More power to the police to stop people anyhow take pictures

A new law is being tabled in Parliament to forbid the public from taking images, video or still, of serious incidents aka like terrorist attacks. Under this new Communication Stop Order law, it says as reported in thenewpaper, ‘the commissioner of police when authorized by the home affairs minister’ can invoke this law.

I hope I am reading this correctly, ie, the home affairs minister must authorize first, then the commissioner of police can give the order. If not, any police officer on the spot can suka suka stop anyone from taking video/pictures using their mobile phones or anything in hand. Is this correct? I can still remember a police officer arresting a photographer, I think a reporter, from taking pictures of a flood, or was it something else, ponding?

And some MPs were raising the issue of abuse of power in Parliament. I think this would not be the case. Singaporeans are born with a special DNA and abuse of power would never happen to them. You can never find a single case of abuse of power in the history of Singapore. Everything is done legally. How can there be abuse of power when things are done legally, eg ministerial salary, compulsory CPF insurance schemes? Please don’t accuse the govt of abuse of power to do anything. It is just not in their DNA. They are also Singaporeans and have this exceptional DNA in them.

The CSO is to prevent ‘irresponsible communication’. Actually if this is the case, taking pictures and videos should be alright as the intent is to prevent people from communicating irresponsibly like fake news. Tiok boh? Let people take lah, just make sure they do not anyhow post it to shame anyone for irresponsible behavior like anyhow park or anyhow shit or shit anywhere should be good enough. Tiok boh?

Ok, get the intent and purpose of this CSO right from the start. What is it supposed to prevent? Irresponsible communication? I read this in thenewpaper. ‘Mrs Teo said this is not its intention as it is meant to stop “irresponsible communication” when asked about forbidding people from taking pictures. So if people take pictures and videos but did not communicate or communicate responsibly, like passing them to help the police to work on the case must be ok right? And if passing to the police is ok, then they must be allowed to take right. If cannot take how to pass to police to help the police? You tell me lah.

So what is the real intention, to prevent people from taking images or to prevent people from communicating irresponsibly?

PS. I was thinking of including incorruptibility as part of Singaporean’s exceptional DNA. But on second thought, this one is conditional, that they be paid out of this world’s salary or else. So this Singaporean exceptionalism no count.


All that glitters is not gold

By now, most Singaporeans would have read how the maverick artist in our midst had been thwarted yet again in her bid at self-expression. I am talking about Miss Priyageetha Dia of the golden staircase fame of course. A year ago, Priya, then a final-year Lasalle fine arts student, covered the staircase on the 20th floor of her HDB block with gold foil and sparked a debate on whether it was art or vandalism. Whatever it was, she had to remove it after the town council deemed it “unauthorised” and “not permissible”.

Last Sunday, she was back at it again. This time, she hung gold coloured sheets on the outer walls of her block using flag hooks on the corridor ledge --
and met with a similar fate for a similar reason. She had to remove the sheets after the town council said she did not seek their permission prior to hanging them up. To be fair, they were acting on residents’ complaints but one wonders if they would have said yes even if she had asked for permission and there were no complaints.

Obviously not everything she touches turns into gold but you can’t fault the girl for not trying. Asked why she did not first seek permission, Priya said: “I wanted to execute the project without modifying it to the town council’s guidelines. I wanted it to be raw and original.”  Spoken like a true artist. And  for some out-of-the-box thinking that the Government so craves, let’s hear it from her again: “I want to create an intervention with the HDB space.  The hooks along the corridor are only for the national flag, I want to provoke its functionality by hanging another material.”

Compare this with some of the residents’ complaints - “The sheets look like incense paper” & “they are very noisy when blown by the wind” - and you have a fair idea of the ocean of conformity and groupthink that poor Priya is marooned in. The problem is not only confined to the citizenry. It extends to the political leadership as well. At a forum on political succession on Tuesday (20 Mar), ex-NMP Eugene Tan said there are no standout candidates because none has left a deep impression. More ominously, the panel felt that regardless of who the next prime minister is, “it will be more of the same, with the new leader unlikely to veer from the tried and tested ways”. Rubbing salt into wound, another ex-NMP Zulkifli Baharudin opined: “While people want a leader who is daring and transformative, we have inputted our own conservative attitudes in choosing the next generation leader. So we are not going to get it.”

