National Geographic : 2010 Jan
• And so bloggers, like the satirist Mr. Brown and the urbanely pugnacious Yawning Bread, are free to broadcast opinions unlikely to be found in the pages of the government-linked Straits Times. As a result, more and more young people are questioning the trade-o between freedom and security---and even calling for freer politics and fewer social controls. Last August, a wide-ranging speech by new NMP Viswa Sadasivan created a lot of buzz on the blogosphere: "I do lament our lack of free- dom to express ourselves, and the government's seemingly unmitigated grip on power and what appears to be an inconsistent willingness to listen to public sentiment that does not suit it," Viswa said before parliament. "Accountability requires the government to go beyond lip-service in ad- dressing the call for greater democracy... If not, people are likely to feel increasingly alienated." Irked by Viswa's criticisms of the way some ethnic groups are treated in Singapore, LKY in- terrupted a medical treatment to angrily refute are going to lower me into the grave, and I feel something is wrong, I will get up." But this is beyond even him. "We all know the MM will die someday," says Calvin Fones, a psychiatrist who runs a clinic at Gleneagles Hospital on Orchard Road. Fones likens his homeland to a family. "When the country was young, there was a need for wise oversight. A rm hand. Now we are in adolescence, which can be a questioning, troublesome period. Coming into it without the presence of the patriarch will be a test." e great engine of cultural change, of course, is the Internet, that cyber y in the authoritar- ian ointment. Lee acknowledges the threat. "We banned Playboy in the sixties, and it is still banned, that's true, but now, with the Internet, you get much more than you ever could from Playboy." Allowing pornography sites while ban- ning magazines may seem contradictory. But attempting to censor the Internet, as has been tried in China, would be pointless, Lee says. It is an exquisitely pragmatic reply.