Singapore's Bloggers Fight On

The statement below is reprinted from TR Emeritus, a Singapore news site that regards itself imperiled by the government's stringent new Internet regulations. As an Internet news site, Asia Sentinel supports the country's Internet community and will reprint bloggers' concerns.

We refer to statements by Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Singapore's Communications and Information Minister, as reported in Today online, which attempted to downplay the effect of the new online Licensing Regime.

Dr Yaacob has unfortunately chosen to characterize the genuine concerns raised by ordinary Singaporeans as "farfetched" claims. Dr Yaacob also fails to make any apology or provide any explanation for why his Ministry chose to bypass Parliament and the public in introducing the sweeping Licensing Regime.

It is thus unacceptable for Dr Yaacob to expect the Singaporean public to adopt the "wait and see" approach he urges, and dismiss legitimate concerns as scare-mongering. The burden is on the government to consult the public and Parliament before making sweeping changes that impact our constitutional freedoms. It is incorrect for Dr Yaacob to turn the tables on the people of Singapore by placing the burden on them to prove that this piece of legislation will be mis-applied.

By this same logic, the Government can ram through a population White Paper in the future, dismiss the concerns of the public as scare-mongering, and then place the burden on us to prove them incorrect. Trust is a two-way street: our Government cannot expect to bypass our views and dismiss our concerns with impunity.

The Licensing Regime and the manner it was gazetted into law sends the unfortunate signal that our Government does not trust Singaporeans to make up our minds about the accuracy of the information we consume.

This approach to policy-making is unjustifiable, and highlights the importance of Singaporeans' participation at Hong Lim Park on 8 June 2013 at 4 - 7 p.m.

We call on all Singaporeans to send a clear signal that our voices should not be bypassed and ignored.


* Members of the group as at 4 Jun 2013:

1. Leong Sze Hian

2. Andrew Loh

3. Ravi Philemon

4. Kumaran Pillai

5. Terry Xu

6. Richard Wan

7. Choo Zheng Xi

8. Rachel Zeng

9. Roy Ngerng

10. Kirsten Han

11. Gilbert Goh

12. Lynn Lee

13. Biddy Low

14. Lim Han Thon

15. Martyn See

16. Howard Lee

17. Elaine Ee

18. Joshua Chiang

19. Jeraldine Phneah

20. Donaldson Tan

21. Stephanie Chok

22. Jolovan Wham

23. Ng E-Jay

24. Siew Kum Hong

25. Darryl Kang

26. Daniel Yap

27. Jean Chong

28. Benjamin Cheah

29. Theodore Lee

30. Benjamin Lee

31. Illusio

32. Lee Xian Jie

33. Damien Chng

34. Priscilla Chia

35. Jen