excerpt from TodayOnline on the Yale-NUS resolution thingy:
“Political science and philosophy professor Seyla Benhabib told Today in an email that “the good people of Singapore and our colleagues at NUS should rest assured that we do not mean to disrespect their considerable achievements as a society”.
She added: “But we do have different historical experiences, standards and values when it comes to matters of free speech in and out of the classroom; freedom of assembly; the rights of sexual minorities, the rights of migrants and many other matters.”
She felt that the faculty’s vocal stance on the matter exemplified the meaning of “freedom of speech”. “This is our duty as educators; and no one – not even our President – can take away our right to express ourselves and to disagree with official policy. This is what makes Yale what it is,” she said.”
wow…. seriously, some bosses really know that they are talking abt. (unlike some of the bosses i know)
im just really impressed with that this lady said. like really impressed.
but you know, while i cant reply her back in such articulate terms, i dont know why im confident that Father Lee would have been able to.
i guess in that sense, maybe, im still old-school…
you see, she’s right in saying we have had different historical experiences and it is those experiences that have shaped much of our political expectations on “freedom of speech”. it is every human being’s right, but you have to agree that the society has to (1) be mature and responsible in realising that what they say can be detrimental in as diverse a community as ours and (2) be ready to accept a less stable social environment/more political outbursts which may result in total chaos (in some instances).
im not saying our govt is fantastic cos there are so many other issues…
but frankly, at least for me, freedom of speech isnt half as much an issue as is the way we educate students in sch to be exam smart. now that, thats a bigger problem. no leeway for freedom of answers. we teach students exactly what to write, how to write, when to use which key words, heck, we even have model answers for our students just so they can score well in exams. true education? now that is lacking more than freedom of speech.