Rants and raves about stuff happening in and around my life in Singapore

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Dear Anonymous

10:34 AM By Barry Smyth , No comments

Let me begin by saying I like many Singaporeans applaud your efforts, but I hope they do not backfire on you. The Singapore government will not take your threats lightly and as I'm sure you know will bend over backward trying to uncover who you are to shut you down.  In the end they may even tighten internet restrictions further blaming your efforts for the need to do so in an attempt to ensure public opinion is swayed against you.

I know many Singaporeans share your views, but Singaporeans in general tend not to voice those opinions much since they know that they will have very little effect and many are scared of what the potential backlash might be if they do. Maybe that last statement isn't as true today as it has been in the past but it's still an undercurrent that remains. It will be interesting to see on the 5th of November how many people wear red and black, although in truth I'm not expecting these silent voices to become any more visible.

The Singapore Government may have it's faults but then what government doesn't. It's true that they have done a good job as far as the country is concerned but in doing so they have, as many people would argue, neglected the needs of it's own citizens. Indeed there are many posts around the internet on how Singaporean citizens are starting to feel like second class citizens in their own country not only as a result of the Governments stance on foreign talent but also as a result of it's clear favouritism to PAP supporters. Let's not forget Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's open admission that PAP wards are favoured for HDB upgrading exercises for example. "Between the people who voted and supported the programme and the government, and the people who didn't, I think if we went and put yours before the PAP constituencies, it would be an injustice" he is reported as having said to 1,200 students who were attending a Ministerial Forum organised by the National University of Singapore (NUS) Students' Political Association.  Just one example of many that could be drawn from.

You've taken the Straits Times to task over the mis-reporting of your own message. Although at the same time I doubt they will take you seriously given that they have been known to stand by their reports and reporters regardless of how factually correct or incorrect a report may have been. The media in general is out to sensationalise, it makes for better reading after all. And the words "media controlled state" have been used many times in reference to Singapore by many sources.

You've also left a message for Mister Lawrence Khong (assuming it's a real message from Anonymous). I have always found his views laughable and I find it hard to believe that any sane individual can actually believe some of the rubbish he comes up with, or that he has the nerve to attempt to interfere with social policy.

But let's get back to your original message and the rationale behind it which was to "protest the implementation of the internet licensing framework". Your protest is noted, but lets face it that framework is going to go ahead regardless.

You then go on to say that "We demand you reconsider the regulations of your framework or we will be forced to go to war with you. For every single time you deprive a citizen his right to information, we will cost you financial loss by aggressive cyber intrusion." Again lets face it, there is going to be no reconsidering of the framework based on those demands. It's simply not going to happen.

Let's be honest, no country or government is going to let itself be held to ransom, and any such ransom demand will be dealt with by the full weight of the many resources (internal and external if need be) at it's disposal. I have no doubt as I post this such action is already underway and it will lead to the inevitable conclusion. The only question is how long it will take.

I'm sure I'm not saying anything that you don't already know.

Although that said let me also add that your efforts have not gone unnoticed by the many Singaporeans who happen to agree with you. But you are fighting a war that you cannot possibly win. And while many may see your actions as supporting a silent majority, according to some proclaiming war against the Government could actually contravene the penal code, and the possible penalty for that in Singapore could be as extreme as death.

The message is clear, somethings are worth fighting for. It's an important message for anyone to understand and one that I believe many Singaporeans (if the flurry of tweets and Facebook post are anything to go by) have heard.

I guess we won't really know until 2016 how well that message has been understood.

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