Jun 15, 2005

Hear the lion roar?

nathanroad gives his thoughts on how the overseas Singaporean is perceived by foreigners (Americans in his case): quiet, apolitical, content to fade into obscurity - a product of decades-long oppression of dissent and alternative views in this "Disneyland with a death penalty". Hear the lion roar? The silence is disturbingly deafening.

In the Lion City, Americans would find a more sophisticated form of dictatorship, a sort of dictatorship with a double latte. Dissent is crushed not with violence on the streets but with verdicts in the courtroom. Opposition candidates rarely garner enough votes because Singaporean law, written by PAP legislators, renders it easy for government officers to sue their own citizens for slander -- a concept laughable in genuine democracies. Understandably, most Singaporeans prefer to remain silent (or at least temper their criticisms) than risk having their lives ruined by PAP-initiated lawsuits adjudicated by PAP-appointed judges.

But intolerance for dissent silences more than just the lions in Singapore. It also renders Singaporeans invisible abroad.

Singaporeans I've met here in Los Angeles are mostly good-natured people, speaking unaccented English and enjoying successful lives. But while exemplifying the American dream, they're also a people who seem painfully ordinary and unwanting of attention -- like those desperately trying to avoid eye contact.

Jun 14, 2005

Yet Another Personality Quiz

You Are a Pundit Blogger!

Your blog is smart, insightful, and always a quality read.
Truly appreciated by many, surpassed by only a few

Yeah, right.

Legal Guide for Bloggers

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has released a legal guide for bloggers, giving an introduction on the possible legal issues that bloggers might face when publishing potentially sensitive content on their blogs. Too bad this came a bit too late for AcidFlask though.

Like all journalists and publishers, bloggers sometimes publish information that other people don't want published. You might, for example, publish something that someone considers defamatory, republish an AP news story that's under copyright, or write a lengthy piece detailing the alleged crimes of a candidate for public office.

The difference between you and the reporter at your local newspaper is that in many cases, you may not have the benefit of training or resources to help you determine whether what you're doing is legal. And on top of that, sometimes knowing the law doesn't help - in many cases it was written for traditional journalists, and the courts haven't yet decided how it applies to bloggers.

Link via BoingBoing

Jun 2, 2005

sgblogconspiracy: Agent ahmad gets a call

I was in a middle of a dream getting promoted to superscale G when it was rudely interrupted by the ringing of my mobile phone. I peered at my watch, which reported the dead of night at 3.12 am.

"Eh...do you know what time is it or not?"

"This is M."

Alamak. The boss.

"I need you to get something for me, for a special occasion."

"But I've just sent this month's supply of your favourite Taiwanese por...erm...research DVDs to you, sir."

"I know, but this is different. There is to be a gathering of local Singaporean bloggers organized by our sister department - the Singapore Hideous Initiative to Nullify dissEnt, and they need something to get those darned bloggers talking, so that everything they say can be video-taped..."

"As evidence..."

"Exactly. And you know what I'm talking about, right?"

"I know just the thing, sir. Just mix it in their free drinks and it'll be sure to make them intoxicated enough to divulge every single detail for our brothers in white to catch them where we want them."

"Very good. You'll receive information on where to send the package in your e-mail."

With that, he hung up.

The next morning, after a few calls to my usual contacts I picked up my package at the neighbourhood Bin-lang (betel nut) shop. 10x strength betel-nut capsules, just the thing to numb the brain without any stained teeth. Very difficult to find, unless you know the right people, that is.

Hmm...Woodlands Regional Library...

Interesting place to hold a blogger convention.

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