Singabloodypore Is Being Researched

As is Mr Wang I see. The Singapore blogosphere seems to have burst into flames of rumour and fear. As far as I am aware the IPS is a partially business funded and partially government funded think tank. Now by Singabloodypore being researched what I mean is that I have been invited to attend an interview on the topic of the blogging commmunity and possible effects it may have had on the recent elections.

The interview will be conducted face-to-face which as all you smart readers out there know, means in the same geographic location.

So when the request arrived in my inbox a few weeks ahead of when I had planned to spend a few days in Singapore I thought why not, what harm could it do?

“The questions we are interested in include the kinds of space that the Internet helps create as an alternative to the mainstream media, and whether and how the Internet contributes to democratic processes. We have been archiving several dozen blogs during the election period, including yours, with a view to analyzing their content and features. But we would also like to have a quantitative sense of how big the impact of blogs like yours is – and would be grateful if you could grant us an interview either face to face or by email …

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Govt promises review of new media, ‘lighter touch’ in next GE

First spotted on Mr Wang.

A related “news” article – Government to review media policies for next GE By Farah Abdul Rahim, Channel NewsAsia

THE Government will review the way it manages new media such as the Internet and podcasts and work towards a ‘lighter touch’ in the next election, said Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts, Dr Lee Boon Yang.

Speaking at the 5th Annual PR Academy Conference on new media, Dr Lee said the Government accepts that Internet and new media are evolving and even more people will be net-savvy in five years’ time.

‘So our policies must also evolve. We will review our policies on the Internet and new media during the election period bearing in mind the changes taking place,’ he said.

Call me paranoid…. but is that a promise or a threat?

‘Moving forward, we will consider how to better embrace these changes so that by the next GE, we may be able to adopt a lighter touch approach during the election period.’

1. Why should there be a “touch” in the first place?
2. The “touch” that they had this elections obviously didn’t affect many bloggers. So I’m a little confused here.

Dr Lee defended the Government’s ‘cautious’ approach during the recent May 6 General Election, saying that certain restrictions must remain to keep the electoral process on an even keel.

Even? Even? Since when have the opposition parties even approached the equality mark by five miles?

Election advertising, for example, was restricted to political parties and candidates.

Which of course, wasn’t carried by our reliable media.

‘Were we wrong to have adopted a cautious approach? Here, I do not expect a consensus. But my assessment is that we were not wrong to have taken a more cautious approach,’ he said.

‘While podcasts and videocasts for political advertisements were disallowed during the election period, political parties were able to make their presence felt in cyberspace making good use of their websites to publicise their programmes. This was on top of the ample coverage given by the mainstream media.’

*proceeds to choke on her biscuit*

Dr Lee said interest was also high in other areas such as in individual blogs, podcasts and videocasts. Many blogs ran commentaries, satires, polls, and photos of election rallies.

‘The emergence of new media platforms and the fact that many of our young people are tech-savvy supported such intense interest. Many also see the new media as increasing the political space to speak up on the issues brought up during the election campaign,’ he said.

‘I accept that some will argue that we should let the people be the judge and form their own opinion by accessing all sorts of information and arguments. I agree that this is not without merit. But it is only valid when information available on the Internet is equally reliable and accurate.

Equally reliable and accurate as WHAT? The local media? Now that would be REALLY unbiased.

‘Hence we have adopted a cautious approach in engaging the new media during the election period.’

Dr Lee said said the Government adopted a ‘light touch approach’ in dealing with the everyday use of the internet and will continue to do so and accept that the Internet and new media will remain largely a ‘free-for-all’.

However during the election period when such free-for-all may result in undesirable situations, we cannot take a completely hands-off approach,’ he said.

And we come to the conclusion, the warning hidden within the sugary-sweet message. Next elections, we bloggers better watch out.

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Malu-lah, Mati-lah—Seditious Speech As Entertainment

The text and video are from Lee Cane You. A new blog by someone who appears to be immune from the self-censorship virus.

I added the music and the titles. The moving footage was cut from Martyn See’s great, but disturbing documentary Singapore Rebel which is BANNED in Singapore. It was supposed to be screened at a Singapore film festival, but the festival director was threatened by Thugs Of The State. In my view, there is no loss of honour if one capitulates to absolute power who cannot, or will not differentiate between bullying and justice. Producing political films is BANNED in Singapore. Yessir folks, another violation of individual and property rights by the good-old-state and its tin-pot despots. I urge you to help Martyn See by signing the petition. To visit Martyn See’s blog click here.

