12 September 2008

The Mr & Mrs Tan gambit

I had a thought-provoking conversation with a senior journalist about how far the government would go in adopting the likely AIMS' proposals. The issue of internet regulation begs much bigger questions about what we expect from law, and the insecurities of our ministers. Full essay.


yuen said...

not sure "timid" is the right word; the government is taking Wall Street Journal, part of the Murdoch empire, to court for contempt, hardly a timid demeanour

it is not really afraid to change - merely wants to be sure that every change produces benefit for itself

its reference to heartland Mr and Mrs Tan reminds me of a joke:

a man was sent to see a psychiatrist because he thought he was God; asked why, he replied "one day I was praying, then I realized I was talking to myself ..."

KiWeTO said...

A slippery slope we have fallen down.

with successive generations of politicians that come in to enjoy the good life, and to retain the ruling party's grip on power, will come more and more excesses or 'violations' against the freedoms of the Constitution (or non-freedoms, since they keep referring to the law).

What good is democracy for when a Parliament controlled by one party could vote to change the Constitution to enshrine their right to rule in perpetuity?

This 'democracy' seriously needs a re-think.


feedmetothefish said...

Day by day, this little red dot is turning into a circus.

Legally not guilty? Factually guilty?

Rich kidney patient gets 1 day jail; poor lung cancer patient gets 7 months.

PAP gang can cycle in the park while it's against the law for others? WTF!

Stick with the gay law, but have a light touch and not actively enforce it?

Just WTF are we heading to? Yes Where, not What The F--k?

Meanwhile Mas Selamat is still having his selamat jalan while ISD, SPF is praised to high heaven by the Boss.

Anonymous said...


"Would also add that the interest of Bloggers 13 should not be assumed to coincide entirely with the mandate of AIMS. AIMS was tasked to look at how cyberspace would evolve and how the government should respond to it. Bloggers 13 had a narrower mission: to look at deregulation. So, it should hardly be surprising that our focus was more on Chapter 2 than the rest."

I thought you people were pushing all along for the formation of IC3. Were you ppl focussed on Chapter 2 issues. Could you be so kind Alex to jog my memory.

BTW does anyone remember the whole idea of Community Moderation? Did Dr Cherian George moot the idea of a civil society committee to replace laws? Wasn't that how the "deregulate the net" push was original framed?

Where did Chapter 2 issues even come in?

Thoroughly Confused Now.

Anonymous said...

Timid government and their civil servants; insecure leaders. It is looking more and more like Malaysia's BN.

daniel k said...

"Yes, but Lee Kuan Yew is different... He is confident he can take on all comers and still carry the people."

"...The new generation of ministers doesn't have that confidence. They don't feel secure enough that they will prevail in any open political contest, their claims of being freely elected notwithstanding. They would be a lot more nervous about jettisoning the protective armour that censorship laws provide them."

"In the long run, these laws will ruin us. Each generation of ministers will be less secure than the last, more dependent on the rigging..."

Thank you for the above sentences. I've never thought of our leaders in this light before. They're usually depicted as though they are a homogenous bunch, unanimous in their decisions and mindset.

The above suggests that we simply cannot take things for granted. More and more people need to engage in social debates, to question the government, to check that we do not end up with protectionist laws that really only protect the status quo of the powerful.

Anonymous said...

Dont wish to come across as disrespectful Alex. But I think the blogger 13 certainly comes across as fickle, indecisive and publicity seeking.

As I remember it, you guys were hot on the community moderation. Now the flavor the months seems to be pushing the envelop right to the hilt by your statement AIMS is progressive but not enough.

But on every single turn, I have noticed, you neither elaborated further on your plans, ideas or even held an real life or online debate to flesh out more of your ideas.

If you want change, learn to mark a spot and fight the ground right till the end of the coda. All you people seem to do is run here and there like a restless bumble bee. Learn to stand your ground and not give in, even if you fail, ppl will still respect you.

As it is, I you just make alot of people very confused.

Dr Lim T H

yj said...

"In the long run, these laws will ruin us. Each generation of ministers will be less secure than the last, more dependent on the rigging..."

Precisely. Which is why democracy is the worst form of government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.

So how are we going to develop the critical mass of people who are able and willing to engage in reasoned public debate on national issues? For I strongly feel that no democracy can sustain itself unless there can be a free flow of ideas in the public domain.