The Independent registered as a political website

From ‘Upcoming news website to register under Broadcasting Class Licence Act’, 29 July 2013, article by Tan Weizhen, Today

The Media Development Authority (MDA) has notified the owners of a new current affairs and news website,, that it is required to register under the Broadcasting (Class license) Act, in what it called a bid to ‘guard against’ foreign influence on Singapore politics.

…As part of the registration, the website is required to undertake not to receive foreign funding for its management or operations, which MDA said it has agreed to.

…(MDA): “It is a firmly established principle that foreign entities may not engage in Singapore politics. Foreign interests are not allowed to control or worse, to manipulate our local media platforms, which are prime vehicles for political influence,” said the statement, adding that the need to prevent foreign interests from influencing the media, remains the same be it in print, broadcast or online.

The PAP is notoriously hostile to foreigners only when it comes to interference in local politics, otherwise they’re more than happy to integrate them into our society with open arms as long as they contribute to the economy and  state-building or win medals in the name of sporting glory. When it comes to touchy matters like suggesting that we rise up against our masters at the next election, the government can be as extreme in their discomfort with strangers as some of us are. By making it a crime to intrude into Singapore politics, the PAP have found an effective silencer of dissent among a good 40% of the population.  Like a landlord accommodating a tenant, involvement in ‘domestic affairs’ is one house rule that a foreigner would do well not to break if he doesn’t want to face a hasty eviction.

Such subversive ‘interference’ that sets out to undermine the integrity of our PAP was exemplified in the form of an American diplomat named Mason Hendrickson, who was expelled from duty because he was accused of being in cahoots with Marxists and a certain Francis Seow back in 1988. The American was believed to have instigated several lawyers, Seow included, to stand against the PAP in the General Election. Since then, we have been on our guard against malevolent ‘elements’ threatening to bring our nation to the knees. Our leaders have sued foreign magazines for defamation, jailed authors for writing books about the death penalty, and would blacklist anyone who so much as scoffs at our chewing gun ban. Yet, despite building this forbidden wall around us, some of our ministers seem to find a way to meddle in other countries’ affairs nonetheless, especially on matters across the Causeway. If I tell you what’s wrong, it’s for your own good, but when it comes to OUR politics, you’d best mind your bloody business. But please feel free to make yourself at home anyway.

It’s not just being a political busybody that gets the government all uptight over foreign influence. You can’t even have a foreigner in a choir performing what would appear to be anti-government propaganda. In 2008, the Complaints Choir, which consisted of 6 foreigners (out of FIFTY members), was banned from staging public performances by the MDA because the content ‘touched on domestic affairs’ and only Singaporeans were allowed to sing complaints about Singapore, even the nasty ones. Its Finnish founders were disappointed in what they saw as the ‘symptoms of a neurotic society’, as if foreigners were glib and seductive enough to convert almost an entire choir of Singaporeans into a rampaging mob and storm in the Istana with pitchforks and dynamite. Don’t forget that even some of our most beloved National day songs were written by a Canadian named Hugh Harrison. Did the government ever suspect him or inserting subliminal radical messaging in his lyrics and turn the gullible masses against their rulers?

This sweeping, irrational fear of external influence on our politics betrays a lack of trust in our own people to make sensible decisions, as well as over-generalising the sway foreigners have over the local populace based on some isolated incidents. It’s the kind of paranoia an overprotective father would display by banning his daughter from dating anyone who listens to rock music or sports long hair in fear of contaminating her with ‘Western’ ideals. There’s a term that describes such scathing categorisation of people, and I believe it’s the same word the same government uses to describe the irrational hatred for foreigners for reasons other than sticking their noses into our ‘domestic’ business. I believe it’s called Xenophobia.



5 Responses

  1. If the government truly wants to stop the interfering of foreigners in our internal politics, then why is it setting a S$11 million fund to integrate new foreign citizens so as to vote for them and even become grassroot members so as to use them directly or indirectly to criticise Singaporeans for being lazy and useless etc ? What is the government doing to us Singaporeans, By giving many of the foreigners scholarships in our universities while our own citizens are left without a place in the education system, are we not getting foreigners involved in own domestic politics and affairs. If this is not sowing seeds of subversion against us local citizens what is this kind of action.

  2. […] to register for a Class Licence under the Broadcasting Act – Everything Also Complain: The Independent registered as a political website – TOC: MDA interrupted tea time… for this? – guanyinmiao’s musings: Taking […]

  3. What a bloody joke. The government has been quietly selling of national assets to foriegn firms . A small news cite getting a few dollars is peanuts compared to selling our power plants to foreigners and any idiot will understand that

  4. Like this author, I wish Singaporeans would be able to analyze and discern for themselves information presented to them. Unfortunately, from the almost 70,000 likes on The Real Singapore FB page which sprouts sensationalist nonsense, from the senseless lines and fights over Hello Kittys, and from the ten thousands gathered weekly to hear Kong Hee speak his version of the twisted truth, it’s sad to say that we’re not there yet. But in the wide expanse of our cyberspace, there is always some room for #Unfoundedoptimism .

  5. What say you if The Independent SG becomes the poster boy of registration-with-govt rule ie you can be registered and still hantam G now and then sensibly without getting your knuckles bruised? That way TISG will demonstrate to those scardy cows that MDA is only a referee not a participant in SG politics? 🙄

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