Tag Archive | "The Online Citizen"

500 S’porean men, women & children start volunteer army to protect MINDEF from online harassment

500 S’porean men, women & children start volunteer army to protect MINDEF from online harassment

Tags: , , , ,

News of harassment affected locals so much they have taken situation into own hands.


Concerned that the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) is unable to sufficiently protect itself from repeated online harassment, 500 Singaporean men, women and children have started a volunteer army unit to help stave off any further intimidation.

This after it was reported that the donation-dependent website, The Online Citizen, had successfully harassed MINDEF, despite the ministry expending billions of dollars on defence spending each year to acquire technologically-sophisticated weaponry to protect Singapore and itself from greater external threats.

One of the local men, Jin Seow Onn, who is chief commander of the volunteer army, said he, his wife and three children were deeply moved by the plight of MINDEF after reading about it in the news detailing its struggle to put up a resistance against an online website run by a handful of volunteers: “I cannot sit idly by as MINDEF is getting cyber assaulted by shadowy, nebulous figures on the Internet,” he said as he wiped the tears of patriotic anguish from his eyes.

“MINDEF’s inability to protect itself has moved me to act on their behalf. I pledge to keep MINDEF safe from any threats posed by websites emanating from Singapore that provoke the sovereignty of Singapore by targeting our military defence ministry with thousands of clicks generated by other Internet users.”

Other Singaporean men said MINDEF’s struggle at fending for itself is proof that Total Defence is a mindset that needs to be cultivated from young.

One such local man, Bao Hu Guo, said: “That is why I am getting my two children, aged three and four, to join me in this struggle for what is right and what is pure.”

“I need to remind them, and other Singaporeans at large, if we do not do anything to protect MINDEF, then nobody else would.”

“We cannot let the weak face any more adversity alone.”


Oh no! MINDEF is in trouble:

Donation-dependent website successfully harasses multi-billion-dollar MINDEF military organisation










Donation-dependent website successfully harasses multi-billion-dollar MINDEF military organisation

Donation-dependent website successfully harasses multi-billion-dollar MINDEF military organisation

Tags: , , , ,

Despite MINDEF’s tough exterior, they are still a sensitive new age military organisation deep down inside.


A local donation-dependent website, The Online Ciitzen, has been found by the Singapore court to have successfully harassed the Ministry of Defence, the multi-billion-dollar military organisation that serves as the first and last line of defence for the country.

This after the court granted the application by MINDEF under the Protection from Harassment Act (POHA) against Dr Ting Choon Meng and The Online Citizen.

MINDEF, an institution that is part of the country’s military-industrial complex, which took more than 40 years to build up, took exception to some statements made about it that are deemed false and have reportedly caused them to feel sad.

Defence analyst, Qu Da Zhang, said, this successful harassment of one of Singapore’s most tenacious institutions by a website run by volunteers who depend on public donations, reveal a number of interesting observations about MINDEF.

Qu said: “It is great to see that MINDEF, a multi-billion institution tasked with the all-important purpose of protecting Singapore’s sovereignty as a nation from the threats from abroad, feels harassed by a few statements from a donation-dependent website.”

“This signals to the world that Singapore’s defence force has an Achilles heel that can be exploited as it has feelings that can be exploited.”

“Future threats to our country could include the setting up of donation-funded websites based abroad that repeatedly make statements to hurt MINDEF’s feelings and cause them to feel harassed, while depriving them of any possible avenues for legal recourse as the United Nations will never entertain such complaints.”

“If exploited for maximum effect, this could cause MINDEF to feel wounded as their feelings are repeatedly hurt and eroded with allegations, which might cause the organisation to suffer depression and unable to function.”

“Then again, it could show that even though MINDEF has a tough exterior powered by balls and steel, deep down inside it is still a fuzzy ball of emotions and feelings.”

“MINDEF’s tough exterior and soft core really makes it out to be a Sensitive New Age Military Organisation (SNAMO).”


Thousands of Singaporean men also feel harassed:

S’porean applies for Protection from Harassment Act against SAF after receiving multiple unsolicited IPPT SMS reminders, SAF100

Thousands of S’porean men say they feel very harassed by MINDEF, especially during NS


M Ravi still S’pore’s no. 1 human rights lawyer

M Ravi still S’pore’s no. 1 human rights lawyer

Tags: , , , ,

Still the preferred choice.

Several days ago last week, The Online Citizen jumped onto the fake news writing bandwagon and put out this piece:


Not only was it premature, it was wrong.

