Monday, 21 July 2008

Racism In Blog Comments - The Sedition Act - How Does It Get Enforced?

A recent spate of racist 'attacks' through comments on tomorrow.sg has left me wondering. I think it is very relevant and I applaud the Singapore Government for their tightening of laws in relation to the 'Sedition Act'. This includes the arrests we've seen over the last few months of 'racist bloggers'.

What I'm wondering about, is how to see the laws enforced? Upon offering my (a little enraged) opinion on the legitimacy of the comments associated with the article on tomorrow.sg entitled "Too many foreign workers in Singapore!" and originally published back in December, 2007, the 'attackers' turned and focussed their attention on me.

Given that it is an offence under the sedition act to 'reproduce' any of the racist comments, I do not wish to do copy and paste the comments here in my blog, or create a direct hyperlink to the article, for fear of breaching the laws myself.

If one is to read the comments on the article, at least two of the writers have clearly breached Items 3.1(a) and (e), and should be liable for penalties prescribed under Item 4.1 and it's sub-clauses (among others).

Is it possible for someone to advise the direction that the authorities could take in this instance? Does the offending material need to be reported to authorities, or are there divisions that crawl the net looking for breaches of the act online?

I presume that once a breach is discovered, the IP addresses of the offenders have been recorded in order to track down the individuals (including those anonymous users)? I am a novice when it comes to understanding these processes, so look to anyone who can offer their knowledge.

Finally, I am a firm believer in free speech, but I in no way condone any racist or seditious behaviour, and I think the authorities should prosecute offenders with all the power available to them.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

OMG. Those people really are racist. You can report them to the authorities anonymously. I have already reported it.

Alan Langer said...

Hello Aussie Pete. Do you know that the guy is still posting comments and trying to get you to comment back? U are doing the right thing by ignoring him. He mustn't have a job to go to or too much time on his hands. I agree with you that he is a wanker. Heh

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete,

Saw the idiot's comments.
Totally disgusted.
There are racists everywhere. Singapore is no exception, despite of our pledge of "regardless of race language or religion".

If I remember correctly, up to the early 90's, we still had job advertisements specifying age, race, sex. Ads looking for "malay" drivers, or "chinese" managers were commonplace. Interestingly, it took a foreigner to end this by her letter to the forum page in the Straits Times.

I think it's useless to engage racists. They are not worth it. Frankly I think they should just be caned.

Don't let him spoil your day.

AussiePete said...

Thanks all for the support - I've just ignored him - like 'water off a duck's back' lah. :p

I know this is not indicative of the rest of Singapore.