Monday, September 19, 2005

Seditious Sedition.

Currently “sedition” seems to be the most “in” word in both Singapore’s media stream media and blogsphere. This is all started due to the arrest of 3 bloggers who were making racist statements against our fellow Malay Singaporeans.

Indeed our PM Lee has came out to warn Singaporeans that the government would act against anyone who engaged in activities that would stir up distrust and enmity between the races

However what is the Sedition Act all about? Here is an excerpt:

Short title.
1. This Act may be cited as the Sedition Act. Interpretation.

2. In this Act —"publication" includes all written or printed matter and everything whether of a nature similar to written or printed matter or not containing any visible representation or by its form, shape or in any other manner capable of suggesting words or ideas, and every copy and reproduction or substantial reproduction of any publication;"seditious" when applied to or used in respect of any act, speech, words, publication or other thing qualifies such act, speech, words, publication or other thing as one having a seditious tendency;"words" includes any phrase, sentence or other consecutive number or combination of words, oral or written. Seditious tendency.

3. —(1) A seditious tendency is a tendency —(a) to bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against the Government;(b) to excite the citizens of Singapore or the residents in Singapore to attempt to procure in Singapore, the alteration, otherwise than by lawful means, of any matter as by law established;(c) to bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against the administration of justice in Singapore;(d) to raise discontent or disaffection amongst the citizens of Singapore or the residents in Singapore;(e) to promote feelings of ill-will and hostility between different races or classes of the population of Singapore.

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), any act, speech, words, publication or other thing shall not be deemed to be seditious by reason only that it has a tendency —(a) to show that the Government has been misled or mistaken in any of its measures;(b) to point out errors or defects in the Government or the Constitution as by law established or in legislation or in the administration of justice with a view to the remedying of such errors or defects;(c) to persuade the citizens of Singapore or the residents in Singapore to attempt to procure by lawful means the alteration of any matter in Singapore; or(d) to point out, with a view to their removal, any matters producing or having a tendency to produce feelings of ill-will and enmity between different races or classes of the population of Singapore,

if such act, speech, words, publication or other thing has not otherwise in fact a seditious tendency.

(3) For the purpose of proving the commission of any offence under this Act, the intention of the person charged at the time he did or attempted to do or made any preparation to do or conspired with any person to do any act or uttered any seditious words or printed, published, sold, offered for sale, distributed, reproduced or imported any publication or did any other thing shall be deemed to be irrelevant if in fact such act had, or would, if done, have had, or such words, publication or thing had a seditious tendency.

Now I have a few questions.

Is questioning the loyalty of our Malay compatriots considered seditious?

Is saying Singapore is not ready for an Indian Prime Minister considered seditious?

After all these statements might arguably “promote feelings of ill-will and hostility between different races or classes of the population of Singapore.”

I think by now some of you have already guessed whom am I referring to. If not you can click on the links to find out.

I shall leave it to you to decide if they too should be charged under Sedition Act.

As for me, I will keep my mouth shut in case I am too charged under the Sedition Act for bringing “hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against the Government” and/or raising “discontent or disaffection amongst the citizens of Singapore or the residents in Singapore”…

1 Comments:

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