Daily Archives: October 30, 2007

TODAY 20071030: Gay Debate Crying Out For The Majority Voice

Aside from the latest repartee to the HDB Pet Rules debate, this article, “Gay Debate Crying Out For The Majority Voice” (*) caught my eye too. A lot has been said about the brouhaha, from both camps, but what about the-ones-in-the-between – the big fat 90++ percent middle layer squashed between the two vocal camps?

Isn’t the official view most concerned with preserving the status quo according to the wishes of the sandwiched hordes who slog as nameless cogs in the economic machine, who are called uopn to contribute to the country through all the different taxes, and exhorted to vote correctly every 5 years?

But what do they really think? Are the vocal minority against repealing S377A really representative of the establishment? Do they really have the majority mandate to speak for the sandwiched class? I rather doubt so.

How about the other camp calling for S377A to be repealed? They’ve certainly not exploited the shield called “the Silent Majority”, but are they right to assert their rights to the right of intimacy in privacy without having the thought they are legally committing a crime in doing so? Is the clarion call for non-discrimination such an abomination that both leaders and the self-appointed majority-representation resist the comtemplation of its merits?

For to be sure, a part of the contrarian irony that is S377A is that sex betweeen gay men is a crime, but nothing is said of sex between women!

Where does the opinion or sympathy of “the Silent Majority” lie? Only they can answer that, and their thoughts certainly aren’t in the crystal ball or ouiji boards of the vocal minority calling themselves the majority, nor the government and leaders who are taking this minority as their bellweather and agreeing it SEEMS the majority wants the status quo.

Why am I so interested in this debate? I feel keenly the parallelism between the Gay Debate and the Pet/Homeless Animal Debate. Just as what happens in privacy between two consenting adults is nobody else’s business, what pets or how many a person choose to have is nobody’s concern, unless there is a question of welfare, or real nuisance, or criminal offense (as in keeping endnagered animals).

As I’ve ranted discussed, Singapore is as illogical and bungling over gay debate as cat issues when discussing the commentary, “Why Close One Eye?“. To demonstrate the cosmic wonder of these two debates’ parallelism, I even spoofed the commentary, and with simple substitution showed just how the shoddy treatment of one is reflected in the other.

We can all talk til we’re blue in the face but the question remains: Will the real majority voice please stand up? Or should the question be: does the majority care at all?

For those needing a quick primer on the outcome of the S377A debate:

Other interesting reads:

* To read “Gay Debate Crying Out For The Majority Voice”… is a bit complicated: it is not available in the text version of today’s TODAY, but is on pdf. To access it, click here, select Singapore News – under the “Today Section Headlines” heading – scroll down for the thumbnail and click on it to enlarge.)

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TODAY 20071030: Legislate behavioural training for pets

Well, finally, we see a positive letter in the HDB pet rules debate (Large dogs: Time for a rethink). This was sent in by a friend, and it’s heavily edited. Appended is her original, intact letter. Still, better than no letter speaking up for the pet dogs and cats in our midst!

More importantly, if you haven’t done so, PLEASE WRITE A LETTER IN SUPPORT OF CHANGING THE HDB PET RULES.

This story was printed from TODAYonline

Legislate behavioural training for pets

Tuesday • October 30, 2007

Letter from teo li lian

I refer to the debate on whether the Housing and Development Board should re-look its rules regarding allowing large dogs in HDB flats.

I feel that part of the problem is that behavioural training for pets is not mandated. Most dogs do require “schooling” in order to know how to behave among people. The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority should legislate behaviour training for dogs and make it compulsory for pet shops to counsel dog buyers to send their newly- bought pets for training.

The HDB pet rules must be changed to better reflect the aspirations of the modern Singaporean who want pets, and at the same time, ensure that pet owners are responsible.

Copyright MediaCorp Press Ltd. All rights reserved.

Intact letter (links mine)

Date: Oct 28, 2007 3:26 PM
Subject: Response to “Owners should be made responsible for pets’ actions” (Oct 27)
To: news@newstoday.com.sg

Dear Editor,
I agree with Ms Tow Milan’s view that “Owners should be made responsible for pets’ actions” (Oct 27). Her view that “the main problem lies with owners” is absolutely right. As a responsible dog owner, I fully agree that such irresponsible owners “should be made to undertake full responsibility for their pets’ actions”, as Ms Tow said.

However, I strongly disagree with her plea to HDB to tighten the pet rules. As it is, the rules are proving themselves ineffective. I believe the abandoned dogs in the report “Large dogs: time for a rethink” (Oct 26), are former HDB pets. And in my experience doing Trap-Neuter-Release management for the community cats in my neighbourhood, it is irrresponsible flat-dwellers who let their pet cats out to wander and cause problems for their neighbours.

Ultimately, irresponsible pet owners are the ones who are responsible for causing the unpleasant waste accumulation at Ms Tow’s front door. We should punish the pet owners for what can be deemed as littering offences and not managing their pets, not the animals who are just doing what comes naturally to them. Therefore, the HDB’s ban on cats and large dogs clearly is not effective at all!

Ms Tow is astute in her observation that untrained pets are not suitable for flats. Actually, untrained pets are not suitable for any type of housing.

I feel that part of the problem is that behavioral training is not mandated. Despite their image as obedient animals who are eager to please their human masters, most dogs do require “schooling” in order to know how to behave among people. The AVA should legislate behavior training for dogs and make it compulsory for pet shops to counsel dog buyers to send their newly bought pets for training.

The HDB pet rules must be changed to better reflect the aspirations of the modern Singaporean who wants to have pets, and at the same time, ensure that pet owners are responsible. But changing the rules does not mean relaxing the rules, as is Ms Tow’s concern. In fact, the right changes could be beneficial to Ms Tow’s concerns.