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.

.#FreeMyInternet

* Members of the group as at 4 Jun 2013:

1. Leong Sze Hian http://leongszehian.com/

2. Andrew Loh http://publichouse.sg/

3. Ravi Philemon http://www.raviphilemon.net/

4. Kumaran Pillai http://sgvoize.wordpress.com/

5. Terry Xu http://theonlinecitizen.com/

6. Richard Wan http://www.tremeritus.com/

7. Choo Zheng Xi http://theonlinecitizen.com/

8. Rachel Zeng http://rachelzeng.wordpress.com/

9. Roy Ngerng http://thehearttruths.com/

10. Kirsten Han http://spuddings.net/

11. Gilbert Goh http://www.transitioning.org/

12. Lynn Lee http://www.lianainfilms.com/

13. Biddy Low http://publichouse.sg/

14. Lim Han Thon http://publichouse.sg/

15. Martyn See http://singaporerebel.blogspot.sg/

16. Howard Lee http://theonlinecitizen.com/

17. Elaine Ee http://publichouse.sg/

18. Joshua Chiang http://facebook.com/joshuafly

19. Jeraldine Phneah http://theonlinecitizen.com

20. Donaldson Tan http://newasiarepublic.com

21. Stephanie Chok http://littlemskaypoh.wordpress.com

22. Jolovan Wham http://www.workfairsingapore.wordpress.com

23. Ng E-Jay http://www.sgpolitics.net

24. Siew Kum Hong http://siewkumhong.blogspot.sg/

25. Darryl Kang http://blog.dk.sg

26. Daniel Yap http://doulosyap.wordpress.com/

27. Jean Chong http://www.sayoni.com

28. Benjamin Cheah http://www.benjamincheah.wordpress.com/

29. Theodore Lee http://www.mrbrown.com

30. Benjamin Lee http://miyagi.sg

31. Illusio http://akikonomu.blogspot.com

32. Lee Xian Jie http://hachisu.com.sg

33. Damien Chng http://secondchances.asia/

34. Priscilla Chia http://secondchances.asia/

35. Jen http://jentrifiedcitizen.wordpress.com