10 things Human Rights Watch doesn’t want you to know

Right here far away in cold Hokkaido, I can just feel the veins bursting out of some people in the establishment as I read US organisation Human Rights Watch’s latest report slamming Singapore. I am surprised I have not seen any response from the usually thin- skinned government. But here’s what I  can offer to our friends in there! No charge!

 10 things Human Rights Watch doesn’t want you to know

  1. Their own founder says they are not credible

HRW own founder Robert L. Bernstein publicly said they rely on witnesses “whose stories cannot be verified and who may testify for political advantage”, and that undermines their credibility.


  1. They are well established liars. They spread half-truths and lies

They painted the activists as being persecuted for speaking up. But they never told you what the real stories were. How convenient.

Our dear friend Jolovan Wham organised public assemblies without a permit- ignoring legal ways to assemble– and repeatedly refused to sign his police statements. Go to speakers’ corner la. Amos Yee also ignored police and court instructions to report to a police station (besides insulting religions and posting obscene images). He refused to serve army and ran away. If everyone ignores the police and courts like them, what will happen to our rule of law? Incidentally, I guess Amos Yee promoting pedophilia in name of free speech makes us a better country, HRW?

Roy Ngerng defamed our PM without basis. Is HRW saying that only Westerners have the right to sue for defamation?

All conveniently left out by HRW in service of a “good story”.


  1. Their research is biased and unprofessional

I read their report about Singapore. Who does it quote? Opposition supporter Kumaran Pillai of hardly-neutral site The Independent Singapore. Unnamed activists.

Not a single Singaporean who’s not in the activists’ circle. No statistics that show how many Singaporeans share these views.

As NGO Monitor said, their research is biased and lacks professional standards. A few white folks send out a few emails to one or two anti-government fellows and voila, they have the most scientific report on Singapore! We all know the questioner and the respondents are both biased.


  1. They’re funded by predatory capitalists and Western governments

Their biggest donor is George Soros, who bet massively -and very profitably- against Asian currencies in 1997. We all know how that turned out for Southeast Asia.

NGO Monitor also says HRW accepts money from Western governments and isn’t transparent about it.


  1. They’re linked to the CIA and US government

Their advisory board has plenty of links to the US government. One of their ex-advisors, Miguel Díaz, was a CIA analyst.

HRW’s ex-Washington advocacy director Tom Malinowski has worked for the US government extensively. As HRW director, he parroted the US government’s support for illegal CIA kidnappings and torture.


  1. Foreigners telling us how to run our country

They end their report with a list of recommendations to the Singapore government. As I read it, all I could think was- who do they think they are?

Our laws are formulated according to local conditions and voted through by a democratically elected Parliament.  Why should we listen to some foreigners with an obvious bias? A few white guys flash the words Human Rights and our liberals and intellectuals go orgasmic over it.

I’m also very disappointed in our local media and opposition parroting them without question. After all, I found all the problems above in half an hour of Googling. Why did the media not provide the “balance” they keep talking about? Our own dumb media also went to become their echo chamber!


  1. They don’t have to clean up the mess when racial and religious riots break out

HRW says that The Real Singapore shouldn’t have been charged for publishing false stories stirring up feelings against Filipinos. Same for Christians that distributed pamphlets that insulted Islam to Muslims. And of course, Amos Yee insulting both Christians and Muslims.

Easy for them to say. These white folks never have to run a country. But if racial and religious riots really break out because of these inflammatory acts, who suffers? Not them in their cushy offices in Fifth Avenue New York. It’ll be us – regular Singaporeans.


  1. They just want headlines. Read: Asians are all idiots, dictators.

Not a nuanced, factual view. One that reinforces Western stereotypes of tyrannical Asian governments.

After all, they depend on wealthy donors who like to see their reports make headlines. Hey I didn’t say that, The Times of London did.


  1. They don’t care about social and economic rights

They only speak up for political and civil rights. But look at their own country- in the first 200 years of their nationhood, they suppressed the rights of minorities, women, immigrants and their colonies – us! Now that they’ve gotten rich from that, they suddenly tell everyone to embrace individual rights above all else. It’s classic “do as I say, not as I do”.

They forget that this approach in the US has led to

– their children being killed in mass shootings. More mass shootings than days in a year!

– the highest healthcare costs in the world

— public discourse and now policy filled with outright racism and lies

I was born in a Singapore run by Angmos. Then, we not only didn’t have rights to free speech, we also didn’t have rights to food, rights to elect, rights to safety or hopes for a better future. The Singaporean government has given us all these rights, within a framework of strict laws and respect for them. From day one! So, I would rather trust them than some foreigners who haven’t done anything for us.


  1. Claim they support rule of law and democracy, but encourage Singaporeans to ignore them

According to their founder, they’re supposed to respect the internal workings of democracies, even if they don’t agree with the results. But they support Singaporeans who knowingly flout laws. They support Chee Soon Juan, who has repeatedly been rejected by Singaporeans at the polls, often with the lowest vote share of any politician. They tell people to disregard laws, police procedures etc.

Do they think Singaporeans are that stupid? That we can’t see these activists’ arguments online? That if we were so against government policies, we wouldn’t express it at the ballot box? For a country that elected Donald Trump, that’s real cheek.