I am hoping against hope that he is wrong. Singapore needs nimble, innovative and out-of-the-box people. We need more - not less - people who dare to question conventions. People who dare to ask “why not?” Most of all, we need a PM who dares to take on this eternal conundrum of Singapore society - how to maintain a highly ordered and disciplined society without imposing rigid conformity or frightening every potential Van Gogh, Steve Jobs and Priya back into their mother’s womb. Will we have such a PM?

Indranee - Male police officer to search female suspect terrorists

Again my initial shock to this suggestion was unfounded after careful consideration and thinking about all the positive things that could come out from this change in our law. Many conservative males would be aghast at the thought of men searching women and their hands groping all over the female torso and private parts. But hey, think positively and there are really many good things from this crazy and demeaning idea. Sorry woman, if a woman minister can suggest it, then it must be ok.

First, a terrorist needs no sympathy, not even if it is a female terrorist. A terrorist, male or female, is very dangerous and deadly. So a man would definitely do a better job searching a female suspect. What if the suspicion is unfounded? Just too bad, better to err on the side of safety, so they said. Be safe than be sorry.

And didn't you people know that it is very difficult to recruit female police officers? Maybe this could be a contributing factor for this change. Also the police is finding hard to recruit male officers but with this change I am sure it would be a great incentive for men to want to join the police force, to grope, oops, I mean search female suspects. They would say, with pleasure Sir. You can imagine how motivated the male officers assigned to do this job. M'am, strip please, I am just doing my job. Many would volunteer for the job. One slight drawback is that there will be a big jam at the airport checking counters as the females lined up for checks could be exceptionally long. And pretty and sexy looking women may find themselves picked for body search. There is nothing personal or the male officers picking on the pretty ones. The terrorists would definitely choose the pretty ones for such tasks as they would look pretty and harmless. And the male officers would prefer to use their hands instead of machine, thus a great savings from having to buy expensive high tech machine.

Even if the local men still refuse to join the police force it would not be a problem. The foreigners, especially those from the third world, would line up for the jobs and the queue could run from Kallang Immigration Centre to JB. They would not bargain for more pay when a job comes with pleasure.

The most direct benefit from this new law would be that no female terrorist would want to try their luck in Singapore anymore as they would not want to be searched by men police officers. Ok, there would be exceptions. The thought of it would terrorise any potential female terrorist from coming here. And Singapore would be safe from this angle and the only terrorist that would come would be the male ones. It would make the job of searching focused mainly on the male suspects. Even then, I suspect the male officers would still be diligently searching the women coming through our immigration checkpoints. You would never imagine how motivated these male officers would be, conducting their search duties, with pleasure and with glee.

Now, who is still against such an excellent idea?  I definitely support as it would make Singapore so much safer. When a woman minister said it is ok, it must be ok. And when a PAP minister said it is ok, all the PAP ministers and MP would definitely vote for it.



Criminals can serve jail sentences at home

When I heard that MP Murali asked in Parliament if Kong Hee can serve his jail sentence at home I was really shock. Who in his right mind would ever think of that except for minor crimes. Any crime that deserved a jail sentence cannot be minor.  When I recovered from my shocking spell and recomposed myself, I started to appreciate what this Murali had in mind. He came across as a very caring MP, caring for voters in his ward. Oops, I am not sure if Kong Hee is a PR, a local, or a citizen. Can anyone confirm this? And if indeed Kong Hee is a citizen then his MP should be speaking for him. I also think Murali is not his MP. Where is Kong Hee's MP, sleeping, not caring for the people that voted for him?

I have further thoughts on this matter and the more I think about it, the more I am convinced that Murali has very good intention. Put it this way, cheating a few million dollars without intention to cheat and never benefiting from it except for his wife, should not be dealt with so harshly. And Kong Hee is such a nice guy, saving so many poor souls and helping them to be rich and to go to heaven. These must be good mitigating factors to deserve serving his jail sentence at home.

