YOUR VIEW: We have responsible people on the Internet

People are seen surfing the Internet at a cybercafe. Singapore's feisty online community has reacted angrily to an announcement that news websites including one operated by Yahoo! will have to obtain licences subjecting them to rules governing traditional media

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The following are excerpts of a letter from a reader in reaction to "YOUR VIEW: Can't 'checks and balances' be done moderately?"

Jeraldine is entitled to her views as we ALL are. Why? Because the internet, and democracy is such that ALL views should be heard freely. But it is for this token, this Freedom of Speech, that the internet MUST remain free. It should allow debates.

As for MDA's justification that this license is in place to uphold journalistic standards and prevent "seditious content", many experts have pointed out that the Sedition Laws in existence already covers that.

I don't feel like writing an extensive essay as this writer has just used anecdotal evidence, and no research (the government too didn't do much, if any). But I must say this: the internet gives every goon the power to say anything and be heard. We had a certain NTUC Executive and a PAP youth member making seditious comments, among others.

Will MDA's licensing stop that? Please. For the most part, even Yahoo! news writers are responsible enough to steer clear of that. "But, then what about other seditious comments?" The answer my friend, is that we have responsible people on the internet. How do you think that said NTUC Executive and PAP Youth Member got caught?

We are a "socially mature" country. The government will keep repeating that we're not. Fact is, even countries like the US or Germany -- who had no programs or restrictions such as ours -- have certain bigots who get put into place by sensible people! While some Singaporeans fight amongst themselves, publicly, for seats on the MRT, I think we stand shoulder to shoulder regardless of our race, language or religion when someone unfairly puts down a Singaporean.

MDA's licensing is plainly and clearly an attempt to silence debate on Singaporean issues.

Oskar Song, 27
Senior Marcom Executive

Other Your View letters:
YOUR VIEW: Let's not criticise for sake of it
YOUR VIEW: Singapore must not become an 'angry and bitter' society
YOUR VIEW: What right do I have to complain?