Book burning: Have an open, rational debate

Book burning: Have an open, rational debate

I am fundamentally against book burning ("Book burning: Start of a slippery slope"; last Friday). We should treasure our books because many do not have them.

But then again, isn't the act of burning books - the kind done for personal reasons, and not ideological ones by governments or groups - a personal right?

If a book is private property, and no one is harmed in the act of burning, then why is burning it considered vandalism?

This is akin to a wildlife activist chiding someone who visits a zoo, a vegetarian berating a meat eater, or a human rights advocate saying that using cheap foreign labour is immoral. These issues may be contentious, but they are not illegal.

We should have a debate on whether book burning in Singapore is a healthy social phenomenon because as an open society, we must be able to discuss things rationally.

Danny Tan Ghee Gay (Dr)


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