There are also obvious tangible and financial benefits and considerations to support Murali's thought. It is very costly to keep a person in prison. The cell and the bed, the medical support and the 'Or tau png' ie black bean rice, also cost money. There will be so much savings if Kong Hee would to serve his sentence at home and pay for his own cell, his own food and medical services.  And the cell and cells for such cases would be needed for those creating fake news or cannot pay their compulsory CPF insurance schemes. The prison must prepare to cater for more intakes with so many new laws coming up.

An added financial incentive would be that prisoners granted jail sentences at home would have to pay $100 a day for this privilege. And there will be no discount for holidays and Sundays. The govt coffers would be much richer if the sentence of 7 years, ie 7x365x$100 is paid. I think this is great idea. And the rich prisoners would be more than willing to serve their jail sentence at home so that the cell space could be allocated to other more needy cases, the hardups that cannot afford to pay.

What do you think, good idea or not? I fully agree with Murali though Shanmugam has rejected it. This is indeed a fine idea from a very clever and caring MP. 'Mo tak teng'. Any idea that makes money for the govt, I like. Then perhaps they would spare the people's savings in the CPF from more compulsory schemes.


Stupidity of Asean leaders is unlimited

The recent Asean Summit Meeting with a little country like Australia, big only in land mass, speaks for itself, that Asean leaders are still wearing blinkers and could not tell the difference between a dwarf and a giant. But this is not the most stupid part of this meeting. In the concluding message, Turnbull had this to say as he assumed the role of big brother of the little coloured people.

‘Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at the conclusion of an Asean-Australia special summit. Mr Turnbull said Asean and Australia reaffirmed their commitment to respond strongly and resolutely in the face of the reclusive state’s “reckless and illegal nuclear-missile programmes”.’ CNA

What is so reckless about North Korea having nuclear weapons to protect themselves and prevent themselves from the same fate as Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi people when the USA is going to make its nuclear arsenal more deadly? What grave concerns? When have the North Koreans used nuclear weapons on any country? When have the North Koreans threaten to nuke any Asean country or want to conduct a preemptive strike into any of these silly countries? Is there any reason for the North Koreans to want to do so? The grave concern is the USA threatening to conduct a preemptive strike against North Korea. Can the stupid Asean leaders see the difference?

Which evil country has been threatening to nuke other countries by accusing other countries as a threat to them? Which evil country had actually nuked another country? Which evil country has been conducting wars of invasion, regime change everyday for the last seven decades? Which evil country has been stoking war, provoking and instigating for war?

Isn’t such a country more reckless and dangerous instead of North Korea? Asean was formed to foster closer economic ties among its member countries and with other countries. Why is Asean now behaving like an American lackey singing the American lies and demonising countries that the Americans want them to demonise? Why allowed the Americans and Australia to set the agenda?

While North Korea is repeatedly being bashed by silly Asean leaders, the smarter European countries are having their own friendly negotiations with the North Koreans without having any fear of a ‘reckless’ nuclear North Korea. Why are European countries feeling so safe and secure and why are some silly Asean countries feeling so unsafe and unsecure of North Korea? The Swedes and Finns are very comfortable talking to the North Koreans and making friends with the North Koreans. And if I am not mistaken, some Asean countries are also quietly trading with the North Koreans except those semi colonised non independent countries that are controlled by the Americans.

What have Asean countries got to fear North Korea about when all its neighbours are not uttering a word except those allied with the evil Empire and wanting to invade that country? Why waste time talking about a non problem just because the Americans and the Australians want to make it a problem?

When would Asean leaders grow up and think independently, that North Korea is not the concern of Asean, and to tell the Americans that it would not want to be dragged around by the ears by the Americans?

Angmoh tua kee is it?

PS. If the sillies had their ways, in 30 years time Singapore would have a bigger population than Australia. Would Asean then hold a summit as a group with Singapore?


