MAJOR ONLINE WEBSITES IN SINGAPORE TO PROTEST AGAINST LICENSING REQUIREMENT

handcuffs

MEDIA STATEMENT

Thursday, 30 May 2013

MAJOR ONLINE WEBSITES IN SINGAPORE TO PROTEST AGAINST LICENSING REQUIREMENT

The Media Development Authority had, on Tuesday, introduced a “licensing framework” that would require “online news sites” to put up a “performance bond” of $50,000 and “comply within 24 hours to MDA’s directions to remove content that is found to be in breach of content standards”.

As part of the community of websites in Singapore that provide sociopolitical news and analysis to Singaporeans, we are concerned about the impact of the newly-introduced requirement on fellow Singaporeans’ ability to receive diverse news information.

While the S$50,000 performance bond is a drop in the ocean for a mainstream news outlet with an online presence, it would potentially be beyond the means of volunteer run and personal blogging platforms like ours. Hence, MDA’s claim that the licensing regime is intended to equalize the playing field between online and offline news is incorrect: the regulations will disproportionately affect us.

Further, we believe that the introduction of the licensing regime has not gone through the proper and necessary consultation and had been introduced without clear guidance. In a typical public consultation exercise, a government agency will publish a draft regulation with detailed explanation and issue a press release to invite members of the public to send in feedback for consideration. We observe this is not the case for the licensing regime.

We call on the Ministry of Communications and Information to withdraw the licensing regime. We call upon our elected representatives to oppose the licensing regime.

It is in the interest of Singaporeans and the long-term future for Singapore that the licensing regime be withdrawn.

The new licensing regime has the very real potential to reduce the channels available to Singaporeans to receive news and analysis of the sociopolitical situation in Singapore and it is in the interest of all Singaporeans to guard against the erosion of news channels that Singaporeans should rightfully have access to.

These new regulations significantly impact Singaporeans’ constitutionally protected right to free speech, and they should not be introduced without the most rigorous public debate and discussion.

The new regulations, and the manner in which they have been imposed by regulatory fiat, are unacceptable in any developed democracy.

Leong Sze Hian – http://leongszehian.com/

Andrew Loh – http://publichouse.sg

Ravi Philemon – http://www.raviphilemon.net/

Kumaran Pillai – http://sgvoize.wordpress.com/

Terry Xu – http://theonlinecitizen.com/

Richard Wan – http://www.tremeritus.com/

Choo Zheng Xi – http://theonlinecitizen.com/

Howard Lee – http://theonlinecitizen.com/

Rachel Zeng – https://rachelzeng.wordpress.com/,

http://singaporeantideathpenaltycampaign.wordpress.com/

Roy Ngerng – http://thehearttruths.com/

Kirsten Han – http://spuddings.net/

Gilbert Goh – http://www.transitioning.org/

Nizam Ismail – http://nizamosaurus.wordpress.com/

Lynn Lee – http://www.lianainfilms.com/

Biddy Low – http://publichouse.sg/

Alex Au – http://yawningbread.wordpress.com/

Martyn See – http://singaporerebel.blogspot.sg/

Howard Lee – http://theonlinecitizen.com/

Elaine Ee – http://publichouse.sg/

Lim Han Thon – http://publichouse.sg

Joshua Chiang

Donaldson Tan – http://newasiarepublic.com

Stephanie Chok – http://littlemskaypoh.wordpress.com

Jolovan Wham – http://www.workfairsingapore.wordpress.com

If you would like more information or for media enquires, please contact Howard Lee at howard@theonlinecitizen.com


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Rachel,Jia You,Jia You!if you guys need to protest,count me in!We should reject such blatant act of arrogance.Sinkies should know,without alternative media,The PAP will continue their hypocritical way.After sinkies parents threw in even the kitchen sink for their children to pursue their degree dreams,the PAP is telling them PAP can’t provide them with jobs anymore,because they have instant lot of papinoytionghneh degree loyalist to buy and feed to stay in power.With new media at least we know why.without new media,die also don’t know why.

Comment by stone

It’s so sad that people continuously face the threat of losing their basic rights. Many governments have been treating their own people as the enemy. The saddest reality is that governments realize that knowledge is power and they’ll do what is necessary to keep people silent and ignorant.

Comment by ShoegazeAndCats




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