The freedom of responsible speech

Have you all read the news about the I hate yog facebook group that surfaced? As well as this single person calling for the burning of the minister whose ministry oversees the yog? Well that guy has been arrested and I would have thought that singaporeans by now would have realized about the level of the freedom of speech in Singapore.

Before you start agreeing and say that we don’t have freedom of speech in Singapore, let’s just clarify that I think we have freedom of speech, just a more specific one, the freedom of irresponsible speech. As long as you can back up your facts and play the game maturely, you’ll be fine. Calling for the burning of a minister is disrespectful, illegal and childish. Not to mention utterly irresponsible. I think he deserves it. No pity from me there.

I don’t really know why freedom of speech is said to be inexistent here. I find myself living in a comfortable environment, and there are plenty of opinions on the Internet criticising the government for the sake of criticising. It seems they still function pretty well, perhaps they don’t make statements that are of such a horrid nature.

Plus I don’t believe that we should have freedom to the extent we call for violence against anyone or against any partiular religious or racial group. And that falls under irresponsibility.

Hence, the freedom of responsible speech is enough, isn’t it?

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5 thoughts on “The freedom of responsible speech

  1. Hi,

    Thanks for your comment. I don’t see the police force case in the same view. Personally I didn’t really read much about that case but I didn’t think it was disrespectful. It borders on a grey area of whether it is responsible or not, which differs, depending on which party you talk to, the person itself or the police force. But I guess if there are relevant rules prohibiting a “police officer” from writing certain stuffs on blogs, then there is not much things to discuss already. For those of us who have served NS, we do know that there are some issues that we should not write about. There’s just this thin grey line you cross into “breaking the rules”. So I wouldn’t say he deserved it or not.

    Thanks for the link. I didn’t think about the tone involved. Nonetheless, metaphors are prone to misinterpretation. Who is to say when is something a metaphor and when it is not? As such shouldn’t we be more prudent in our choice of vocabulary so we would not get into trouble?

    The rules of the game are laid out for everyone to see. There are people who can voice dissatisfaction within the rules of the game.

  2. Hi there,

    Once again thanks for the link. It was an interesting read. I didn’t find anything out of hand in that post. It seemed to be just like any regular post. In fact, I don’t think other people who blog that they are a reservist officer or reservist sergeant will get arrested. 😦 This happened quite some time ago, if my lousy memory prevails, was the focus on the part about sue the police force blabla till this is standard practise? I am not sure what are the rules governing an NSman for such matters, though I would think that this is a small nature that could be overlooked by the people who arrested him. 😦 I now feel a sense of sadness for the sensitivity of some people. 😦

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