When 6.9m White Paper is not enough

The anger of the 6.9m White Paper has not subsided and now comes the clamping down on social media. Though this is a gingerly step taken, no one is blind to see what will come next. And the uproar in social media is predictable. Everyone is anticipating what will come next and when the blogging community will be hit.

Looking from another angle, these two moves just go to show that the Govt is still very confident that it can do whatever it wants without fear or any repercussion from the people. The lost of two by elections too did not register that things are not going its way and pushing too hard will only elicit stronger resentment and resistance.

The ruling party must have made all the necessary calculations and played out the different scenarios on how the people will react to this latest curb. The negative reaction is expected and is a case of how bad. Not doing it now to rein in the social media must be seen as unacceptable. So, is it a case of paying the price now while there is still time for the anger to fade in three years prior to the GE?

This cannot be a case that the ruling party believes it can get away with it. So what is the story? Is the situation that dire that not doing anything will only see things getting worst and doing it can only be better and not worst? It is likely that the fight is on, starting from now, to win the ground or hold the ground in cyberspace. Or is it a case of cutting losses, blow up the bridge and hold the ground, give up some ground but still have enough to make a stand and win the GE?

The problem is that if the reading is wrong, the backlash in 2016 could be devastating. The incremental moves in the implementation of unpopular policies that may not be necessary, like the Population White Paper, can be counter productive and ended with digging its own grave.

A blogger by the name of Roy in TRE wrote an appeal letter to Tharman to reconsider this new media regulation. Among the ministers, Tharman seems to be the only one left that is more people oriented and willing to listen to the people. This is what Roy said among many things in his long letter,

‘On behalf of a segment of Singaporeans, I would like to seek your understanding in this matter. For many of us Singaporeans, we are only beginning to realise the stake that we have in Singapore and how we need to take ownership and be empowered over our own lives. My own journey began only last year. We genuinely want to also shape a Singapore which belongs to us all. Many Singaporeans might sound “angry” online but I hope that you can understand that this is because we feel that we have finally regained our ability to speak up, after years of seeming inability to do so, and it would take some time for us to learn to use it more constructively, just as it would also take some time for a government which had not been used to feedback to also learn to adjust to receiving them. It is a two-way process.’

The awakening of the Singaporeans is a good thing (or a bad thing) after falling asleep or kept under blinkers for so long. The social media and its role to facilitate the Singaporeans to discuss national affairs must be positive, right? Wrong? Stifling the growth of social media is a regressive step towards choking the voice of the people and killing the seed of an aware and politically involved citizenry. Or is this not to be nurtured, not to be encouraged? The citizens are best to shut up, to be led, and to do as was told? How far are we from the ignorant third world unenlightened citizens if we try to gag the citizens from discussing national issues, from empowering them to help to shape the future of their country? Oh no, I am mistaken. The new regulations are only to provide clarity of ground rules of what can or cannot be written in space. Nothing to do about controlling what the people can say, read or hear.


Anonymous said...

"Looking from another angle, these two moves just go to show that the Govt is still very confident that it can do whatever it wants without fear or any repercussion from the people."

Actually, even if Govt don't clam down on social media, PAP can still win big lah.

Just look at Matland. Their social media and also their opposition are so much more powerful than Sinkie counterparts.

Yet Matland incumbent can still win majority seats, and although less than 2/3, can still form govt without the opposition.

So how can PAP be voted out as Govt, given the current best opposition WP and social media?

Therefore I would think PAP clamming down on social media is just kiasu to be double safe. Just like you kiasu so you double locked your house.

Anonymous said...



Edmund Lim said...


Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

I must agree that the PAP will continue to win election after election. They are just too good and too indispensable. There is no political party with such a concentration of talents.

virgo49 said...

Right bro, think karma as what RB said.

Anonymous said...



Matilah_Singapura said...

>> And the uproar in social media is predictable.

You ain't seen nothing yet. Sources indicate that LKY is very ill and is at SGH.

The next few weeks are going to be, shall we say...interesting.

Matilah_Singapura said...

P.S.Please don't take my word for it. Check for yourself.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Don't anyhow spread rumours. I saw him less than two weeks back. And he was walking unaided, enjoying the calm and serenity of Sungei Buloh Wetland. I managed to take a few shots of him from a distance.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Like I said, don't take my word. Go check it out yourself.

A lot can happen in 2 weeks lah, especially when you're 89.

jjgg said...

Don't mistake his visit to GH n get his vitamin fix akin to sago lane visitations.. Lky back to nature? Maybe he wants to claim that heritage as part of his vision...easier to make peace with nature than all the political people who suffered under him...hehe

IMAGOD said...

There once was a man named "Lee"
Who went to the swamp by the sea
He's older and madder
But smaller in bladder
Is why he has to constantly pee

Anonymous said...

I think they want to lose the next GE cos old man no longer around. Ah Long can regain freedom and do as he pleases. WP should start to daft out internation warrants for ex ministers such as this yaya papaya.

Anonymous said...

Old Lee RIP already?

Anonymous said...

'LKY is very ill and is at SGH'

- he goes frequently to hospital for his botox treatment lah.