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Yale-NUS slammed for blatant ‘disregard’ for freedom of speech

Posted by temasektimes on July 21, 2012

Students at Yale University in the United States have organized and participated in numerous protests and rallies over the years at its campuses, but the spirit of freedom of speech and association appear to be severely curtailed on its Singapore campus in ‘respect’ of the island state’s draconian laws.

The controversial Yale-NUS College, a collaboration between NUS and Yale which was met with stiff opposition from the Yale students and tutors alike will not allow students to organise political protests on campus or form political party student groups, the college’s president, Pericles Lewis told media last week.

International NGO Human Rights Watch criticized Yale-College’s move to suppress public dissent on its campus as showing  a “disturbing disregard for free speech, association, and assembly”.

“Yale is betraying the spirit of the university as a center of open debate and protest by giving away the rights of its students at its new Singapore campus. Instead of defending these rights, Yale buckled when faced with Singapore’s draconian laws on demonstrations and policies restricting student groups.” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at HRW.

HRW added that “Yale’s willingness to curtail rights on its Singapore campus lends credence to those who would deny the universality, inalienability, and indivisibility of human rights on the basis of a country’s historical and cultural context and its economic development.”

Singapore has been ruled by a single ruling party for 53 years continuously since 1959. Under the new Public Orders Act introduced two years ago, even a ‘solo protest’ in Singapore is outlawed.

Though Singapore is a ‘parliamentary democracy’ on paper, the ruling party dominates the parliament while the only ‘opposition’ party which hold six seats appears to be its ‘proxy’ like the many pro-government ‘opposition’ parties in Russia.



5 Responses to “Yale-NUS slammed for blatant ‘disregard’ for freedom of speech”

  1. Mike Zeng said

    1 Money is all important…..Yale needs the money quite badly.
    2 There will be no freedom of speech etc till the hard-lined regime is overthrown.
    3 There’s a chance in 2016, but I doubt it will happen…but eventually will.

  2. kaypoh said


    U wanna go to Yale or go to Jail? Speak up !!!

  3. Isn’t it obvious now that all who read the news on how those Christians,Campus Crusade for Christ, who posted good posters in the NUC Campus being hauled up for questioning,impeded,is to be seen as truly curtailing freedom of speech of theirs?

  4. Kenneth Jayaretnam spoke so publicly that our regime is very oppressive,very restrictive on freedom of speech,and many today felt the same way on how the now- innocent Kong Hee and his team being charged…

    Since there was no contest,a walk-away win for Kenneth’s statement,no dissenting voices on what he had said– as wrong or incorrect–therefore it was established as a fact for our country,is it not?

  5. Yale-NUS slammed for blatant ‘disregard’ for freedom of speech…Once again if such statements remain unchallenge,as all Singaporean,we must accept these words as honest and truthful.If it is not,please show cause why it is not,and give reasons.

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