MP explains posting of 'provocative' quote on Facebook page

People's Action Party MP Zainudin Nordin has responded to intense online criticism for a quote on democracy he posted on his Facebook page earlier this week.

The quote, by the American fantasy writer Terry Goodkind, included the line: "Gang rape, after all, is democracy in action."

Mr Goodkind was arguing that the mob-rule form of democracy was undesirable. He made the comment during an interview in which he criticised America's attempt to, in his words, "enforce democracy" in Iraq.

On Friday, in an e-mail reply to The Straits Times, Mr Zainudin said he had been sharing quotes he found interesting. Mr Goodkind's quote was, in his view, "provocative" but also delivered a clear message that democracy operates on the principle of majority rule, "whether or not the choice of the majority is morally right or supports the overall good".

"My only intent was to present my view that each individual has a choice and each decision comes with tremendous responsibilities. Hence, to follow a majority mob might be democracy, but it is democracy in its basest form. As a part of the quote says, and I agree: 'Democracy in and of itself is not necessarily good,'" Mr Zainudin said.

He added: "I hope that Netizens will see the quote its in entirety. I never for a moment intended to offend anyone and I apologise sincerely for the unintended offence which the posting has caused."

Since he posted the quote, naysayers said he was being insensitive, especially towards women. Non-Constituency MP Lina Chiam issued a statement on Wednesday calling the quote "abhorrent" and urging the MP to "retract his statement and apologise to women in Singapore".

But others pointed out that the single line on "gang rape" had been taken out of context.

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