16 September 2005

Fear Not! Mr Wang Shows The Way

The newest serious blogger in town is worried that he may overstep some invisible line in our uptight little nation and land himself in trouble for expressing his views. Here's an excerpt of what he wrote:
I have been doing online research what are the legal permissible topics. I know they cannot be “political” or “religious” unless they are registered with the authorities. I also know that I should say nothing against public interest, public order, national security and public morality. It should not be in bad taste or indecent, and should not disturb our racial and religious harmony.

So these are the legal rules. Like many other legal rules, they are worded generally and it is up to the courts to interpret the precise content of the rules. Furthermore, the other common rules like the defamation rules (supplemented by the defamation act), acts like the Singapore Broadcasting Act, the Internal Security Act, the Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act might apply in various circumstances.

I am no racist, and religious harmony is good with me. I surely hope I shall not run foul of the Internal Security Act. Defamation laws, in Singapore, are well, strict (note acidflask), and I wonder how it applies to me.

I am also fearful that my blog might become considered a political blog, when I have no intention that it might be so? For example, should I interpose say, Music Reviews, with the other social-legal commentary on Singapore latest events, to save my own skin? For example, when I used to read Sintercom, the idea that it was a political never came to my head. It was definitely civil, I thought. Like the way I thought Think Centre is. Civil. Political – no. Civil. Yes. And neither promotes racial or religious hate speech.

And I do not intend my blog to be political.

But its not my opinion that counts, right? So that’s the problem.
This reminds Mr Wang of the time when a student, doing research for a school project about media and Internet issues in Singapore, emailed Mr Wang to inquire whether the Singapore Broadcasting Authority had ever asked Mr Wang to officially register this blog as a political website.

This was Mr Wang's interesting reply. Somewhere in it, the newest serious blogger in town might find a useful tip or two.

1 comment:

- said...

Thanks again mr wang,

well, playing "hide and seek" with the "authorities" certainty sounds interesting. Ha, admittedly, i have actally read that post of yours long before, and will have done exactly as it suggested in the scenario.

Am frustrated that bloggers - who have absolutely no intention (but you cannot never tell,eh?) of stirring trouble (subjective to different folks) is subjected to such "Ambiguous" censorship.

If the Law is not going to define clearly what you going to say online, the invisible line will be stepped on by someone sooner or later. Someone less conscious, and less worried. Then we got probably something to blog about again.

Do we then, when it comes to it, blame him or her? Then it will depend on what invisible line he or she stepped on again, does it?

Darn its only reasonable that whoever is in charge of such stuff makes it at least reasonably clear...

Anyhow, I moving into stream of consciousness...again
Thanks again,
(almost typed my real name subconsciously...)

darn