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Thread: Families Against Casino Threat (facts.com.sg)

  1. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jed
    Change your vote come the next election if you feel they are not making the right decisions in running the country. Don't sign online petitions and do nothing come the next election.
    Erm, I honestly can't remember the last time I voted, it was that long ago. How do you vote against someone who is a shoo-in?

    The rest of your post makes a lot of sense. There is, however, a difference between creating a new source of temptation to the weak-minded and tolerating but slowly trying to stamp out an old, established vice. Smoking is legal, but if you're a smoker in Singapore, you'll know that you're a dying (ha ha) breed. The list of places you can't smoke grows ever longer, and the cost of cigarettes grows ever higher. If you can't make smoking illegal, you can at least make it darn difficult and expensive to do. I personally have many patients who had no choice but to quit. That's to the government's credit. The stubborn addicts switch to beedee's, which I have tried before. They're nasty little brown unfiltered cigarettes which drip liquid tar and nicotine onto your teeth as you suck in the smoke. Smells like burnt dead leaves (duh!), but the kick is there.

    In other words, smoking is legal because it has been so for donkey's years. You can't just ban it tomorrow, because you're going to get a lot of people with frazzled nerves storming Parliament House the next day. But if you've done any travelling at all, you will realize that Singapore is probably one of the most smoke-free countries in the world, or at least in Asia. And that's because of all the subtle and not-so-subtle means of "dissuading" smokers from continuing their habit.

    The other difference between smoking and vices like gambling and heroin (I know, it's a dirty debating trick associating the two) is the way these vices make you behave. If smokers can't get their cigarettes, they may suffer a little bit, then quit. The biggest crime they'll commit is to maybe smuggle in a few cartons of cigarettes for personal consumption.

    Compulsive gambling addicts and heroin users (there I go again) live for the next high, and will do anything to get it, including committing crimes against society and their families. Their work productivity is also affected and they usually find it hard to hold down a stable job. Perhaps this is why cigarettes are (still) legal and heroin isn't, because we all know these policies are governed not just by moral and ethical considerations but also economic and political necessities.

    It's perhaps ironic that it is as an ex-smoker (if you must know, I quit more than 10 years ago) that I am intimately aware with the workings of addiction and compulsive behaviour.

    Who brought up the casino idea? The government, possibly at the prompting of some individuals with personal interests. It is to their credit that the idea is open to discussion, although most of us have the sickening feeling that after all the discussion it will go ahead anyway. I hope to be proven wrong. It's certainly an easy solution to the employment problem for the government, although it's highly conceivable that we may end up having more foreigners working there than Singaporeans. Having quotas for employment of locals may not be that great an idea, either. I'm not sure I want my daughter working in a place where drugs, prostitution and organised crime thrives. And if you think there is no association, or that the SPF can handle it, well, yeah, I believe in Santa Claus too. The Yakuza in Japan are being muscled out by Chinese mainlanders who are more ruthless. You don't seriously think they'll stay out of a honeypot like a casino, even in Singapore?

    I remember I was in Adelaide about 7-8 years ago, and felt a general sense of gloom, desperation and despair in that beautiful city, which I (naively or not) attributed to the presence of a casino there. It's just like losing your virginity. You'll never know what it feels like until it's done. Then it's too late.

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jed
    Dkw makes several points in his initial post. One about the fact that there is a vulnerable minority at risk. Just the way he's phrased his response just rings democratic alarm bells. Democracy survives on a presumption that the majority decides on issues, although I entirely agree that the majority has a right and a responsibility to consider all angles, including that of the vulnerable minority. But if the majority want something (or if the government the majority of the population have voted into power want something - so think the next time before you vote), that's the premise on which democracy is founded..
    Phew! Never thought I would engender such passionate response to a simple post. Jed, though you have not directed your comments at me directly, but since I've been quoted extensively, I'll take the liberty to make a point to point response.

