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Don't be racist in Singapore! Thou shall be jailed!

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posted on Oct, 7 2005 @ 01:02 PM
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SINGAPORE Oct 7, 2005 — A Singapore court Friday sentenced two ethnic Chinese to prison for posting racist remarks about ethnic Malays on the Internet, in what is considered a landmark case underscoring the government's attempts to crack down on racial intolerance and regulate online expression.

Animal shelter worker Benjamin Koh Song Huat, 27, was jailed for one month while Nicholas Lim Yew, an unemployed 25-year-old, was sentenced to a nominal prison term of one day and fined the maximum 5,000 Singapore dollars ($2,969) for racist comments against the minority Malay community.

"Racial and religious hostility feeds on itself," said Senior District Judge Richard Magnus in passing sentence.

Young Singaporeans … must realize that callous and reckless remarks on racial or religious subjects have the potential to cause social disorder, in whatever medium or forum they are expressed," he said.

Lim and Koh stood in the docks with their heads bowed as they pleaded guilty to charges of committing acts "which had seditious tendencies to promote feelings of ill-will and hostility between different races and classes."

Lim had posted disparaging comments about Malays and Islam on an Internet forum for dog lovers in a discussion about whether taxis should refuse to carry uncaged pets out of consideration for Muslims, whose religion considers dogs unclean.

In his online journal, Koh had advocated desecrating Islam's holy site of Mecca.

In mitigation, Lim and Koh's lawyers said their clients were remorseful and had separately issued apologies. Their remarks have been removed.

About 80 percent of Singapore's 4.2 million people are ethnic Chinese. Malays mostly Muslims make up 15 percent while the rest are ethnic Indians, Eurasians and others.

This small island republic is an oasis of calm in a region where ethnic tensions sometimes explode into violence, particularly in Indonesia. Singapore hasn't had traumatic racial experiences since deadly Chinese-Malay riots in the 1960s.

The two cases represented the first time Singaporeans had been prosecuted and convicted for racist expression under the Sedition Act a colonial-era law used by the British to fight a communist insurgency since the city-state's independence in 1965, the judge added.

It was necessary for the court "to make it clear that such an offense will be met, upon conviction, with a sentence of general deterrence," he said, and warned: "Bloggers who still have similar offending remarks are well advised to remove them immediately.




posted on Oct, 7 2005 @ 02:32 PM
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This is one law I'll enforce
. Jail to any racist, no matter which contry.



posted on Oct, 7 2005 @ 02:35 PM
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Singapore doesn't mess around. Remember that American that got the cain for vandalism?



posted on Oct, 7 2005 @ 02:37 PM
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I have to give the Singapore authorities a thumbs up to this man, I agree every country should adopt this. if this was adopted all now Bennet will have been in the jailhouse, singing the blues



posted on Oct, 7 2005 @ 02:41 PM
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Originally posted by crusader
I have to give the Singapore authorities a thumbs up to this man, I agree every country should adopt this. if this was adopted all now Bennet will have been in the jailhouse, singing the blues


racial terrorists should be imprisoned.



posted on Oct, 7 2005 @ 11:05 PM
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Well, good for them for outlawing racism. Racism is disgusting. I certainly applaud any move by anyone to reduce the amount of racism in the world. I'm just a little curious how they are going to define racism? Here's an example of what I mean:

Obvious racism example: I hate purple polka dotted people! Yeah, you know who you are, the ones with the green heads and orange bellies! They should be all lined up and shot, after we beat them with wet noodles and rubber hoses! (no offense intended to anyone who happens to be a purple polka dotted person with a green head and orange belly)

Not-so-clear example: I read about one complaint by a black person who was angry about a particular computer term: master-slave devices. He said that this was racist and demeaned black people and reminded people of the ugly period in history when black people were slaves.

Is that racism? I don't know. Personally, I think the master-slave case was somebody being oversensitive, but then, I didn't have ancestors who were black slaves, so who knows? Maybe it is offensive to some people?

