Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Participants of "I Hate YOG" Facebook Group Arrested by Police [UPDATE: Actually, there might have been just cause.]

The main target seems to have been Abdul Malek, who was charged with "inciting violence and public disorder" for a comment he left on Facebook.

Oh lord. I knew we'd try and learn from the Beijing Olympics, but I really didn't think the Singapore government would be so frickin' STUPID. This is going to lead to incredibly bad international press for the country.

I'm really hoping there's been some kind of misunderstanding, but it doesn't seem possible. At least some news sources (The New Paper!) are reporting on this. I'm really ashamed of our country now.

UPDATE: My friend tells me I should read the New Paper article, which outlines the specific threat that Malek made to a Cabinet Minister, which the police would have the right to at least check out. Phew. Less ashamed now. But I don't have a copy of TNP, so I can't make up my whole mind yet.

UPDATE TO UPDATE: Here's the story from Channel News Asia:

It seems that Malek said it was time to "burn" Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, i.e. make him suffer. The police can say they couldn't afford to assume this was a metaphor, considering that this happened. But it's still pretty ridiculous, and the overreaction will make Singapore look even worse in the press.

(Why do I feel obliged to blog about these things? I could say I hope negative international attention will teach the government not to be so stupid... but that really doesn't seem to work. I suppose my sense of duty to justice is stronger than my sense of loyalty to country. Or perhaps the country that I love is a utopian Singapore, one that has sane governance with regards to freedom of speech, rather than the panic-stricken government we've actually been blessed and cursed with.)

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