I sat through the live telecast of Talking Point on the issue of new licensing of online news sites. The most unbelieveable thing to happen in the programme is that the MDA personnel was not there, not Yaacob or Koh Lin Net but the Minister of MOM, Tan Chuan Jin. Isn’t this odd? Don’t tell me the new regulation was initiated and approved by Chuan Jin and he has to kuai kuai come out to explain his stand? Quite possible isn’t it? If I were Yaacob or Lin Net, even if my name is named after internet, I would not want to explain anything so unpopular if I have nothing to do with it. Your guess why Chuan Jin has to front this show.
What came through very clearly was that the regulation was rushed out
without much thought, with many blanks left unanswered. Now they are
going to relook at the details and to fill in the blanks. The main
purpose is to target sites that are reporting on Singapore news and not
so much about the right news. But right news still came out for some
discussion and by the end of the show, no one really knows what is the
right news or what is the right news all about.
The other point that came out clearly is that bloggers or individual
websites will not be targeted. Then why was this not spelt out in the
first place? Or is this an after thought, that bloggers were originally
in the scheme of things? Imagine how much venom would have been taken
out from the bloggers if from the first move the MOM clearly said
bloggers will not be affected by the new regulation. It is still not too
late to make an amendment to make it official that bloggers will not
come under this regulation. Will the MOM just do that?
The truth is that MOM was not sure how things would develop and they
wanted the provision that when blogs take on the characteristics of news
site, reporting on Singapore news, then they will come under the
regulation. Then I must say many bloggers will eventually come under the
regulation despite the denial. Don’t trust me, let me explain. What if I
keep reporting on the number of crocodiles in Sungei Buloh Wetland? Is
that not reporting on Singapore news? What if I keep reporting about MRT
jams or breakdowns as I take the train daily? Is that not reporting on
Singapore news? There is no where to run when the definition of news is
everything under the Singapore sky. Would MDA want to make this
‘Singapore News’ more specific?
Bertha Henson kept asking the minister what was the real intent of
the regulation. And some callers asked a very simple question, ‘Is there
anything that is not covered by existing regulations that made the
rushing out of this new regulation that necessary and urgent?’
criminal, defamatory or inciting violence on racial and religious issues
are fully covered by existing laws. Then why ah? Why in such a hurry to
rush out this regulation without making sure that the G string is
properly tied and in the right place. Now the G string is found to be
too tight and a lot of loosening and readjusting will need to be done,
exposing many embarrassing holes and parts that should not be exposed.
What is the real intent of pulling this G string?
Source: Chua Chin Leng aka redbean