They were called out by arrested Demon-cratic Singapore cartoonist, Leslie Chew himself.

Latest news in today:


M Ravi — still the only preferred pro bono human rights lawyer in Singapore.

Your trusted choice.


Buy his book here.

In George we trust

In George we trust

Tags: , , ,

Cherian George haters be damned.

By Belmont Lay

Cherian George has been researching about media ever since "The Internet" was known as "Cyberspace".

In the past few days, a lot of haters have come out to lay the smack down on NTU’s Cherian George.

Why? Because they are unhappy with what they deemed to be Cherian’s unwarranted criticism of The Online Citizen’s lax reporting standards.

Cherian, you see, pointed out that one of TOC’s blogivists applied quotation marks rather luxuriously on Seng Han Thong’s mis-speech on BlogTV, fudging the meaning of what the beleaguered MP actually said and meant.

I don’t know about you, but let me insist on this: Haters, be damned.

Look, Cherian plies his trade as a media academic. It is his right to speak authoritatively, especially about media-related issues, without fear or favour.

If TOC cannot use quotation marks properly, he can tell them to get their shit together and learn how to better punctuate.

No big deal.

Moreover, I am certain that long after this debacle featuring Seng Han Thong is over, I, for one, can still count on Cherian to continue his scholarship in media research and related topics in Singapore.

What can the haters contribute?

It doesn’t take a savant to understand this: Most of Cherian’s scholarship will continue to go towards informing our understanding of policies and politics in Singapore from the media’s perspective.

Plenty of his past work have helped countless students, academics and lay observers appreciate and manoeuvre the profundities of the Singapore system in the media domain and beyond.

Obviously, Cherian’s sagely advice will be dependable in the future when it comes to the media because he has been where almost no one else in this country has been: From going up the ranks in the SPH news room to the hallways of NTU where he lectures and researches from.

His experience is vital. And his comradeship even more so.

Basically, he’s been at it ever since “The Internet” was known as “Cyberspace”.

Last but not least, I definitely can trust Cherian to sustain a logical, principled argument.

It is pretty evident that after three blog posts into discussing his perspective in this messy Seng Han Thong debacle (check out blog posts number 1, 2 & 3), the only things still left standing and intact are Cherian’s principled approach and logical stance.

You will unwittingly notice how the dissenters and haters conspicuously decline in volume in the comments section with each passing post.

To sustain an argument is not so much for Cherian to have the last word.

Rather, it is for him to hone his rationale and methods to ensure they become unimpeachable – long after the haters have dissolved in their own bile.

Because he is, after all, a man with a reputation. A reputation which is a by-product of the good work he has done so far.

You can go take a look for yourselves. The books and articles he has edited and published under his name are for everyone’s scrutiny.

For further proof, observe his blog posts in addressing the haters, public-at-large and even himself.

In his introspective and almost-apologetic-bending-over-backwards concession that he might be “selfish” when dealing with this present issue, he explains thoroughly why he is not siding with TOC or going after the PAP.

And you know why? It is because he steadfastly refuses to turn the tables on whichever of his critics at the moment by employing PAP’s or haters’ tactics of arm-twisting and name-calling.

He simply does not want to mimic the ways of such hardliners that he cannot respect in the first place.

Cherian even writes charitably: “So I treasure truthfulness in politics, and – since I am not seeking votes or eyeballs – would rather lose a battle of words than push an untruth”.

How fucking cool is that?

In comparison, three days in, just where have all his haters gone? (As of now, Dec. 26, 2011, 4 a.m., there are no comments on his third post.) They have neither the intellectual stamina nor fortitude to see through a proper argument.

And I’ve yet to hear a squeak from Sonia Suka, the original blogivist who is credited for breaking the SHT story on TOC.

If you, dear reader, had to take sides in this issue, I have only this advice to offer: Place your bets on whoever is in this for the long term, or even for good.

You should know who to choose by now.

And with regards to TOC? What can be said about them choosing to go head-to-head against Cherian George?

It shows two things:

Their resolve to prove that they are right at the expense of conceding a point is laudable, but their display of pig-headedness is unfortunate.

Because to insist there is outright racism on Seng Han Thong’s part by jumping up and down and crying out loud that there is, the case, nevertheless, is still insurmountably difficult to prove.

Even Alex Au of Yawning Bread pretty much calls it much ado about nothing. (In fact, Au’s exact words are: “…it is difficult to make too much of those words (by Seng Han Thong)”.)

