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Barrier? What barrier?

Posted on 07 June 2013

One New Nation writer puzzled at anger directed at MDA licensing scheme. Caution: circuitous logic involved.

censorship goatse

So it has come to my attention that the government of Singapore is asking news websites to put up a $50,000 bond to post content.

And this is making a lot of people angry. Because first they scare people by anyhow defining the word “news”, and then they say actually only 10 websites affected, of which 9 are gahmen owned.

People are angry that with this law in place, the gahmen can suka suka block any website in future without explanation, if they don’t want to apply for license.

But let me assure you, all this anger has been misplaced.

Because the Internet cannot be blocked.

Here’s the logic:

1) The government can arbitrarily as you to apply for a license and cripple you with a $50,000 bond.
2) You can arbitrarily choose to not give a fuck.
3) The government can put up a half assed block on your website because it is not licensed.
4) You and your readers can still access the website via a VPN. Or by registering a duplicate website.
5) And then you can make the government look very very stupid.

Or you could moan about the injustice of it all, the oppression that the unjust government has imposed upon its people, and then censor yourself by blacking out your own website.

Don't have to block me! I block myself!

Don’t have to block me! I block myself!

Or again, you could not give a fuck and proceed to conduct business as per normal. Thereby telling Mr Yaacob and his minions that the new law is irrelevant.

Focus on something that actually makes a difference

A good half century ago, the only credible opposition party that ever existed in Singapore’s history boycotted the general elections, thinking that someone would actually give a fuck about their absence.

As they say, the rest is history. The PAP gave itself a round of applause and proceeded to own every single subsequent election while the boycotters sulked in fury.

Back to today, there is again an assumption that a blackout of some 150 mostly small blogs will generate enough buzz to i) create public awareness that there is a substantial loss should the given websites be shut down and ii) pressure the government to retract the law.

On point (i) I don’t surf the blacked out blogs in the first place

On point (ii) the government has not cowered down in fear from the public.

So what gives?

All that protesting has ever shown is that the rules of engagement are skewed in favour of the establishment (what’s new?) and that life is unfair (again, what’s new?).

Will the articulation of injustice change anything?


Keep Calm and Keep on Trolling

No one has informed us that we have to apply for a license although by definition, we should. And since we don’t have to, and we don’t want to even if we had to, there is no logical reason to even take the new regulations into consideration.


Laws do not maketh a society. Society shapes the laws that govern it. But for some reason, we seem regard the law as a threat even when we know it ultimately cannot be fully enforced (see logic table above).


And this, ultimately, is how these laws keep us in subservience – illogical, irrational fear.

The law can’t scare us into subservience unless we choose to be scared.

So keep calm, keep on trolling.

This post was written by:

- who has written 268 posts on New Nation.

Joey is an intern at New Nation. He hopes to be as funny as Belmont one day and get laid at least twice a month.

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