Frankly, I’m EMBARRASSED that Singaporeans have resorted to “begging” their government for liberty. In any “civilised” country, the government terrorcrats who bully peaceful citizens would be arrested, charged in court and thrown into jail—where they so rightfully belong.

Update May 25, 2006: Audio mp3 of the music in podcast format here. [mp3]

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THE POWER OF IDEAS

Not that we have a chance in hell of winning in a section which has us competing with opendemocracy. And before anyone asks who nominated the site – it was I, hopelessly self-promoting. The main criteria for entry was that one of those involved on the project has to be resident in the UK and I am aware that there are at least two of us living in Britain.

When digital technologies intersect with civic life, they can impact a small community or an entire nation. The New Media Awards celebrate those UK new media projects that benefit society, government or democracy.

The theme of this year’s awards is The Power of Ideas – with a special emphasis on innovation, usability and efficiency. New media can have a positive effect by pushing boundaries and making information widely accessible.

Nominations

We are seeking nominations for any UK digital, web or mobile technology project that is creating positive change. It’s free to nominate and you can nominate as many projects as you like! Simply fill out our short, online nomination form.

Closing date: 31 May 2006

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    Request for Investigation Corrupted Practice concerning General Election 2006

    From Sg Review.

    date: 05/26/06

    from: Yap Keng Ho ,

    to: Soh Kee Hean -director Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau
    subject: Request for Investigation Corrupted Practice concerning General Election 2006

    I took part in GE2006 as Election Agent for candidate Chee Siok Chin of Sembawang GRC wef 10.May.2006, I am also a voter of Tampines GRC, but I am requesting CPIB for an investigation as a member of public. I was prepared to stand for the same election myself but I lack some assenter for the nomination. I am sure you are already aware that miss Chee Siok Chin had already filed complain to Election Judge under parliamentary election act asking for the election to be declared as invalid.

    May I bring to your attention that there is possible corrupted practice in GE2006, in that Lee Hsien Loong both as Rep of Singapore PM cum Finance Minister & GE2006 candidate have committed himself in VOTE BUYING during GE2006.

    This is in particular through the Progress Package by which voters of entire Singapore had been arranged to receive money payable on 1.May.2006 just few days before the polling. Over a million voters and or their family members had received money ranged from hundreds to thousands of dollars, just days before they had to cast their votes.

    This inevitably have the strongest effect of VOTE BUYING, in favor to the ruling party which Lee Hsien Loong and his father Lee Kuan Yew are both belong to, and both stood as candidates for GE2006.

    Lee Hsien Loong being the finance minister & Rep of Singapore PM proposed and implemented the Progress Package, through which voters are given S$2.6 billion in total sum, and he is the PM who is almost the only person who can initiate the dissolve of parliament and call for election. And that the dates of withdrawing the Progress Package and the polling day are only apart by less than a week, so the arrangement that voters are given the handout of S$2.6 billion just before casting their vote have to be the intention of Lee Hsien Loong.

    The criminal intention of vote buying is further affirmed by Lee Hsien Loong himself in his public statement during the election period as reported by the media that he talked about “fixing the oppositions” and “buying the votes”. Please refer to affidavit filed by Chee Siok Chin.

    I plea your firm and thorough investigation regarding possible vote buying crime committed by Lee Hsien Loong, and any possible involvement by his father Mentor Lee Kuan Yew in this General Election. Please assure me that your investigation will be fair and of integrity despite the fact that Lees are your direct superiors. CPIB is law enforcement bureau and no one should be above the law. I plea with you to act accordingly to uphold justice and equality.

    I request you also to publicly announce your findings after investigation.

    As I understand as long as there is any criminal intent an action committed especially involving huge sum of money paid to voters when candidates including Lee Hsien Loong himself stand to be voted and return to power, it is to be regarded strictly as a crime. I believe that many individuals had been charged in Singapore based on their criminal intents, and in Singapore’s court it is the accused person’s burden to prove that he / she is innocent while being presumed as guilty.