And for TOC to insist on being right on this issue, regardless of what naysayers think, would only solidify the consensus that they have an agenda in going after the PAP.

Whatever political capital they might have accumulated in the days leading up to last week, some of it is inevitably lost in the past few days.

Simply put, for those of us who are not thoroughly convinced of TOC’s point-of-view on this particular matter, their phoniness has been exacerbated.

As with Cherian haters and dissenters, it shall be the same for TOC once this moment has passed.

They’ll be off banging on about some other topic in time to come.

For Cherian, it is back to doing the grunt work. Whatever reputation he has attained inside and outside of academia, will always be a by-product of the consistency of his thinking, research and his even-handedness.

In other words: Cherian will still be around doing what he does best.

And here’s the point of today’s missive: For that reason, I’m counting on him.

With TOC, unfortunately, all bets are off for now.

New Nation is not your run-of-the-mill news blog

New Nation is not your run-of-the-mill news blog

Tags: , , , , ,

Haters are gonna hate, but we believe in what we’re doing.


Recently, New Nation had the privilege of being featured in the Straits Times alongside blogging luminaries like Andrew Loh, formerly the Chief Editor of The Online Citizen, and Mr Brown. We appreciate the coverage, and the reporter who bothered to interview a bunch of nobodies like us.

To be frank, when we started New Nation, we had no freakin’ clue what we were doing. None of us knew how to modify a WordPress blog, let alone start a new site from scratch. We fumbled and stumbled along the way, making mistakes here and there, and even got our site wiped out once due to a hacker attack.

And to think we actually tried to seek an investor for our project. How naive we were!

But soon, we found our voice. And it is not a voice that everybody likes. While we write about serious issues, our goal is not to reach out to people who are already actively reading the socio-political blogs out there. We don’t need angry feminists and preachy activists reading us.

Our goal is to reach out to the common man (and woman): People who care somewhat about politics, but aren’t interested enough to read in depth, as well as people who don’t give a shit about politics. These are the folks that serious political blogs aren’t reaching out to.

We know that we have to write differently. We have to entertain.

So we tweaked our editorial style. Socio-political bloggers often take themselves too seriously. So we don’t. Socio-political bloggers write in cheem language that no one understands. So we write simply. Socio-political bloggers preach about the same narrow issues that cater to a niche audience. So we broaden our scope. Socio-political bloggers have a political stand. So we make sure we have none.

Our articles are kept short, informal, and entertaining. We go for the talking-at-a-bar kind of feel, where we can talk about anything and be politically incorrect. We’re casual, tongue-in-cheeck, irrelevent, irreverent, ironic, and serious, all at the same time. We don’t have a political agenda or social cause we advocate as a publication, because we feel that alienates many readers.

Anyone can write for us, whether you’re misogynistic, polygamist, or a believer of other weird shit like aliens. We only discriminate against boring, pretentious writing. And angsty writing too.

Some people find us too crass of course. They think they are above us. So be it. When you do things your way, some folks are bound to hate it.

But we’re gaining an audience. We’ve got a Worker’s Party supporter who volunteers with us. We’ve got a girl gamer who wrote something for us. We’ve even attracted a bboy who don’t give a damn about politics.

They all have one thing in common: They’re all young and passionate. And many of them have a life.

At New Nation, we keep things loose. We’re free to publish whatever we want, and we only send stuff to one another for vetting when we’re not sure.

We break boundaries between news and opinion, between serious writing and humor, because we believe in breaking rules. We break decorum too, mostly for the heck of it. No rule in journalism is safe from us.

We meet every week at an ice-cream place. Our meetings are casual, and we chat and gossip about everything. Nothing is taboo for us, that’s part of the creative process that leads to stuff that’s actually different.

But we know we’re not there yet. The Straits Times report is good for us, but our primary aim is not to get news clippings. It’s to grow and sustain a crapload of readers.

And have lots of fun along the way.

Global niches

Global niches

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Solely focusing on hyperlocal content, in some cases, is the sure way to journalism hell.

Terence Lee

When New Nation first began, we envisioned it as a hyperlocal website — much in the vein of established Singapore players like The Online Citizen, Temasek Review, and Yawning Bread.

Heck, Shihan and I graduated from TOC, which is pretty much the most recognised independent current affairs group blog around today. Belmont had online journalism experience too, serving in an online campus paper where he met the love of his life.

With such a crowded field (since then many others — Satay Club, VFC etc — have spawned), we needed to differentiate ourselves, so we decided to go with an off-beat, tongue-in-cheek, rude and raunchy style — current affairs for the not-so-interested, the apathetic, and restless. We decided also to feature more lifestyle and finance content.

Well, we got flamed for it — by the folks at TOC no less. But that’s not the important point. For us, it was a matter of necessity: Being a TOC clone was a sure way to hell. In a crowded pond, the surest way to draw attention is to be different.

Fast forward to today. Our readership is almost double now post General Election than pre, although growth is slow.

And something else dawned upon me: Hyperlocal no longer seemed to make sense.

Hyperlocal works if you are the first-mover, a pioneer in a community underserved (or, if you have shitloads of money, like Yahoo!). When TOC went online, it was a wide open field: All the other fish had died or were still eggs. Now, there are too many publications and too little time: People have only 24 hours to spare.

When Shihan gamely approached Derek Sivers, founder of CD Baby, for advice on whether New Nation will work, he said no.

Reason? Singapore is too small a market. Amen to that. Of course, he said other things too, but that is for us to know.

I think Sivers made a very good point. Before the Internet existed, publications were limited by geographical boundaries. To be trans-national, you had to be rich enough to pay for shipping to get magazine into newsstands worldwide.

Today, the cost of starting and distributing content is much cheaper: You can even do it at zero monetary cost.

While this creates the problem of a long tail of Internet content that varies in quality, it creates another opportunity: The ability to distribute content to previously untapped niche areas that are unbounded by geographical limits.

They are what I call ‘global niches’.

Think goth culture. Or cosplayers. Or Little Monsters. These subcultures transcend nationality, because what they represent are values, ideas, and personalities, things which are easily transferable from one country to another.

Globalisation creates two phenomena: Homogenisation, where cultures melt into one, and heterogenisation, where cultures absorb elements from other cultures to form new ones. Both are happening at the same time.

And I believe this presents an untapped potential for publishers and content producers like ourselves: It is possible for a Singaporean to write something with global appeal without losing his/her local audience.

I suggested this to my fellow editors. I think broadly speaking, we embrace the idea of going international. But ideas are free, what matters is how we execute it. There are many challenges: How many global niches should we aim for, without losing ourselves? How do we retain reader loyalty with such a diverse crowd? How do we ensure our content gets picked up by the people we want to reach?

As a baseline, we still hope to reach out to Singaporean readers. We have amazing content planned that will continue to appeal to them. But starring at our naval isn’t going to get us anywhere in terms of readership and ultimately revenue. We need to aim higher.

Will the name New Nation continue to be relevant? When we began, I took the word ‘nation’ in its 20th Century meaning, that of a ‘nation-state’. We took the name from an old Singapore newspaper that no longer existed. That newspaper went defunct before the age of the Internet.

But perhaps our usage of the word has to evolve as well.

Does race, language, geographical distance, still matter today?

Yes, certainly. But their significance is diminishing.

Perhaps ‘New Nation’ can be a rallying call, a vision of an ideal future governed less by the colour of one’s skin than by the beliefs one holds.

In a connected world, that is certainly possible.

Is Singapore a renaissance city?

Is Singapore a renaissance city?

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Not quite, but it’s getting there. All the government has to do now is to become less of a control freak.

By Terence Lee

Crazy Horse is lame compared to nyotaimori --serving sushi on a naked women's body. Secret Cooks Club -- a private dinner club in Singapore -- organised one such session recently.

SOMETHING strange is happening in Singapore, the nipple of an island-state in South-East Asia that’s more well-known for caning naughty American brat Michael Fay and banning chewing gum.

It’s no longer boring.

For years, the liberal Western media have drilled into readers ad nauseam about Singapore’s human rights violations and strict government control on every aspect of their citizens’ lives.

Most recently, a German TV variety show ridiculed the country, claiming that Singaporeans with fever are barred from entering any building. “Singaporeans are not just crazy, they are tremendously crazy,” concludes the host of the show.

Singaporeans, predictably, went mad over it.

But I think being called “crazy” is a good thing. I’m sure Singaporeans will agree that being labelled as bonkers is a step up from “boring”. Remember that just a while ago, a local journalist was whacked silly by her countrymen for calling Singapore a stale place.

Perhaps we can attribute another trait to Singaporeans: Hard-to-please.

Think of it this way: People are more likely to visit Singapore if it’s a “crazy” place rather than a “boring” place, right? No harm swindling tourists of a few extra gazillion dollars just so they can ogle at exotic Asian women (which Singaporean man cannot get),  and buy a few kitsch souvenirs from exotic Chinatown (which locals find too plasticky).

These things aside, the perception towards Singapore amongst liberal Western know-it-all journalists are indeed showing signs of change.

Take this article by the New York Times, for instance, which talks about the expanding “cultural realm” in the island-state. Singapore has a developing art and indie fashion scene. And if you want food, there’s plenty, and in all varieties.

Another write-up, this time by the Guardian from the United Kingdom, expands on this theme, exploring Singapore’s “culinary renaissance”. Secret dinner clubs are thriving in Singapore, and one of them, Secret Cooks Club (which is no secret anymore), recently held a dinner with sushi served on a naked woman.

If that isn’t crazy and sexy, I don’t know what is!

There are more examples.

The Pink Nipple swells.

Just a few days ago, a record 10,000 supporters donned pink and turned up at the Speaker’s Corner to support the right for Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, and Transgender people to love and be loved. The event, called Pink Dot, culminated in the formation of a giant, well, pink dot on the field. In a country where homosexual sex is banned, such show of solidarity is astounding.

That same week, Echelon 2011, a fledging annual conference for tech startups, was held. Eager young entrepreneurs from Singapore and Asia converged at the National University of Singapore to display their wares and network with angel investors and venture capitalists from all around the world.

The highlight of the event was a competition where 11 startups from Asia pitched their business ideas to a panel of judges consisting of established entrepreneurs and investors. It’s no surprise who won: Lee Min Xuan, who co-founded Playmoolah with fellow Singapore belle Audrey Tan, impressed judges and the audience with her solid presentation and quick wit.

Just a flash in the pan, you say?

Not quite. Last year, local mobile security company tenCube was acquired by McAfee in a deal estimated to be worth about US$25 million, making CEO and founder Darius Cheung a very rich man.

And consider how Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin and CD Baby founder Derek Sivers (both big names) have both made Singapore their home. I must say something is indeed brewing in the kitchen, and it smells really good.

That brings me to my next point: Singapore, as a renaissance city, is still a dish being cooked. It’s work in progress.

So far, the government has its hands in everything: Arts, media, business, and people’s sex lives. Yes, they care about who (or what) gets into your pants. No doubt, initial government support and funding is crucial to grow Singapore’s cultural and creative space. But letting go is crucial for maturation.

Already, this is slowly happening in the political realm, where laws governing politicking using social media were loosened. Just as importantly, no politicians were sued during the last elections.

But more can be done: Censorship of positive gay portrayals in the local TV channels still occur. In that space, gays are treated like bogeymen who are used to scare children. The Singapore entrepreneurial scene, while growing, can do with more mentorship and private funding.

As Singaporeans embark on a trip towards cultural and financial nirvana, I propose they smell the roses a bit more. Stop the car, pee in the bushes, shag your wives, and watch the sunrise together.

Alternative news websites like The Online Citizen and Temasek Review, while serving an important function in the country, whine way too much. They feed off the negative energy of angry Singaporeans, creating a vortex of discontent and pessimism.

And in the process, they forget that Singapore is in many ways the envy of the world.

Join our community on FacebookTwitter, or follow us on the S.alt app for Android.

The Online Citizen will carry on

The Online Citizen will carry on

Tags: , , , , ,

But the prospects of registering and being gazetted is a reality they will grudgingly accept.

By Terence Lee

Red is hardly the right colour to use if you want to tell readers to stay calm. So we changed it to blue. Taken without permission.

YOU KNOW how it’s like to work under a terrible paymaster. You’re only staying on because you believe in the work you’re doing. Just ask the journalists at the Singapore Press Holdings or MediaCorp, who frequently grumble about the censorship that occurs within the newsroom.

The analogy, while imperfect, describes the situation facing The Online Citizen, a prominent socio-political blog in Singapore. Just today, they announced that they will carry on despite being gazetted by the Prime Minister’s Office. They will also register with the Media Development Authority.

But TOC is still taking a combative stance: They have written to the Prime Minister requesting to reverse his decision. If that fails, they will demand further explanation from him.

“We believe that the decision to gazette was unreasonable, arbitrary and incorrect, and was borne of political paranoia,” said the press release.

It added: “We are not sure what his response will be. While we remind the Prime Minister of his promise for a more open Singapore, we will not hold our breath.”

P N Balji, the former editorial director at MediaCorp, does not see registration as a death knell for The Online Citizen.

“If TOC believes in what it is doing, then it should not give up. It will face a squeeze on funding. But that is life in Singapore,” said the veteran journalist, who used to run The New Paper and later Today.