    A) Sure, part of the principle of a democracy is "rule by majority". You forget one thing however, the only data out there showing a majority opinion "favouring" the building of a casino are a few newspaper polls for which the methodology of polling is unclear. I am not at all convinced that there is indeed a majority favouring this development, but lets leave that aside for the time being.
    Next, the simple application of "rule by majority" rings more democratic alarm bells in my head than the converse. My personal politics are liberal on some issues and conservative on others, and are generally 80% aligned with what our government does. For instance, I find the implementation of mandatory HIV testing for pregnant women to be a shocking trespass on personal privacy and autonomy (liberal yes? But minority again). I do not know the colour of your politics Jed, but being a Brit, how do you feel about the Iraq situation? Does the fact that GWB won another term in office by a few percentage points mean that all the British anti-war campaigners should now meekly abide by the "will" of the American majority and clam up?
    Point I am making is that the "will" of the "majority" is transient and often wrong. What may be a majority opinion today may become a minority opinion tomorrow, and it is up to those who feel about issues to educate themselves first of the background, make a decision, and if they feel strongly enough about it, make an effort to influence public opinion. Democracy is at its strongest when it is applied this way, and not merely by a show of hands.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jed
    Regarding the moral argument versus personal responsibility argument, I think there are several facets to consider. Firstly, personal responsibility is where the buck stops. Personal responsibility keeps you socially responsible. Personal responsibility stops you from gambling, visiting prostitutes, etc. Ultimately you'll end up a disciplinarian and authoritarian state if everything depends upon the state's control. People must be responsible for their own actions, whether they gamble, smoke, drink, whatever. Either that or the state bans gambling, smoking and drinking, possibly even sex outside of marriage between consenting adults. That system can never work, and ultimately you have to concede that people must be responsible for their own actions..
    B) You put too much credence on the concept of "personal responsibility", as if it were a fixed quantitative value which applied equally to all persons. Truth is, if you asked 5 people what that thought "personal responsibility" meant, you might get 6 answers. I do not deny that to a large extent, we are responsible for our own actions. However, "personal responsibility" can only be effectively applied when a person is mature and intelligent enough to understand the consequences of his actions. Don't agree? Ask yourself, why is there an age of legal consent? Is that not a recognition that children below a certain age "generally" do not have sufficient insight and maturity to make important decisions for themselves? Why is a taxation system implemented in most countries? Isn't it so that the poor and disadvantaged can get a share of the income generated by the rich? How about mentally retarded persons using that as mitigation for crimes committed, legally acceptable yah? So whither "personal responsibility"? Nebulous concept isn't it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jed
    Quite interestingly, I was reading a fictional, mainstream trashy novel about smoking and the tobacco industry (Smoke Screen). It actually raises some pertinent issues for its genre. Can the government or the tobacco industry be held responsible for smoking related deaths, because they continue to tolerate cigarettes and not ban them? Either you accept that people must be responsible for their own actions, or the tobacco industry is murdering millions of people a year around the world. (Or whatever the true figure is.).
    See B) There is a reason why the government taxes tobacco so heavily, and embarks on campaigns to help smokers stop. I suspect if they could ban it altogether without severe political fall-out, they would.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jed
    Dkw's response to the freedom of choice argument. Yes you are certainly free to choose not to have a casino, as is everyone else who feels that way. But the person next to you also has the right to choose to have one. And ultimately if the government decide that the majority of the public want one (or do not object to one) then they can allow one to be built. You might, or might not, have elected them to office. If you had, you are as much to blame as they are. Change your vote come the next election if you feel they are not making the right decisions in running the country. Don't sign online petitions and do nothing come the next election..
    I'm certainly not telling who I usually vote for in an election. You don't think they are going to lose some over this?


    Quote Originally Posted by Jed
    I'm also not sure about Dkw's response to the majority is always right argument. And to be clear, I am not saying the majority are always right - but that it is the majority's decision to make. The world is not flat because the majority were wrong, it was flat because the majority of the time took the word of the minority of the time that the world was flat. What if today we took the word of the minority of the time that Singapore shouldn't have a casino and it proves to be the wrong decision?.
    See A). A majority opinion is often transient and often wrong.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jed
    Both Dkw and others like tOGGY have raised points about it being an endorsement of vice. And others have responded that it is no different from smoking and alcohol and gambling. What worries me at this point is that neither Dkw nor tOGGY have done anything to address this point. Why ban just gambling? Why single it out?
    C) Its about picking your battles. I do have opinions on those, I can't possibly be mounting a letter writing campaign on all these issues at the same time . Besides, its a lot harder to put the genie back in the bottle than letting one out in the first place.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jed
    Yes gambling is a compulsive habit. So is gambling on horses, buying the lottery. We already have both. Smoking is addictive, we have that too. Alcohol is also potentially addictive, we have that as well. So using addictiveness as an excuse to ban casino gambling just doesn't wash..
    Why not? 3 wrongs make a right?


