Voicing an Opinion
Something that is commonplace, inane even, when it occurs in other democracies.
But of course, Singapore is not just 'any democracy'. Hence one soul who dares to speak out generates enough publicity and interest that even an attention seeking Mediacorp artiste would be proud of.
Some say his foolhardy bravado has no place in Singapore, and will only earn him nothing but trouble.
Others feel that he is the voice of the future. Should everyone sit up and listen to the issues he raises, and likewise take the same steps to voice their issues, there will be change. Change that is good for society.
This is of course, the consequence of one of the human species's most basic fallacy . The abject illusion of self-importance.
What had occurred is just an exchange of ideologies, nothing more, nothing less. Talk is not going to change anything. Even if he had actually trumped the debate, over the almighty (somehow, i think this is quite unlikely), no less, nothing is going to change for society. What he will earn is the right to boast of his 'achievement'. And consequently perhaps get some chicks as part of the package as well. That always helps, but of course.
So all the hullabaloo about whether he is going to face a lawsuit on defamation can be thrown out the window. I will again repeat that what had occurred is just an exchange of ideologies in a medium specifically designed thus, nothing more, nothing less. The reason why opposition parties faced lawsuits is because they posed a real threat. Should their 'lies' be believed, they could turn the political tide to their favour. This has happened before.
The less drastic reason is because as opposition members they are still public political figures, and they are the voice for the people they represent (their followers). As for our brave soul, he purports to speak on behalf of 'Singapore society' but ultimately his voice is but for...himself.
Incidentally, the use of defamation lawsuits against opposition parties is...uniquely Singaporean. Most suits that have been ruled in favour of the plaintiff in Singapore would probably fail on the basis of the defences of justification, fair comment and qualified privilege in other jurisdictions.
So, what ultimately occurred was an interesting debate between the almighty and students, nothing more, nothing less. Unless something inconceivably extraordinary occurs, I do not see how anyone's life will be much affected by such a debate. Nor do I envisionage drastic changes as a result of this debate.
[Updated to address the issue of his insolence against the almighty]
Was not present at the event but from what I gathered most thought he was being a little rude. The first step when you wish to present some issues is NEVER to make it personal. Stooping to rude behaviour is amateurish and immature and you are throwing away your credibility. To improve on this, it would be prudent to keep one's emotions in track (easier said than done) when delivering one's opinion.
This also shows that the almighty won the battle of the mind games. Comparing their age and experience, it was perhaps foolish to expect any other outcome. That said, this is still a big ruckus over nothing. Rude behaviour is more character deficiency than defiance. The almighty with his decades of experience is sure to recognise this fact, and it is highly unlikely that someone who has gone through so much would take it personally. So, there is no need to feel defensive for our almighty leader here as well.
Incidentally, being rude is NOT being defamatory. Neither would the almighty take an action against a student in such an event, as it would certainly look very bad for his and indeed the country's image, picking on a student.