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Archive for the ‘Joel Tan’ Category

TOC Opinion – Police: Foreigners not allowed to complain

Posted by theonlinecitizen on January 28, 2008

By Joel Tan

Singapore residents have made notable complainers over the years, in what may, along with eating, be described as the nation’s favourite past-time.

Over the weekend, however, an interesting twist on this seemingly harmless activity has arisen – the local police have made it clear that foreigners are not allowed to complain in Singapore.

What might have been a light-hearted few days of fussed-up performance was turned into bitterness for a group of singers known as The Complaints Choir. A community arts project initiated in Birmingham, UK by Finns Tellervo Kalleinen and Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen, the Complaints Choir is an open-invite group that gets people to, you got it, complain, through song, about life in their countries.

Since its UK debut, the project has gained popularity around the world, and Complaints Choirs from Helsinki, Melbourne, Jerusalem and several other countries have sprung up since 2006.

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Posted in Current Affairs, Joel Tan | 21 Comments »

When saying “traditional, conservative society” doesn’t cut it anymore

Posted by theonlinecitizen on September 19, 2007

By Joel Tan

The spotlight is once again on the fight for gay rights in Singapore- it is an increasingly emotional war of words and like all wars, is inherently fruitless.

I say fruitless because, after 22 years since the last review of the penal code and despite claims of greater liberalisation and open-mindedness, our laws, with revisions to the penal code earlier this week, still preserve section 377(A) which makes any sexual act between two men an act of “gross indecency”, against the order of nature and thus against the law.

Even casual followers of the gay issue in Singapore will know that this law is not actively enforced anymore- a policy of non-aggression on the part of our government, which may occur to some as an olive branch, or token of appeasement.

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Posted in Current Affairs, Joel Tan | 44 Comments »