    Quote Originally Posted by Jed
    By banning something you drive it underground. Where it is far more difficult to regulate, both in terms of who gets hooked, and the service providers. Look at what the government has done with prostitution. Legalise it, license it, keep STIs in check, help curb more dangerous illegal prostituion. You're never going to stop gambling from going underground; illegal bookies, just regular groups of friends meeting each other on a weekly basis, etc...
    Yeah, but it raises the bar significantly to those who want to engage in this, and it makes it easier for parents to sell a moral message; "see, if you gamble, the police will come after you"


    Quote Originally Posted by Jed
    I live in a country, that while not quite Las Vegas (although new legislation is threatening that), has casinos, etc. I've not once stepped in one. On the other hand when I was much younger and on a family holiday, I remember we tried to go into a casino just because we'd never seen one. I was too young to go in so I never did. So I've still never been to a casino nor do I care for it. But the point being that the lure was there simply because it was novel and prohibited - whereas these days I don't care about it because it's down the road..
    Congratulations, you are in the sane majority. Ever walk by someone sitting on the sidewalk outside one of these casinos in despair?



    OK, I'm stopping here, need to get back to work.

    Cheers,

  3. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jed
    Depends. Do we have the right to protest in Singapore yet? Or do we still need a permit to do so? Or was that an urban myth in the first place?
    probably still cannot organize public protest march that kind of stuff. but should be free to object or protest online

  4. #44

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    Hi Dkw,

    In the frist place, this is a photographic forum. You have infiringe on everyone
    by posting and asking people who support non-casion please sign-up.
    So what are you talking about you don't infringe on others! You sound so
    righteous and intolerance about others who don't agree with you!

    Hi Moderator,

    Can this be remove?

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by mercurio
    Hi Dkw,

    In the frist place, this is a photographic forum. You have infiringe on everyone
    by posting and asking people who support non-casion please sign-up.
    So what are you talking about you don't infringe on others! You sound so
    righteous and intolerance about others who don't agree with you!

    Hi Moderator,

    Can this be remove?
    mercurio,
    sorry you feel that way, but

    1) This is kopitiam, last time I checked, this type of topic is allowed
    2) Please read my first and subsequent posts, and point out to me where have I at any point asked anybody to sign the petition? I have specifically avoided that.
    3) Ummm, if you don't like the topic, I did not force you to read it. If you did read it, you have the right to respond, as you have done here. How did I then infringe on your rights?
    4) If I don't agree with a POV, I'm not allowed to say that? I don't think loupgarou or Jed would feel that I have been intolerant of their views, why don't you ask them.

    Cheers,

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by mercurio
    Hi Dkw,

    In the frist place, this is a photographic forum. You have infiringe on everyone
    by posting and asking people who support non-casion please sign-up.
    So what are you talking about you don't infringe on others! You sound so
    righteous and intolerance about others who don't agree with you!

    Hi Moderator,

    Can this be remove?
    Touched a raw nerve? Come on lah... this is Kopitiam... anything under the sun can be discussed as long as it abide by the rules set down... You have the right to skip this thread.

    My 2 cents on this issue is this, "You cannot stop the bird from flying over your head, but you can stop them from building a nest on your head."
    A damn big "bird" is landing, don't you think we should do something to shoo it away?

  7. #47

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    was wondering when someone would use that argument . I prefer a different analogy.

    If my neighbour wants to throw a party, I don't have a right to meddle in what food he orders or who he invites. If he throws a party till 2 in the morning and has booming music throughout, I think that is an invasion of my private space as well. If his guests park indiscrimately, and throw up over the common pavement, I think I have the right to complain. The fact is, in this small 25 by 40 km island country of ours, such a development cannot fail to cause a significant ripple. It is not matter of stopping people from gambling, heck, I do a little of it myself. You can always take a cruise, take a bus to Genting or fly to LV, and I wish you luck. I just don't want this in my backyard, whatever the economic benefits.
    first off all, that depends on the issue of common space. for example, loud music that invades your privacy is an invasion of common space, but issues such as watching porn, oral sex not as a prelude to vaginal intercourse, sex before marriage, having a child out of wedlock, cohabitation , drinking alcohol, eating pork etc is not an invasion of common space, so when someone else dictates how others should behave on their basis of their subjective morals, that's when it becomes an invasion of common space.

    Lets put it this way, do you agree or disagree on certain practices in malaysia that you cannot sell Char Siew or pork in certain markets and must be zoned, in some states you aren't allowed to sell at all. remember, as chinese we don't find it offensive, but the majority religion does.