The purple people hater should definitely be punished for posting inflammatory comments, but under that law, would a computer company selling master-slave devices be held accountable under this law as well? What if something that posts a particular race in a bad light, but is true, is posted? For example, if I say that Canada should be ashamed of the Japanese internment camps it ran during WWII (a true, but ugly fact about my nation) is that racist against Canadians?

Don't get me wrong, I'm totally against racism in all its forms. I'm just worried about how this law might define racism. If it's written very carefully, and legislated properly by courts, then it will work. But if the law is too loose or too strict, there could be problems ahead.



posted on Oct, 8 2005 @ 01:05 AM
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Hmmm nice to hear from people in other countries, knowing about this case in Singapore.

To be frank, what the bloggers actually posted, us, the locals, have not really seen it yet. So,I can't give a detail account of what was written pior to this case.

In the local forums I visited, we basically have people from 2 camps.

One Supporting the arrests, the other camp people asking about "Freedom of Speech"



posted on Oct, 8 2005 @ 01:29 AM
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There are very few freedoms in Singapore, you can be arrested for chewing gum or owning a Playboy magazine.

It's certainly not anywhere I'd like to live.



posted on Oct, 8 2005 @ 01:42 AM
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Originally posted by djohnsto77
There are very few freedoms in Singapore, you can be arrested for chewing gum or owning a Playboy magazine.

It's certainly not anywhere I'd like to live.


Uh... No you don't get arrested for those....

Chewing gum and Playboy magz are banned.

Chewing gums are banned because of the "stuff" they do when people just leave them all over the place.

Playboy magz are, well they say contains stuff thats ain't really right in Asian socities.

As long as you don;t try and smuggle in truckloads of Playboy magz, don;t see why the Police want toarrest you.

O ya forgotten to add that "some" chewing gums are allowed to be sold nowadays.
[edit on 8-10-2005 by Humster]

[edit on 8-10-2005 by Humster]



posted on Oct, 8 2005 @ 01:44 AM
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Im not for racism in any way but Im glad we dont have a law like that in my country its a slippery slope.The Freedom to speak one's mind is one of a country's citizens' most venerably held rights even if your views are unwise. If you want to post your racist views its protected under the First Amendment.

Completely banning speech that is deemed by some to be racist only serves to bury the problem of racism itself IMHO there is better ways to go about combating racism.



posted on Oct, 9 2005 @ 06:45 PM
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There are very few freedoms in Singapore, you can be arrested for chewing gum or owning a Playboy magazine.



It's abit more free than the average american living in New york city, you are safer, and it's abit more cleaner, morality wise. Anyway singaporeans, are more conservative than the average so called Conservatives in America



posted on Oct, 9 2005 @ 10:24 PM
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Originally posted by ShadowXIX
Im not for racism in any way but Im glad we dont have a law like that in my country its a slippery slope.The Freedom to speak one's mind is one of a country's citizens' most venerably held rights even if your views are unwise. If you want to post your racist views its protected under the First Amendment.

Completely banning speech that is deemed by some to be racist only serves to bury the problem of racism itself IMHO there is better ways to go about combating racism.


Awesome quote from..can't remember, went along the lines of "Freedom of speech gives people the right not to think".

Throw em in jail, racism needs to end.



posted on Oct, 10 2005 @ 09:55 AM
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Originally posted by Humster
Playboy magz are, well they say contains stuff thats ain't really right in Asian socities.



But prostitution is legal in Singapore, so I am not sure how that goes together...


Having spent a lot of time in Singapore over the past two years, it is quite apparent to me that racism is part of this culture. Why is it that people feel it necessary to state their race on a resume? Even on credit card applications or job applications for the franchised coffee shop, there is a request for your race.

Anyway, the country itself is very safe, but does take some getting used to.


