Today we were able to hear all the different voices that comprise Singapore on its world stage. First, early in the morning, we heard from the all-polarizing Mr. Bilahari Kausikan. to our surprise we had finally met a politician able to truly speak his mind, no matter the consequences. Student after student challenged his viewpoint and he stood by it. Although we may continue to disagree, he gave us a background to establish our views against. We were able to debate our points and have our voices heard, while he was able to continue with his own views. This brought certain like-minded delegates together, and allowed us to further develop our own beliefs. In discussing what we believed we were able to discover our true viewpoints. Later, we went to the building that hears all viewpoints equally, the Supreme Court. Contrary to what we had previously thought to be the best way to carry out justice, we were all reminded that the execution of justice depends on context. In a culture hesitant to punish, it makes sense that a jury, something integral to Western Justice systems, would not be ideal. But even when the power of conviction lies solely in the judge’s hands, Singapore maintains a transparency in its judicial system. A transparency that is further portrayed through an almost entirely glass building and open-for-audit courtrooms. We capped off our day of with a visit to the Istana to meet his excellency President Tony Tan. We were all taken aback by his soft-spoken humble nature as he made an effort to make all 79 delegates from different but interconnected lands feel welcome in his country.
We look forward to exploring more of the Country and its systems.
To be continued…
Chris, Jack, Warren, and Ranjit