Racism in Singapore Blogosphere – Some Lessons
Blogosphere is Public Domain: No amount of squealing that what you write on a website is private is going to get you anywhere. Irrespective of a password-protected webpage, you can be charged based on what you write. More importantly, you cannot retract your statements. Say once oredi, tattooed for life. So, think before you ink.
Sedition is different from Defamation: Many bloggers are comparing the PSC scholar incident (where he allegedly defamed a top Singapore civil servant) with this one. Defamation and sedition are two different things - the former attacks a specific person or company while the latter seeks to (intentionally or otherwise) incite people against a particular target group. Hence weighing one against the other is like comparing apples to oranges.
The very act of Writing makes you Accountable: Under the Sedition Act in Singapore, the state is not obliged to show that someone’s view turned racist because of what you wrote. The very fact that you wrote it renders you liable under the law.
Not Everyone needs be Charged: Arguing that other people at various forums made worse racist comments is no defence. The Attorney General I guess has the power to choose who he wants to haul into court and on what charge.
Racism exists because of Race: You can alter the way you dress, change your job, amend your political loyalties and even choose another religious faith. But you can’t change your race. I wonder whether racism has something to do with the existential nature of race. Maybe if we avoid using race as a way to manage Singapore society, it could help in alleviating racist attacks.