Another Singaporean blogger makes the headline on The Straits Times today (via Mr Wang). Unlike other forms of media, blogging only serves to make one’s intent more identifiable, meaning you can “kenna” more easily than say if you were to say racist remarks in broad daylight. I only have two “food for thought” questions on this:
- How much is too much?
Are racist jokes also considered illegal even though most people are honestly all guilty of it in their daily lives? Or does it require clear and present danger?
- Does obscurity = privacy?
Was this recent blogger obscure or well-known in the blogosphere since that would impact how far his opinions would carry. If he was obscure, or even under a pseudo-name, an anonymous blogger isn’t guaranteed privacy. That’s something to think about since it nulls anonymity.
For a 17 year old, the charge is rather heavy as stipulated in the sedition act. On Saturday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that “It does not matter whether inflammatory racist remarks are made online or offline – it is still against the law to stir up distrust and enmity between the races. And the Government will act against anyone who threatens racial and religious harmony”. For the actual Straits Times article, see below:
Sept 17, 2005
Third person accused of racist comments on Net
By Chong Chee Kin
YET another blogger was hauled to court yesterday for posting allegedly racist remarks online – the third person charged under the Sedition Act this week.
Seventeen-year-old private school student Gan Huai Shi is accused of promoting ill will and hostility among different races through comments on his blog.
In two unrelated cases on Monday, Nicholas Lim Yew, 25, and Benjamin Koh Song Huat, 27, were charged with similar offences.
Gan faces seven charges under the Sedition Act for offences he was said to have committed between April 4 and July 16.
He allegedly made four inflammatory comments about Malays and Muslims on the Internet within days of starting his blog.
In one entry on April 4, he allegedly made it clear that he was ‘extremely racist’.
The next day, in two entries within four hours, he was said to have posted anti-Malay remarks. On April 6, he was allegedly at it again.
From May to July 16, he is accused of making racist comments once a month on his blog, spouting his hatred for the Malay community.
In one posting, he also allegedly wrote of his violent tendencies in an entry he described as having ‘explicit and candid content’. He allegedly wrote how much he wanted to ‘assassinate some important person with a sniper rifle’.
Gan, represented by lawyer Edmond Pereira, was released on bail of $15,000 and is due back in court next Tuesday. He could end up in jail for up to three years on each of the charges.