Major Online Websites in Singapore to Protest Against Licensing Requirement

The Media Development Authority had, on Tuesday, introduced a “licensing framework” that would require “online news sites” to put up a “performance bond” of $50,000 and “comply within 24 hours to MDA’s directions to remove content that is found to be in breach of content standards”.

As part of the community of websites in Singapore that provide sociopolitical news and analysis to Singaporeans, we are concerned about the impact of the newly-introduced requirement on fellow Singaporeans’ ability to receive diverse news information.

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MDA’s new licensing scheme for online news sites a cover for more oppressive authoritarian control

May 28, 2013 by · 5 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

(EDITORIAL POLICY: This article may NOT be reproduced on any blog or website, but link-backs or SNIPPETS with FULL attribution to this site are welcome and appreciated.)

Written by Ng E-Jay
28 May 2013

According to an MDA press release, from June 2013, online news sites that “report regularly on issues relating to Singapore and have significant reach among readers here” will need to be individually licensed by the MDA and post a security bond of S$50,000.

Furthermore, Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim said that there would be further amendments to existing laws to cover foreign websites that target the Singapore market.

Having lost substantial ground to alternative media, and facing a rising tide of online resentment against government policies, the authorities now appear desperate and ready to resort to even more oppressive, strong-arm tactics to curb dissenting voices and control the flow of information, ideas and opinions.

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The public service cannot up its game without changing its fundamental mindset

May 27, 2013 by · 4 Comments
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Written by Ng E-Jay
27 May 2013

In a media interview to mark Public Service Week that was published at Singapolitics.sg, Civil Service Head Peter Ong said that the public service needs to do things differently, putting people at the centre, and moving to a more relational government which is a government with the people, where citizens participate in working at solutions for the country.

Unfortunately, his statements come in the wake of rising resentment against government policies, more frequent threats of legal action against netizens, and the increased use of state power against social and civil activists.

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Lim Swee Say’s “voice of silent majority” tainted with partisan bias

May 19, 2013 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

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Written by Ng E-Jay
19 May 2013

During a People’s Association Ceremony on 18 May, Mr Lim Swee Say said that grassroots leaders are the “voice of the silent majority” who help to strengthen ties between the ground and the government.

He said that grassroots leaders reach out to some 1.7 million residents every year, and through the interactions, they give frank feedback to the government. An example cited was the ongoing National Conversation.

Unfortunately, Mr Lim’s so-called “voice of the silent majority” is heavily tainted with partisan bias. As the People’s Association is helmed by the Prime Minister and key cabinet ministers, the organization embodies only the political philosophy of the PAP, and whatever engagement it conducts with residents is aimed at consolidating the political might of the PAP.

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The politics of town councils

May 17, 2013 by · 4 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

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Written by Ng E-Jay
17 May 2013

The AIM/town council saga has continued with PAP’s Teo Ho Pin firing off round after round at WP even in the face of outright rebuttals by WP Chairman Sylvia Lim. The whole affair has degenerated into a squabble over numbers, as well as detailed comparisons between AIM and FMSS to see which company presents a greater potential conflict of interest.

The latest salvos by Teo Ho Pin do not add value to the debate (the latest developments can be read here and here). They only serve to paint a picture of a PAP intent on damaging WP politically through various insinuations and allegations concerning high fees charged by the WP Managing Agent and whether the public interest has been undermined.

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Sir Alex Ferguson and Singapore

May 16, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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By Dr Wong Wee Nam
16 May 2013

When Sir Alex Ferguson announced his decision to quit as manager of the Manchester United football team, he created a shockwave in the football world. Who would have expected the most successful football manager in the world to leave so suddenly when his passion for the game is still evident in recent games? Nevertheless, the decision is a correct one. Age is catching up on him. He has to leave sooner or later. So what better time to leave than at the pinnacle of his career?

I like Sir Alex, not only for bringing up the great MU teams that have given me countless hours of viewing pleasure, but also for not forgetting his roots and always feeling for the working class in spite of his success and wealth.

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Wrapping up the town council debate

May 15, 2013 by · 2 Comments
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Written by Ng E-Jay
15 May 2013

As has been mentioned on the Breakfast Network, the recently concluded Parliamentary debate over MND’s review of the town council transactions involving AIM, a PAP-owned company, should serve as a political education for Singaporeans.

At the heart of the debate were two issues: Firstly, had the PAP through the town council acted appropriately in its dealings with AIM, the software provider, and likewise later under WP, in its dealings with FMSS, the WP-appointed Managing Agent?

Secondly, had the termination clause in the AIM contract been used unfairly to sabotage WP’s operation of the town council, with the possible motive of damaging WP politically?

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Protecting our national institutions and safeguarding our future

May 6, 2013 by · 2 Comments
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Written by Ng E-Jay
06 May 2013

The Malaysian 2013 General Elections was alleged to be filled with fraud and rigging. Phantom voters were extensively videotaped turning up everywhere to vote. Families complained that strangers had been registered under their address. Some voters were turned back when they went to the polling stations or faced other administrative obstacles, while others found that someone else before them had already voted in their names. The indelible ink that was used could be easily washed off.

To top it all off, power blackouts occurred in some counting centres, miraculously and magically, in states which witnessed a very close fight.

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A fraudulent election outcome

May 6, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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I will NOT post the Malaysian General Election 2013 results on my blog or on my FB page, because I believe that any election outcome that is fraudulently obtained is NOT WORTH MENTIONING AND NOT WORTH DISCUSSING.

Let us stand in solidarity with our Malaysian brothers and sisters

May 5, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

Written by Ng E-Jay
05 May 2013

Malaysia goes to the polls today, a historic milestone in its history.

As Singaporeans, let us stand in solidarity with our Malaysian brothers and sisters, and bid them to usher in a new era of change and democracy to Malaysia.

It is my hope that justice and fairness will prevail.

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