would the police investigate an MP for equating the supposed pinnacle of political systems to the most despicable of crimes against humanity? That’s as likely as me being sodomised in an alley by a bunch of expat louts with a shisha pipe.
Terry Goodkind isn’t the first to allude democracy to gangs and violence. Here are some similar ones from the Quotes About Democracy website:
“A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.” – Thomas Jefferson
“The terrible tyranny of the majority” – Ray Bradbury
So perhaps using gang-rape as an example is simply a stark exaggeration of the beloved ‘majority wins’ rule, or what our PAP would call the MANDATE of the people. There are plenty of activities that can pass off as ‘democracy in action’ and yet flout all moral codes and decency known to man. Spitting in public, squatting on a toilet seat with dirty shoes, having the whole bus seat to yourself and ‘gang-raping’ your Facebook friends’ news feeds with daily updates on how many km you ran and calories you burnt, for example. Yet we remain cocksure of our ‘democratic’ aspirations, and we cherish those rare moments when we get to protest like a virgin landing a threesome on his first date, all this coming from a country languishing in the 149th place in press freedom,
Postscript 11 May 13: Zainudin soon apologised for offending anyone with Goodkind’s quote, though he’s not taking too kindly to a certain ‘Ganga’ who posted his photo with the controversial line next to his face, slamming the blogger for being ‘mischievous’ and selective in his abstraction of the quote. His latest FB post as of 11 May was:
Yesterday, I played football with our NYP colleagues for the ITIS-NUSS Staff Tournament. I played one half and managed to score a goal. We won 4-1 against TP. Congrats to our NYP Staff team.
No mention by the MP if it was in fact an OWN GOAL.