Friday, 7 June 2013

MDA – Loosening the G string

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?’

Anything 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

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