The most successful fake news campaign – demonizing China and the Chinese Civilisation

Fake news as a weapon of war to confuse, mislead, attack and demoralise the enemies is nothing new. It is a consistent campaign conducted over time, years, decades, even centuries, to destroy the enemy without anyone knowing what was going on. In the words of Michael Raska, from S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies ...fake news is a weapon used for invasion by other countries. “A campaign of disinformation, where falsehoods are spread subtly and gradually, could be the first step in an attack on Singapore. This is especially so for foreign actors who want to attack Singapore, but cannot do so using military means.”

The most successful fake news campaign was conducted by the West and western media to demonise China and the Chinese Civilisation over the last few centuries. If you remove the word ‘Singapore’ in the above quote and insert ‘China’, it is exactly what was happening in the past till today and going on everyday even in articles from western mischievous writers in our local papers.

China was a victim of invasion, colonialism and imperialism until the country was bankrupted, the people humiliated and demoralised and their confidence as a civilisation totally destroyed. But the West and western media glorified their wars and invasion of China and the rest of the world as if Imperialism and Colonialism were the good things, the invaders and murderers and plunderers were the heroes, the good guys, knighted as Sir this and Sir that by their kings and queens. And the real victims, the Africans, the Asians, the Indians and the Chinese were the bad guys.

The success of this fake news campaign is so damaging till today that many Asian leaders are still fearing China as a war monger waiting to conquer and invade their countries when the real invaders were the Western countries and Japan. And to many people of Chinese origins in SE Asia, they even despised China and the Chinese Civilisation, ashamed to be Chinese, even hating the Chinese without knowing why but for the reasons planted into their unthinking mind by the western media.

And when the West ridiculed China, passed rude remarks about Chinese, they would giggle and agree, thinking that they were not Chinese and had nothing to do with being Chinese though they have yellow skin and Chinese parentage. Many would join in the attack and pass humiliating remarks about Chinese, not admitting that they were Chinese. Some may even want to change the colour of their skin, bleach them to be whites.

The local media did not help, in fact continue to publish articles of western origins that were anti China and the Chinese civilisation regularly as if they were truths and not fake news. The common angle that these western articles took would be China may be building roads and infrastructures for the developing countries, but China did not do it for humanitarian grounds but eyeing their natural resources. What is wrong with exchanging their work in infrastructure development with raw materials when these countries could not pay with currencies? Do they expect China to build all the infrastructures for free? Compares with the West selling arms and goods to these countries, for free, for humanitarian reasons? The colonisation of these countries was for humanitarian reasons, to civilise these countries, by robbing them of their land and natural resources without paying a single cent?

The media has been well exploited by the West for centuries to gold plate their evils deeds, their plunderings and killings of Asians and Africans while at the same time demonising other Asian and African countries. There was no condemnation of the mass murders and genocides conducted by the white Europeans in the past and in recent years. The native Americans, the African native slaves, the mass killings in North Korea, Japan, Vietnam, in Iraq, Libya, Syria, in Afghanistan, in many north African states, in Latin America, in the Philippines.

Practically all western media are in the job of passing fake news to glorify the West, the European Empires, the American evil Empire, their killings by the hundreds of thousands in the Middle East and Africa with impunity while accusing the Asian leaders of crimes against humanity. Duterte is a key victim, Assad, Kim Jong Un, now Aung San Suu Kyi, soon would be Najib. Putin and Xi are on the wanted hate list.

Who are the real producers of fake news? Main media or social media? The main role of mysingaporenews is to question and cast doubts on what the main media is pushing as the truth. Mysingaporenews will question what it thinks is fake news, half truths or misinformation to let the readers find their own truths.

Who is conducting a campaign of misinformation and falsehood, reputable western media? All the big names in the media industry are printing real news, not misinformation with private and hidden agenda?

What a joke!

PS. Anyone who has Chinese blood in him or her is a victim of this smear campaign originated from the West, even if he/she thinks he/she is a banana.

Fighting Deliberate onLine Falsehoods, with Whose Truths?

by MIKOspace

Singapore has begun public hearings by a Parliamentary Select Committee into Deliberate Online Falsehoods. After a few days of hearings, the emergent motherhood consensus is that deliberate online falsehoods can fracture and rapture social trust to the extent as to injure public safety and harm social order should they lead to pervasive and destructive civil disobedience.

