Freedom of speech or…

12 May

This is my blog, and I say what I want.

Well…

It is pretty much so, unless…

While we Singaporeans recite our pledge, there is a phrase, “to build a democratic society”.  So, what does a democratic society defined? Democracy occurs when the government respects the citizen’s “voice” especially in terms of law making policies and usually democracy is demonstrated during our political elections period. However, some may have taken democracy as an allowance for freedom of speech even in matters that are not governance related.

Which brings us to the point: Are we really allowed to voice out our opinions? And if so, can we do so without consequences?

In the article ‘Freedom of Expression and the Media in Singapore‘, published by Article 19, an organization which supports freedom of expression, James Gomez commented that because the print and television channels were being monopolized by Singapore Press Holdings and MediaCorp Singapore Pte Ltd relatively, the freedom to express an opinion has been suppressed – ‘Political, regulatory and structural control over the local media restricts and discourages the development of an environment where views can be expressed freely.’ The article was published in 2005, and the situation has improved over the years. Slightly.

Yes, the government still holds control over the words that are published even on personal blogs, and there are cases where people have been arrested due to the fact that they have made offensive comments on the government or even racist remarks. Hence, there’s a media watchdog out there keeping an eye, so… be careful of what you write.

You may wish to refer to this link on an example of how writing can be legally offensive. –> http://www.economist.com/node/17419873

 

Reference link(s):

Article 19, London (2005), ‘Freedom of Expression and the Media in Singapore‘, http://www.article19.org/data/files/pdfs/publications/singapore-baseline-study.pdf, viewed 12 May 2012

The Economist (2010), ‘ Freedom of Speech in Singapore – You can cage the singer – A writer tests the tolerance of Singapore’s legal system‘,  http://www.economist.com/node/17419873, viewed 12 May 2012

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: