Filed under: #FreeMyInternet, Announcements, Media Development Authority, Singapore
#FreeMyInternet is encouraged by the success of our first campaign against the new MDA Licensing Regime, which many media commentators see as the turning point in Singapore’s media regulatory landscape in Singapore.
More than 4,000 signed our online petition (and still counting), more than 150 blogs participated in our online blackout, and an estimated total of 2500 participated this afternoon in Singapore’s largest blogger-led protest.
But don’t take just our word for it. When Minister for Manpower Tan Chuan-Jin went on national television to explain the Licensing Regime, all we saw was a steady climb of those who think the new regulation would limit online news content, from 50% to a landslide 73.9%.
These are all clear signs that Singaporeans from all walks of life, be they writers or readers of online content, do not believe the explanations offered by the government, are against the MDA Licensing Regime, and are demanding for it to be withdrawn.
The success of the campaign is no mean feat. #FreeMyInternet came together at a few days’ notice, and the three-prong campaign was organised within a week and a half. Given the spontaneous and leaderless nature of the #FreeMyInternet movement, this is a remarkable achievement.
Moving ahead, the #FreeMyInternet movement will continue to call for the withdrawal of the Licensing Regime.
In addition, there is much more public awareness that needs to be done. Because of the manner in which the Licensing Regime was slipped into legislation, there has been very little opportunity to educate the public on why the Licensing Regime is so dangerous.
In the weeks to come, we will roll out material and programmes to educate members of the public and Members of Parliament about why the Licensing Regime needs to be withdrawn.
We do not rule out a dialogue with the government, but this dialogue needs to be a discussion on how the withdrawal of the Licensing Regime will take place, and should be a dialogue about how de-regulating the media environment can best be done to benefit Singaporeans.
The trust that was broken by the hasty introduction of the Licensing Regime can only be restored by the withdrawal of the Licensing Regime. A government that doesn’t trust its people is a government that will lose the trust of its people. We hope our government will keep their faith with all Singaporeans.
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