I have underlined and emphasized the word “deliberate” so as to highlight its vague distinctions with “unknowing” or “unconscious” types of online falsehoods.  Admittedly, these apparent distinctions are rapidly lost in various intellectual and semantic translations.    

Misinformation, half-truths and fake news are in fact not new.  We are surrounded by all forms of fake and false information in advertisements, man-made religions, philosophies, news articles and public relations spins. Official censorship together with the ideological control of the news and publishing media are also propaganda serving specific and particular power and economic interests.    

According to The Oxford English Dictionary, the new word for 2016 is “post-truth”.  It refers to the existence of “alternative” truths. Whither therefore the status of “deliberate falsehoods” in the internet era of “post-truths”?

The sobering truth is that all information is “deliberate” falsehood and partial-truths to varying degree. Indeed, many would even challenge this statement itself as “deliberate” falsehood and a half-truth!  And they would be neither wrong nor right! Even as I strenuously state it with the sincerest of conviction and belief!  To me therefore, it is a fully true statement. And it also does not matter to me if you should consider it a falsehood. 

Indeed, what difference does it matter? Herein lies the challenge in the war against “deliberate” online falsehood. If you don’t believe it, then don’t.  If you believe it, then own it and make it your very own!

In The Prince, Niccolo Machiavelli’s advised that “… he who seeks to deceive will always find someone who will allow himself to be deceived. To Machiavelli, the people are simple-minded, naïve and gullible, and therefore can be easily manipulated all the time (by those who have the power to do so). [italic words added are mine]. Indeed, Machiavelli of course could not be more wrong or right.

With today’s Internet, Google, Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp … etc, we can expect unpredictable hysteria by the “naïve, gullible and simple-minded” at a greater speed and with dire public safety consequences.  Facebook has boasted of its active influence on the Arab Spring.  Both Facebook and Google do not however agreed to any restrictions or ban on the posting of partial truths, falsehoods and fake news. Quite understandably, no social media has the credentials to assume the role as a Truth-Watcher or Gate-Keeper on the Internet.

Every computer or mobile phone is a microphone for anyone who has something to say or write truth to the rest of the world. Indeed, no legitimate voice should be silenced, but it is arguable as to whether every voice should deserve equal air time on the proverbial social media microphone. The opportunity to be heard and thereby to influence is not a natural inherent birth right. Concepts, opinions, perceived facts and thought belong to the marketplace of ideas and innovations in the highly contested space of social reality.  Whatever and whichever prevailed are socially filtered and constructed through a process of mental and cultural construction that differentiate “falsehoods” from the applicable and practicable truths. Unfortunately, this truth-making process is often corrupted and interfered by crooked and less honourable people in positions of power.           

Action Sensors on onLine Falsehoods
It is not within the capability and capacity of the Parliamentary Select Committee into Deliberate Online Falsehoods (PSCDOF), nor does it has the wisdom, competency and moral aptitude, to recommend and define the parameters of the vast arrays of applicable and practicable truths for the diverse Singapore population.

There are three (3) Action Sensors to evaluate whether corrective actions are necessary on alleged online falsehoods. The Action Sensors are (1) Content; (2) Context; and (3) Consequences. They are inter-related to be considered together integratively.  

A mere statement or publication, however disagreeable or objectionable, does not render itself sufficient to be chastised or proscribed or punished. Since most information is incapable to be absolutely 100% true, partially true information likewise cannot be regarded to be totally false. The absolute truthfulness of statements and publications may often be irrelevant to those who find them objectionable or disagreeable.

This is obviously true with regard to any information pertaining to religious beliefs, traditions and practices held by believers or regarded by nonbelievers. Absolute truth is totally immaterial and irrelevant to believers and nonbelievers.

Within science in the disciplines of medicine, physical and biological sciences, there are also wide disagreements over theories, models and methods and which in turn provide the motivation and momentum for further research and their innovations.  Social sciences clashed repeatedly over the validity and reliability of their predictions, findings and theories.      

