Posted 25 June 2013 - 12:12 PM
Not exactly a court proceeding in Singapore, but here's Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew's grandson in a World Debating competition.
"They make it a wasteland and they called it peace ..."
This is hilarious in a sad way.
Posted 25 June 2013 - 01:46 PM
He was my senior in school and was already brilliant. I'm told by my cousin that his debating style is widely emulated and used as a model for juniors till this day.
Here's an article on him:
"IT HAS been a good year for 24-year-old Li Shengwu. The Singaporean graduated five months ago as the top economics student at Oxford University.
And as the decade turned the corner, he was crowned Best Speaker at the just-concluded World Universities Debating Championships in Turkey.
Mr Li, a master’s student in economics at Oxford, took the top individual honour at the event – known colloquially as the ‘Worlds’ and regarded as the most prestigious debating tournament in the world.
He is the third Singaporean to receive the award, cementing Singapore’s status as a debate powerhouse. Since 1981, when the competition began, all Asian winners have been Singaporean.
The Best Speaker prize goes to the tournament’s most consistently exceptional debater and adjudicators were on Tuesday full of praise for Mr Li.
‘Without doubt, Shengwu is the finest Oxford debater of his generation,’ said one judge, Mr Daniel Warents. ‘This is a fact now recognised by the whole world.’
Now we know the reign will only be for two generations.
Posted 29 June 2013 - 07:39 AM
If he's debating with rational, sane people, be it at a Kopitiam at Wisma Atria, or a coffee house in France, I think it'd make for an enlivening discussion. A few frazzled nerves maybe, but his head intact, and a little bigger at the end of it all. That happens to be my stance, but feel free to disagree.
Now, if he were debating with cretins more interested in a brawl than in a discussion (or cretins looking for 'Yes-men'), he will get his head smashed in (be it at a Kopitiam at Wisma Atria or a coffee house in France) and then those guys will be charged for causing grievous bodily harm, or he can sue for battery.
In fact, coffee houses saw the birth (and subsequent refinement) of many a philosophical idea, and were where paintings were critiqued, with Sartre well known for engaging in his discussions on existentialism in Cafe De Flore, Paris.
joonian, on 28 Jun 2013 - 6:41 PM, said:
Do you think Shengwu would win a debate in a kopitiam? Or would he have a bottle of Tiger broken over the back of his skull instead? (a sort of point of order you might say)
Posted 29 June 2013 - 08:59 AM
Though I must say we were on the discussion of debates/discussions in kopitiams and coffee houses. So, what do you think? You think debates/discussions at coffee houses are inopportune and will result in broken bottles and a hospitalized man?
In that case he'll probably have better luck in the Singapore Parliament compared to, say, the Taiwanese house of representatives.
Posted 29 June 2013 - 09:10 AM
whether or not he is hospitalised depends on the toughness of his skull, surely. and to be the world's best debater, i reckon you have to be somewhat hard-headed. but yes, bottles have been known to be broken in kopitiams.
Posted 29 July 2013 - 02:12 AM
I am very optimistic about the corruption situation here. Because every person on the street thinks it's the No. 1 problem facing the country. When everybody recognizes something as a major problem, that problem eventually gets solved.
When I was younger, the No. 1 environmental problem was not CO2. It was the thinning of the ozone layer. People were saying that the UV will kills forests etc. and cause skin cancer to go up 400% etc. and we will all be dead in a few decades. I was maybe 10 years old then, and even I understood the significance of the problem. Today, nobody talks about the ozone anymore because that's a solved problem.
I would rather champion problems which are not yet generally appreciated as such. For instance, everytime I'm on the Karak highway, I see all these lori balak loaded full. WTF do the trees come from? Farms? Really? Because some of the trunks are really thick. Hundreds of years old. Who allowed them to be cut?
Posted 29 July 2013 - 02:15 AM
I am getting to know the political situation in Brunei, and my God is that a fucked up country. I am pessimistic about that country.
That country is run by people concerned with just one thing: preserving the power of the Sultan. The instrument they use is one which is time-tested: religion.
If you think Malaysian newspapers insufficiently critical of the major issues, wait till you read the Bruneian ones.
Posted 29 July 2013 - 02:32 AM
In a democracy, the wrath of the public has a relatively harmless outlet: they fire the incumbent government in the next election. The opposition takes over policy-making, and even if they are no better than the previous government, the wrath has been let out. The country truddles along with a new driver.
In an autocracy like Brunei, resentment builds up into wrath which has no easy outlet. It could only end in a revolution. Brunei has been in a state of emergency for 51 years.
Democracies are antifragile while autocracies are fragile.
Posted 29 July 2013 - 02:36 AM
Here's a timeline of events. I think this is way more fucked up than Malaysia.
1962 - Legislative Council election results annulled after leftist Brunei People's Party, which sought to remove the sultan from power, won all 10 elected seats in the 21-member council; sultan declares state of emergency and rules by decree.
1963 - Brunei decides to remain a British dependency rather than join the Federation of Malaysia.
1967 - Hassanal Bolkiah becomes sultan following the abdication of his father, Sultan Omar, who nonetheless remains chief adviser.
1984 - Brunei becomes independent.
1985 - Government legalises the Brunei National Democratic Party (BNDP).
1986 - Brunei National Solidarity Party (BNSP) becomes legal; former Sultan Omar dies.
1988 - BNDP and BNSP banned.
1990 - Sultan Bolkiah introduces ideology of Malay Muslim Monarchy.
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