Calvin Cheng takes advantage of ISD arrests to attack Alfian Sa’at
It would appear that Calvin Cheng, outspoken social commentator and former Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP), does not like poet and playwright Alfian Sa’at very much.
A post by Cheng called for the need to monitor prominent commentators, specifically Alfian Sa’at, because of past allegations that Malay-Muslims are being discriminated against in Singapore. He linked the issue to the arrests made yesterday (27 May) by the Internal Security Department (ISD), claiming that Islamic State (ISIS) propaganda can have an unhealthy lure on Muslims in countries where Muslims are the minority.
Singapore is supposedly one such country where the feelings of minorities can be manipulated, and people like Alfian Sa’at supposedly pose as much danger as ISIS propagandists.
Brains located in asses
The playwright saw the post, and chose simply to retort with a one-liner in Malay:
That roughly translates to “your brain is located in your anus”. Pardon me if the translation is wrong. Blame Google Translate.
Unfortunately, once someone begins with a line like that, any further discussion can only go downhill.
Stay classy, Singaporeans.
Impossible to have rational discussions without personal attacks?
Calvin Cheng is outspoken about having laws such as sedition, contempt of court, and the ISA, supposedly to keep the peace in Singapore. Sure, if applied properly, these laws can be good for the public.
But he should probably also realise that the law applies to him too. Accusing someone of trying to create divisions in Singapore, and calling for “extra” monitoring, is, in effect, creating a division between people who support Alfian Sa’at, and those who do not. The post has already attracted those who are not in support of him to leave comments attacking him.
We’re not sure if Calvin Cheng really wants peace, or if he only wishes to eliminate those who disagree with him in the name of peace. His post could have been made without any references to Alfian and his point would remain; however, his decision to make attacks on others turns what could have been a post with foresight into an opportunity to slander another outspoken commentator.
That said, Alfian’s reply was not the classiest. The reply also goes against the sort of mature environment that many Singaporeans insist we can have, where we can debate freely about sensitive issues.
Once again, the Internet has proven us wrong; we can’t have a rational discussion online without devolving into personal attacks on others’ intelligence.
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Featured image via Calvin Cheng/Alfian Sa’at
With references from Calvin Cheng
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