Friday, December 05, 2008

Human Rights, The New Religion

I really do think now that in this more and more agnostic and atheistic world, the new religion is human rights.

There is no such thing as no religion. Everyone has a religion, a set of moral codes and values that they live by.

Like any other religion it has good points. Human rights are after all, something that is needed in this world. People have the right to be treated fairly, to be allowed access to education, and free from discrimination.

But what I fear from the emphasis on human rights is that it emphasizes the rights of the individual. And in so doing, it creates a self-centered ideology.

What it lacks is the other side of the coin. Responsibility. For every right that we have, we also have a responsibility to use that right well, to use it responsibly. A right to drive a car means that you need to be responsible when driving. A right to free speech means that you must be responsible with what you say.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Terrorists Must Die!

The death of Lo Hwei Yen was a shock to many Singaporeans and residents. Those of us who live here live in a land where crime is low and where most streets are safe.

However, the death of Hwei Yen was a shock. With a population of 4.5 million (and perhaps only 2.5-3million who are truly citizens), the chances of a Singaporean getting killed in a terrorist attack was unthinkable. Even when she was taken hostage, you wouldn't think that the terrorists would have killed a young beautiful lady in cold blood.

But kill they did, execution style, two shots, with one to the head.

Even more shocking was that I know the husband, Michael Puhaidran. We lived in the same hostel together as undergraduates for 3 years, in Raffles Hall. In fact, we were freshmans together, going through the same orientation programme.

Barely one and a half years married, and they had to part ways in a manner that was so sudden and tearful.

I feel angry at the terrorists, and like some of my friends who described it, think they should be stripped, flayed, boiled, spit roasted over an open fire, drawn and quartered and hung up to dry.

However that will not bring our loved ones back. The terrorists who did it have been killed. Like Jesus, I realize that "they know not what they do" and so we ask God for supernatural strength to forgive, something that must come from the Holy Spirit. But it's hard, so hard.