The Unsettling 'Asian Values' of Singapore's 'Confucius' the Authoritarian Views of Lee Kwan Yew Went Too Far When Singapore Hung a Filipina Maid -- Thus Undercutting Southeast Asia's Cohesion

By Thitinan Pongsudhirak. Thitinan Pongsudhirak is a lecturer and fellow Studies own. | The Christian Science Monitor, April 19, 1995 | Go to article overview

The Unsettling 'Asian Values' of Singapore's 'Confucius' the Authoritarian Views of Lee Kwan Yew Went Too Far When Singapore Hung a Filipina Maid -- Thus Undercutting Southeast Asia's Cohesion


Thitinan Pongsudhirak. Thitinan Pongsudhirak is a lecturer and fellow Studies own., The Christian Science Monitor


The ongoing tussle between Singapore and the Philippines over the hanging of a Filipina maid has exposed deepening rifts in the societal values and political systems of the six-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). How the Singapore-Philippines row is resolved has real implications for the future unity of ASEAN.

On the surface, the controversy over Flor Contemplacion's execution does not appear extraordinary. Singapore's rigid and austere criminal system is famous for fining gum chewers, caning juvenile delinquents, and putting drug traffickers on death row.

Hence, the capital punishment handed down by Singaporean authorities for Ms. Contemplacion's murder of a fellow Filipina maid should be no surprise. But the haste and the judicial process by which her death sentence was reached reveals a growing incompatibility between Singapore and its ASEAN neighbors.

An emphasis on order

Led by Prime Minister Lee Kwan Yew, himself practically the self-appointed reincarnation of Confucius, Singaporeans have become spokesmen for the so-called "Asian values."

While chastising American versions of liberal democracy, individual freedom, and human rights, the Singaporeans have emphasized order, stability, consensus, discipline, filial loyalty, and deference to authority as vital ingredients for the economic success of East Asia.

But East Asia is changing. It confronts a host of challenges spawned by economic dynamism. Singapore has refused to permit the forces of change to manifest and jell with the existing order. Instead, it has been fighting back using "Asian values" as instruments for regime maintenance.

Singapore's crusade to repel Western culture seepage was easy when directed against the West. But the Contemplacion case pits authoritarian Singapore against a liberal democratic Philippines -- a neighbor and fellow ASEAN member.

Naturally, Filipinos nationwide are outraged by the summary execution of Contemplacion, without a due process of law to consider new evidence. Under the guise of order and discipline, Singaporean officials did not budge one inch to Philippines President Fidel Ramos's plea for a delay in the hanging. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Unsettling 'Asian Values' of Singapore's 'Confucius' the Authoritarian Views of Lee Kwan Yew Went Too Far When Singapore Hung a Filipina Maid -- Thus Undercutting Southeast Asia's Cohesion
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.