Ladies and Gentlemen,
I have been in Singapore 25 days. During this time, not only all newspapers but also all television channels have splashed my face across the screen and the newsprint pages almost on a daily basis. I have been told by passers by more than once that my face in person is exactly like it appears on TV screens and newsprint. I understand unlike others. So they say, I can be easily identified.
I have seen this to be true. Very true. Each day that I walk in public, total strangers come up to me and say they saw me in the news. Everyone so far has been supportive, often with vulgarities and abuses in the various languages of Singapore hurled at the Singapore government and you know who.
I understand that the Singapore state controlled press and media is trying very hard, naturally, to make me look a heinous serial killer. But regrettably for them, they are not succeeding. The effect on the ground appears counterproductive to them. It is not anger and opposition that I face from Singaporeans. It is appreciation, admiration and acknowledgment of bravery on my part. Yes, it has been a good feeling to walk about in Singapore among Singaporeans.
As I am being forced to stay longer each day in this country, both local and international awareness in my case increases. Yesterday it was the turn of San Jose Mercury News to contact me. They are running a story on my case in their San Jose paper.
I am sure as time goes on the awareness of my case throughout the world will only heighten. As to how this is going to advantage this government is a mystery to me; just as their other mind boggling actions like calling in the riot squad to shoo off 4 peaceful unarmed protesters outside the CPF building some 2 years ago!
If the intention of the Singapore government in arresting me and keeping me in solitary for 5 days and intimidating me with repeated interrogation sessions with all manner of serious charges is to frighten all other bloggers from criticizing, I am not sure if this will be the end result. One thing I am sure. Many more educated people will permanently emigrate. Rather than frightening anyone, bloggers might become outraged, enraged and emboldened and criticize even more, not less.
Only time can tell. In the meantime, I wait in Singapore. That itself continues to be great punishment.