A few hours ago, I delivered a two-minute speech titled 'With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility' as part of a competition. Taken from Spider-man and adopted by the organisers, this is my take on this (to the best of my memory):
"Excuse my lack of humour, for I speak on a grim issue. I shall not take the stand of Peter Parker, also known as Spider-man. Instead, allow me to examine our Government. Specifically, Minister Mentor Lee Kwan Yew, Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
"Ladies and gentlemen, no matter what they say, they are the three most powerful people in Singapore. Their word is law. The responsibility of governments is to allow their people to fulfil their potential, to be all they can be...and they have failed!
"Take a good hard look around! Look at what they've done to us! We are an apathetic society! There are people out there who don't even know who the Prime Minister is! They have censored the media, they have censored the Internet, they have suppressed our political opposition, they are trying to buy our votes witht he 'PROGRESS' Package! There are people who don't even know what the Opposition parties are! For crying out loud, I have to register my blog as a political website!
"Ladies and gentlemen, they have great power...but they have not executed their responsibility to the people. This, ladies and gentlemen, is what happens when great power does not come with great responsibility. This is why great power comes with great responsibility."
This is the art of speech-making: assertive, refined nonsense. I actually prefer making emotive speeches like this...but it's sorta risky in this country. If I were to make this speech in public, I'd be arrested and thrown into jail for a month.
No, I'm not joking. Neither was I exaggerating about what the Government can do. There is something terribly wrong with my country...and very few people actually care. The majority would rather keep their mouths shut, and not say anything. Case in point, the chief judge implied that I need to say things responsibly.
I am being responsible. I have a duty to my country. It is my responsibility to point out the flaws I the Government, and prevent it from becoming a totalitarian neo-Fascist state! Clearly, the meaning of 'responsibility' here has been distorted into 'politically correct'. In my country, being politically correct is crucial to remaining free of trouble.
It is also crucial to the downfall of the principles of the Republic of Singapore.
For any Singaporeans reading this, allow me to refer you to the Pledge:
We, the citizens of Singapore,
Pledge ourselves as one united people,
Regardless of race, language or religion,
To build a democratic society,
Based on justice and equality,
So as to achieve happiness, prosperity, and progress for our nation.
The Pledge invokes our right, nay, duty, to build 'a democratic society based on justice and equality'. There is democracy here, inasmuch as there are elections, and little else. Justice is relative: the courts, contrary to the Constitution, do not appear to be independent of the Executive and the Legislative. Equality is nonexistent: there are housing estates here which lifts that do not go up to every floor because they belong to Opposition-held wards.
We must tear apart the Government's lies. We must learn the truth. We must seize and exercise our right to freedom of speech and a democratic government.
Only then can we truly live as men.
People of the world...this applies to you, too. No Government can exist if the people are opposed to it, and take action to remove it from power. No Government can exist if it has no people to govern. Governments draw their powers from the people, therefore the people are the ultimate check of governments. The power of the people cannot be overemphasised: in the history of mankind, this potent force has brought down many a government.
But we must all remember this: the sound of freedom is not that of a dissenting voice. The sound of freedom is the voice of the people, pure and unmuffled.
On a far lighter note, I won the competition by a unanimous decision.
Would have been better if the other competitors didn't want to concede victory.