Are We Seeing the Rise of Anti-Police Sentiment in Singapore?

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Pic: GQ

On the afternoon of November 1st, 2021, social media platforms were abuzz with the news of Raeesah Khan’s admission of lying to parliament. She wittingly lied to members of the House about lurid allegations of police mishandling of a rape investigation. For all intents and purposes, her confession was not entirely unexpected. From the very outset, Khan refused to shed light on her allegations when parliamentary inquiries were made of her narrative. Her tenuous pretext – protecting the victim’s confidentiality and not ‘re-traumatising’ her.

As of the evening of 30th Nov, Ms Khan has resigned from the Worker’s Party and effectively vacated her seat as an MP in Sengkang.

It is most unfortunate that in this episode, she did more harm than good in the cause of giving credibility to actual victims of sexual assault.

In short shrift, loyalists rose to Raeesah’s defence, in an attempt to redirect attention away from her unwillingness to come clean on the issue.

Missing the forest for the trees: Another example of how everyone else is to blame. Just not your own team.

Sadly, these attempts only sought to dismiss the enormity of Raeesah’s lies by instead demonising those holding Raeesah accountable, claiming that they are not taking victims of sexual assault seriously, but rather angling for a political ‘gotcha’ moment.

Where cooperation with investigations would have meant that the officers culpable of incompetence or dereliction of duty would have been taken to task, Khan’s refusal to provide additional information on the pretence of ‘confidentiality’ ironically prolonged the agony of the victim she claimed to be advocating for. Especially so, since proper closure can only be achieved when justice is served. Yet, in a strange twist of reality, for the Woke brigade, it is Ms Khan who is the victim of the PAP’s ‘politics of intimidation’ even though she was given ample time (inside and outside Parliament) to provide details of the alleged police carelessness.

ANTI-POLICE SENTIMENT

Quite apart from the issue of sexual assault, this episode is symptomatic of an insidious trend of anti-police sentiment. This is evident from the snarky comments some of Khan’s supporters made against the police whenever they tried to seek her cooperation.

In an instance of this, a Twitter user lambasts the SPF as having been given ‘underserved legitimacy’.

Statements like these have corrosive implications because they question the legitimacy of the SPF by insinuating that it abuses its authority. This is an incredible proposition considering the SPF is one of the most professional and least corrupt security apparatuses in the world. Yet, despite the SPF’s impeccable record, netizens like Lim Jialiang deem it appropriate to conjure the organs of state as horrifying ‘demons’ so they, the woke liberationists can step forward in self-important role of public ‘exorcists’.

But more explicitly, there are segments of Khan’s supporters who parrot American-made rhetoric concerning police brutality. The slogans unthinkingly spewn by them are unique to those of the Black Lives Matter movement. While it is disingenuous for them to draw parallels between the SPF and American police institutions, such comparisons continue to be promulgated by Singapore’s anti-establishment ‘Twitterati’.

A repercussion of this phenomenon will be a fractured relationship between the SPF and the general population. Conceivably, this is disastrous for law and order in Singapore. As an institution that functions to safeguard internal stability, the SPF must command Singaporean’s respect and confidence. However, anti-police falsehoods regurgitated by certain personalities can erode SPF’s credibility in the eyes of the impressionable.

Unfounded allegations of police brutality against minorities in Singapore continue to fester and are perennially fuelled predominantly by those who seek discord in the name of political progressivism.

Fortunately, sensible and credible Singaporeans have come forward in defence of the police.

Eloquently argued, Ms Sadhana’s contention should be taken seriously. She accentuates the importance of preserving the symbiotic relationship between society at large and the police institution. Politicised and unfounded smear tactics against the SPF by anyone should be met with opprobrium; especially so when our men and women in uniform serve selflessly to keep this country safe.

Justice cannot be achieved with sordid mudslinging against the very institution that is built to deliver it. Rather, social justice warriors ought to awaken themselves to the reality that it is deeply irresponsible to parrot foreign-imported slogans that can inflict damage on the perceived integrity of the SPF, and have serious consequences on public trust as they have from whence they came.

Sadly, it seems that some of these SJWs are intent on sowing strife between Singaporeans and the SPF. The adept purveyors of anti-police resentment are no strangers to the public. Figures like Subhas have in the past posted anti-police remarks on their social media pages. For instance, Subhas posted ‘ACAB’ (ALL COPS ARE BASTARDS) on his Instagram, deleting the post soon afterwards. The acronym is mostly unique to the anti-police movement in the US. One thing is for sure, the careless use of this slogan shows Subhas’ state of mind and perhaps reveals an impoverished understanding of Singapore society.

Subhas is not the only peddler of malice against the SPF. The slogan, ‘ACAB’ has unnervingly made inroads into the psyche of many SJWs and millennials who are generally considered political fence-sitters.

The tweets above were posted by a self-proclaimed ‘revolutionary Marxist social worker’. While it is certainly not a crime to espouse Marxist ideas, individuals holding like views seem intent on maligning the SPF. Sentiments like these seem to be proliferating among a certain demographic of the populace that finds itself disenchanted with the system. Yet, they do not find agreement with most Singaporeans who have high levels of confidence in the police institutions.

An IPS study published in March 2021, found that public confidence in the SPF had been rising markedly over the past 8 years. The study revealed that ‘in 2020, 87 per cent were confident, markedly higher than 79.1 per cent in 2012’.

To be sure, the pronouncements of people such as Subhas, ‘Barisan Sosialis’ ‘Jeveuxrien95’ and their ilk are divorced from mainstream opinion, and reside in an alternate universe of constructed ‘alternative facts’ where Singapore’s police are somehow abusive ‘bastards’.

While it is evident that as a country, Singapore should not emulate what is happening in the USA where relationships between state institutions and communities are fractured, one wonders what other elements of the culture wars are showing up on our doorstep, uninvited.

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