    The fact that the S$2.6 billion is not private fund, but entrusted in the care of Lee Hsien Loong under his capacity as PM cum Finance Minister, show that he is in position with the most ability to abuse this fund for the electoral gain of his ruling party PAP as well as his father and himself. This is the fact that had disturbed me the most.

    Acting for myself according to my conscience for fairness; justice & equality, I made this request to you as director of Corrupted Practices Investigation Bureau to perform your official duty according to law and constitution of our republic.

    Thank You,

    k.h.yap

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    Singapore’s Unique Multiculturalism

    From SBS Radio – World View
    30.5.2006 17:45:44

    Singapore’s government keeps a tight grip on many things.

    Multiculturalism and religious tolerance is one of them.

    The city-state is so tiny that harmony between the three main ethnic groups is essential to maintaining the economy.

    After race riots in 1969, the ruling party put in place firm multicultural policies.

    As Rebecca Henschke reports, the government controls where people live, the make-up of political parties, and what languages young people learn at school.

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    JBJ hits out at New Workers’ Party

    Veteran politician says current WP should confront more

    His fiercest opponent — Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew — has labelled his style as anything from “gutter politics” to “street fighter” tactics. Opposition veteran J B Jeyaretnam prefers to describe his methods as “confrontational” instead.
    But there is one observation about his approach that Mr Jeyaretnam shares with MM Lee: That it is no longer a feature of the Workers’ Party.

    And, looking at the recent General Election (GE), Mr Jeya-retnam doubts it will make a comeback within the party he used to lead. He said: “I can’t see it happening under (secretary-general) Low Thia Khiang. (He) hasn’t shown himself … willing or ready to take on the PAP on the most crucial issue of the system of government in this country.”

    Mr Lee had said last month at the 50th anniversary dinner of the Foreign Correspondents Association that Mr Low is moving in the right direction after having “got rid” of Mr Jeyaretnam and his “Third World” politics. The latter, though, is not making any concessions about his approach.

    “I don’t believe confrontational politics is wrong, which is what the PAP would seem to imply. They talk about constructive criticism. Of course, to them, constructive criticism is criticism within the parameters they’ve laid down,” he said.

    Which is why, he added, Mr Lee was pleased to see the back of someone like him who would challenge the system. But is the veteran Opposition politician calling time on politics now?

    “I haven’t quite decided. A lot will, of course, depend on my health and if my strength will permit me to continue,” said the 80-year-old, who had “great hopes” of getting discharged from his bankruptcy to contest the GE. He admitted that, with the polls over, the urgency to pay his debts from the lawsuits against him had passed. “Yes, I’d like to be discharged, but it’s no longer a pressing matter,” said Mr Jeyaretnam, who was speaking about the GE at an FCA luncheon last week.

    These elections, with more media publicity of the Opposition in the lead-up to the polls than in previous elections, raised expectations that “some real issues would be debated”, he said, citing issues about the widening wage gap, unemployment, workers’ rights, healthcare, education and the cost of living. But he did not see this happen. If it had and the WP had a real go at the issues, “they might have captured Aljunied”.

    And Mr Jeyaretnam is not very optimistic about the Opposition’s chances in a Group Representation Constituency at the next GE. “The flagship constituency didn’t do as well as the flagship constituencies in the previous elections under the WP,” he said, referring to the 1988, 1991 and 1997 polls.

    In those elections, the WP got 49.11 per cent of the Eunos vote, 47.62 per cent in Eunos again and 45.18 per cent in Cheng San, respectively. In this GE, the WP won 43.91 per cent in Aljunied. Nonetheless, he does think that democratic ideals are on the rise among young Singaporeans.

    “Going around, selling my book in Singapore, I’ve had hundreds of students buying the book,” he related. “But, I’ve also noticed this: Once they leave the universities … either their energies or their enthusiasm are sapped as a result, I suppose, of the seen and unseen pressures of society.

    He cited family pressure and the climate of fear as the main counterbalances to the desire for change and greater freedoms. Although more young Singaporeans are joining the Opposition, it is not enough to convince him that the fear factor is ebbing. He has a sterner litmus test — one that is true to his style of politics.

    “It’s when you have people who are prepared to stand up, march through the streets of Singapore, hold a public rally. Then they can say ‘we are no longer afraid’,” he told Today.

    By his own admission, it is a style that seems very much out of fashion. – /sh