He also believes that TOC can still continue operating as usual, including reporting about the upcoming General Elections. They might have to watch their backs though.

Registration might bring an eventual end to this unofficial blacklist against TOC, since it has acquired some form of legitimacy as a result. The government may become more willing to engage in an organisation that has legal presence.

“I see this as a warning sign,” he said of the government’s actions. “It is a signal to TOC that it will act if it has to.”

Balji acknowledged that the government’s message may have been flawed. And people will invariably ask: Why is TOC targeted and not others?

As if on cue, TOC’s latest press release raised the same point.

“These are issues everyone in Singapore talks about; things we all care about. If the very act of providing a platform, on which these topics can be given a good airing, is considered a jaunt into politics, then everyone in Singapore is a political association, every kopitiam on the island a political platform,” it mentioned.

So far, TOC is neither registered as a business or society. In fact, when it tried applying as a business in 2009, the application was rejected, and it was asked to register under the Societies Act instead.

Since then, they have not done so.

Attempts by TOC to reach out to the government have often been turn downed or gone unacknowledged. Most recently, when it invited the PAP to its Face to Face forum, they did not show up.

Past attempts to include the voice of the ruling party in its articles have also been rejected.

Registration might bring an eventual end to this unofficial blacklist against TOC, since it has acquired some form of legitimacy as a result. The government may become more willing to engage in an organisation that has legal presence.

Besides, clamping down further by suing TOC’s pants off may cost the government too much political capital.

Or maybe they are just waiting till after the General Elections.

Gazetting is not that serious, is it?

Gazetting is not that serious, is it?

Tags: , , , ,

The Prime Minister’s Office’s intention of gazetting TOC is to… well, er, depending on who you ask.

By Belmont Lay

The Online Citizen celebrated its fourth anniversary last year. Recently, they got a belated birthday gift from the government.

NO, IT’S not like they were made to watch as their own scrota were set on fire.

And no, no one was forced to commit incest against their will.

And no again, I do not remember anyone being coerced to do line dancing in public.

Which is why I’m particularly puzzled as to why everyone in the cyber world is up in arms about The Online Citizen (TOC) being gazetted.

Is it that serious, really?

Yes, I agree, being gazetted actually means a few things on this island. You’ve done something noteworthy enough in this country to be noticed. You’ve got clout. You’re an opinion leader. And maybe, you might even be right sometimes.

And also, the elections are coming.

Plus, in the rare event Barack Obama decides to pop by for one of TOC events, I’m sorry, but he might no longer be able to add glamour with his attendance because he’s a foreigner.

True, the Gerald Giam advertisement on the website to purchase his book might have to go.

Reluctantly, the wealthy Hungarian-Jewish financier George Soros can never give TOC a million dollars of his spare change in donation through one of his tentacled institutes to promote media freedom and political openness in Singapore.

However, have no fear. As always, I’ve worked out the perfect solution: Put up a notice on TOC saying that it is indeed the end. Thank all the fans and contributors who have made this all worked out so well.

Because at the end of the day, TOC is finished. It is time to abandon it.

Then proceed to transfer all the old articles to another website called The Citizen Online (or Citizen Online The, if you are into that kind of humour) and stick up a URL and direct everyone there towards the new content and platform.

And you can still keep the gaudy colour scheme.

The Prime Minister’s Office would be exasperated at the sleight of hand, and it will take them another four years to have their successor gazetted.

With TOC no more and TCO or COT or whatever it’s called, free to do whatever it wants just like before, everyone inside the Internet will cheer and it’s a victory for the plebians.

But let’s say for the sake of argument, TOC registers as a political association. Then what?

We have for ourselves a Catch-22 situation: If TOC is no longer business-as-usual after the limitations are imposed as a result of the gazetting, the current incessant moaning, decrying and hullabaloo by netizens that the government is trying to quash dissent is justified.

If TOC does employ some wit and cunning and not be made worse off by the gazetting, they have withstood an attempt to squash it.

And if TOC can still maintain its regular reporting and analysis as before, being gazetted wasn’t such a big deal to begin with, was it?

So what is all the moaning, decrying and hullabaloo by netizens supposed to be about again?

As always, there is a point to all these rambling and here it is: In the parlance of the PMO, TOC is “gazetted”. In the lexicon of the virtual crowd, TOC are “victimised”. In TOC speak, they have been “martyred”.

My vocabulary suggests that they were merely “inconvenienced”.

Shrug. It. Off.