After realising that talking to the Singapore government is futile effort and a waste of everybody’s time, Singaporeans and technology companies who were up in arms against the ‘fake news’ law are now forced to compromise, hoping for the government be lenient in its implementation.
The PAP dictatorship on Wednesday (May 8) passed the new law into effect, stopping all parliamentary debates and ending all discussions after the Opposition Workers’ Party vehemently refused to support the law.
Barely a few days, opponents and Singaporeans now exhibit Stockholm syndrome saying they have stopped opposing the law and now await to see how the law is imposed and what content is Law Minister K Shanmugam going to censor.
Technology companies like Facebook and Google appeared resigned to their fate, promising to “commit” their cooperation and responded to the new law warily, saying they are now looking at how the implementation of the law.
Facebook Vice-President Simon Milner:
“I hope the ministry’s reassuring statements lead to a proportionate and measured approach in practice.”
“How the law is implemented matters, and we are committed to working with policymakers on this process.”
However, going by Singapore dictatorship’s past record, the government will likely abuse the law to its full effect.
The first person who went under its hammer was myself, way before the law is passed this week. Extra-judicial actions were taken to censor overseas-based websites like States Times Review. My website, then, was banned in less than a day, in similar effect to the ‘fake news’ law we see today. There was no court order, it was just an email from the censorship ministry of information and communication.
Naturally, the new law puzzled me. Why is there a need for a specific law when they could just take the same course of action i.e. bypass court process and instant ban? Why put it in writing and make yourself so unpopular, giving bullets to government critics like myself?
Then I realised: it is the chilling effect.
Singaporeans have become emboldened these days, and more people are openly damning Lee Hsien Loong on the internet than before. The dictatorship probably noticed that they have to do something over the declining respect they are getting.
In the past, people were unhappy but they kept it to themselves. Today, they post their grievances and complaints on Facebook.
My my, this is bad behaviour, Lee Hsien Loong must have thought. Children need to see the cane is working, and the ‘fake news’ law is the cane.
Like a child abuser, with the cane now on full display, Lee Hsien Loong need to whip someone up as example to keep everyone quiet. An easy victim who would cry out loud enough to warn the rest.
Question: Who is next?
My guess is Facebook. They will be fined very soon and they will be forced to write a confession letter admitting they were “irresponsible”. With their S$1 billion data center facilities in Singapore just built, they are not going anywhere. Their only choice is to comply and play the abused wife who gave birth to an albino ‘disgracing’ the royal family.
There will probably be more victims, but the government will pick the more prominent ones leading the activist pack like Dr Thum Ping Tjin. There will be more dead bodies on the way up to the General Election as the ruling party struggle and exhaust all options to stay in power.