    Do you agree or disagree on certain states which dictate that a man and a woman cannot be in proximity? or those where are woman must be dressed in a burqa or be stoned.

    Do you agree with laws that state you cannot drink alchohol in the month of ramadan (even if you're a non believer)?

    Do you agree that if PAS changes the state constitution to enforce islamic law, that the chinese in malaysia must abide by it and its judgements?

    Do you agree that apostasy is a valid civil criminal offence?


    if you read thio li ann's column (she's a christian fundie extremist) on dec 15, first of all, she constructs a strawman arguement on saying that the warring sides are
    radical secularists" and "inclusionists who insist on free and
    open debate" but in actual fact the "warring sides" are between those who seek to impose their religious views on society as a whole and those who believe everyone should be able to live their own way without undue interference from other groups.

    one only has to look at america and the religious right for everything that is going so wrong with that place, you may have already seen my articles on the anti choice radicals and how they use falsehoods in the public arena so as to enforce their religious agenda vis a vis the condom 85% myth in the today paper as perpetuated by FOTF's tan thuan seng, lee hew mun and hui keem peng . I didn't know deception was a christian value.

    meanwhile, the today paper has been regularly printing fotf's paid articles.

    perhaps you should check out dr james dobson's agenda.
    http://www.deardrdobson.com/home.htm


    meanwhile, however much I dislike to support not having the casino, I support it nontheless as a matter of principle. ie: if pelu says we are too conservative and traditional, then goddamit we'll will be conservative and traditional, so no casino for you.
    Last edited by loupgarou; 16th December 2004 at 11:45 AM.

  8. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by mercurio
    Hi Dkw,

    In the frist place, this is a photographic forum. You have infiringe on everyone
    by posting and asking people who support non-casion please sign-up.
    So what are you talking about you don't infringe on others! You sound so
    righteous and intolerance about others who don't agree with you!

    Hi Moderator,

    Can this be remove?
    Den you can start posting the removal recomendation in every single thread in kopitiam already... cos non of them are photography related.

    C'mon guys, spend so much effort and brain power debating this topic over a forum? I dare you to take it to the parliment. (Some inDUHuduals should have done so anyhow)

    I'm not a Gambler, nor do I advocate gambling, but if you ask me, I'll say Build build build (inherited from ESPN's BUY BUY BUY )... bring the entire L.Vagas atmosphere to SG... one more place for photoshop outing..

    U can't stop ppl from gambling. we are all infact... chinese

  9. #49

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    actually you have the right to object to the casino building and p*rn watching lah. just no right to enforce.
    no, you have right to object watching p*rn, you don't have the right to tell me not to watch p*rn.

    get the difference?

    *incidentally, optus is involved in the porn business, so it shows you how differently singtel can behave in Aus and SG..

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by loupgarou
    first off all, that depends on the issue of common space. for example, loud music that invades your privacy is an invasion of common space, but issues such as watching porn, oral sex not as a prelude to vaginal intercourse, sex before marriage, having a child out of wedlock, cohabitation , drinking alcohol, eating pork etc is not an invasion of common space, so when someone else dictates how others should behave on their basis of their subjective morals, that's when it becomes an invasion of common space.
    Actually what is subjective here is not the morals but the definition of common space, i.e., your definition of common space is different from mine. Who's to say having an abortion is not an invasion of common space? The aborted foetus might feel differently. If my young son sneaked away to watch porn I would feel that the porn site had invaded my space. So I have every right to dictate behaviour (within my power) if those scenarios occur, invasion of "common space" nothwithstanding.
    As mentioned previously, there is no such thing as total "freedom of choice", we all abide by rules one way or another, depending on the environment in which we live. The scenarios you raise for me are a trap, unanswerable in the context of this discussion and the environment in which we live. Suffice to say, if I were to live in those regions, I would abide by the laws if they did not conflict with my conscience.
    I'm not a saint so I'm not here to impose my morals on anybody. Suffice to say that our views on this may be too different for us to find a middle ground.


    Phew! Thread has gone OT. Thanks all for your views, hope its all taken in the spirit of a good debate, think this is a good time to close.....

    Peace

  11. #51
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    Hey, like I said, I'm against gambling, smoking, drugs, including alcohol, etc. As in, I won't indulge in any of them myself. But I feel that if you want to go telling other people what to do, then I feel you need to get your arguments straightened out. I think at best you've achieved an impasse.

    POI, I'm not a Brit. Not yet anyway. Maybe never. But who knows. Right. I'll stop now.

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