As long as the contents of statements or publications are within the permissible bounds of applicable defamatory, libel and slander laws, there should be no basis for any punitive actions.

The context of disagreeable or objectionable statements or publications is an important factor to understand the motivation and purpose of their author(s).    What is known regarding the degree of intellectual acuity and their respective depth of technical knowledge in the subject(s) expressed or written about?  What audience or readers are addressed by the authors? Are the purposes personal, educational, political, social, economic and/or casual conversational?  Is the context closed or opened, referring to whether the statements and publications are intended for named individuals or a defined specific group or for the unspecified public?  A careful assessment of the context is critical to adjudge and infer whether the author(s) intend to cause chaos and mischief, harm public safety, denigrate self-respect, destroy self-esteem, entertain, educate and/or informational.            
As long as there is no intention to disrupt social harmony or harm public safety, vigorous debates and conversations among well-informed and knowledgeable individuals in deeply divisive subject matters such as politics, religions, history, traditions and personal preferences, especially where one has the freedom to choose to enjoin, rebut or leave the discussions or debate, there should be no need for any interference by government officials or state authorities. 

When the conflation of content and context resulted in damaging the social fabric of harmony, increased religious and racial tensions, disrupting social peace and harm public safety, enforcement actions are not only necessary, they are vital to restore peaceful social order. This is however applicable only in genuinely democratic societies. The strength of democracy does not however require the prohibition of falsehoods, but in their counter arguments and vigorous rebuttal where they matter.

Ironically, in freely democratic elections, the amounts of misinformation which deploy deliberate online and print falsehoods often multiply to overwhelm the voters.  Examples from the USA, UK, Europe and neighbouring nations require no elaboration.

However, to advocate by insisting on absolute truthfulness during elections is disingenuous and naïve. It is also a no-brainer proposition. Internet accessibility drives the momentum of both volume and quantity of information and misinformation.  Just as misinformation, half-truths and fake news are part and parcel of daily human society, they are also indispensably integral for many politicians during elections to grab and win the benefits of power and privileges.  

Use IoT to Manage onLine Falsehoods 
A non-partisan infrastructure comprising a mix of local and foreign election watchers with security enforcement powers is needed to assure that social peace is preserved and public safety maintained at a high level during and between the election periods.

The key in the effective management of online falsehood is NOT the utopian promotion of truth.  It is in the control and minimisation of the negative disruptive consequences of less-than-truthful information that matters. The following four (4) strategies using Internet-of-Things [IoT] can create a favourable impact:

[1] Technology
Eliminate anonymous internet postings.  Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Social Media owners eg Facebook, Twitter, Instagram … etc must maintain registration of the valid and legitimate names of their subscribers who want to access and be accessible from Singapore.  This would also include any websites who allow feedback and comments on all things Singaporeans. Web-site and social media owners shall be held legally and punitively responsible for harm and damage to individuals and public safety.

[2] Education
Develop a high level of debating skills in our students, including critical thinking and independent thought.  Regular research and essay writing on contentious subjects, field trips, followed by presentations and questions from peers, teachers and visitors would help to reduce students’ simple-minded gullibility and naivety.  

[3] Public Discourse
Promote regular public forum to encourage debates and critical discussions on interesting subject topics, and to learn the etiquette of mutually respectful conversations.  This would also raise the quality of comments and debates on the internet.

[4] Legal and Regulatory
Without anonymity, online actors who choose to cause social chaos and mischief, harm public safety, denigrate self-respect and destroy self-esteem of individuals and communities should face the full extent of incarceration and other legal punitive measures.

Freedom is our noble and privileged foundation to secure for ourselves, our children, our grandchildren and fellow Singaporeans the right to speak and write truth to power and the world. Every Singaporean should be educated to know and understand that they should not pre-digest any opinion unthinkingly, and they should not gullibly swallow everything that come through the internet and social media taps.  
Read, listen and research everything of relevance and interest; question all but believe none of them; and arrive at your very own conclusions. There is no other victorious way to combat deliberate online falsehoods.