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The Straits Times, Singapore, 2 February 2000
What the players say
Stigma must be attached to immorality
MR JOHN Carpenter, 35, is an American PhD student in church history. He lives in Chicago with his Singaporean wife and two children, aged two and three.
"PEOPLE who are made to feel good about doing bad will just do more bad things. Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew understood this.
In the 1960s and 1970s, Singapore heaped shame on hippie wannabes by making long-haired men go to the back of the queue.
Now, the moral brigade must come up with new ways of telling adulterers, young punks, lenient parents of brats and unmarried parents that we disapprove of them.
Most of all, morality, like charity, must begin at home. Children need to be taught that US President Bill Clinton's White House exploits are disgraceful.
There must be a helpful, but firm, paternal eye looking over their shoulder when they go on the Internet. And they must be disciplined firmly with spanking.
If Singapore is going to be a more outspoken society that also preserves its moral heritage, the silent moral class must overcome its reticence. Only then can a liberal cultural coup be averted.
Since Liberals took over the US in the 1960s, the country has been on a steady decline. If Singapore is going to become a more outspoken society, moral people must not make the mistake they made in the US: being silent.
They must be vociferous in their support for the Government's pro-morality, pro-family policies. They should throw up suggestions for discipline and censorship, like calling for a crackdown on purveyors of pornographic material.
Admittedly, these measures are not foolproof. But complete eradication of cultural pollution is not the point; it never was. The point is that a stigma be attached to immorality.
A few pictures of pornographers being led away in handcuffs or seducers of married women being sued successfully for "alienation of affection" will go a long way.
Singapore does not just need a simple-minded conservatism but a full-blooded revival of ideals. In short, it must repent or perish."
Copyright © 1999 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.
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