[edit on 10-10-2005 by Chunkster]



posted on Oct, 10 2005 @ 10:12 AM
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I wonder if this will be applied in a one sided manner or if racism from the Malays against the ethnic Chinese will also be prosecuted.

It sometimes seems that raciscm against the majority is ignored, although I'm not sure if that's the case in Singapore.

[edit on 10-10-2005 by AceOfBase]



posted on Oct, 10 2005 @ 10:15 AM
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Originally posted by Chunkster

But prostitution is legal in Singapore, so I am not sure how that goes together...


Having spent a lot of time in Singapore over the past two years, it is quite apparent to me that racism is part of this culture. Why is it that people feel it necessary to state their race on a resume? Even on credit card applications or job applications for the franchised coffee shop, there is a request for your race.

Anyway, the country itself is very safe, but does take some getting used to.


[edit on 10-10-2005 by Chunkster]


About the flesh trade. Kinda like controlled, make sure the traders are disease free, those sexually transmitted ones.
The playboy magz not sold, mainly so that kids don;t get their hands on those.
Then again, there are newsapaper reports of 14-16 year old looking for sex...and the traders are more then happy too.


The race is there for identification. You been in and out of SG many times. I bet you must have come across mistaken identities.

For example. Someone goes by the name of Chirstoper Toh. First thought, a Chinese with a english name. But when you meet him, he turns out to be a Caucasian. There are others, example, Syed Md, first thought, a Malay, when you meet him, he turns out to be a Chinese Mulism, although rare, but there are cases.

Its can be quite mixed up, since we have 4 major races. Chinese, Indian, Malay and Eurasians.

For us, the race thingie is for identification, thats all.

But there are also locals that think its unnecessary, since in their view, the "race" word, causes a barrier for us to create a -->"Singaporean"



posted on Oct, 10 2005 @ 10:19 AM
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I used to date a women from Singapore. She told me that it was great being in the U.S. in her 20's having fun, but when she wanted to start a family she wanted to move back to Singapore. She said that it being so strict there cut down on crime and was more conducive to raising a family.



posted on Oct, 10 2005 @ 10:20 AM
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Originally posted by AceOfBase
I wonder if this will be applied in a one sided manner or if racism from the Malays against the ethnic Chinese will also be prosecuted.

It sometimes seems that raciscm against the majority is ignored, although I'm not sure if that's the case in Singapore.

[edit on 10-10-2005 by AceOfBase]


So far I only know. 2 cases reported in the news. First one is 6-8 years back.
Chinese being racist to Indians.
Second one is this case.

There could be others that are not reported. As far as my 16mths in the Suboridinate Courts, I have not heard of any racism cases.

Cases of racism might be greater in numbers, but if its unreported, Who knows.



posted on Oct, 10 2005 @ 10:24 AM
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Originally posted by DiabolusFireDragon
........ She said that it being so strict there cut down on crime and was more conducive to raising a family.



That MUST really be sometime back (-_-lll

Nowadays, standard of living cost a nuke. Raising a family have gotten real hard.

On a Fun Fact.

Although English is the media of communitcation and most spoken here, Malay is actually our National lanauage.

[edit on 10-10-2005 by Humster]



posted on Oct, 10 2005 @ 10:46 AM
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Originally posted by Humster

The race is there for identification. You been in and out of SG many times. I bet you must have come across mistaken identities.

For example. Someone goes by the name of Chirstoper Toh. First thought, a Chinese with a english name. But when you meet him, he turns out to be a Caucasian. There are others, example, Syed Md, first thought, a Malay, when you meet him, he turns out to be a Chinese Mulism, although rare, but there are cases.

Its can be quite mixed up, since we have 4 major races. Chinese, Indian, Malay and Eurasians.

For us, the race thingie is for identification, thats all.



I understand what you are saying because I have had similar conversations with Singaporeans and Ang Mo's who spend a lot of time in Singapore, but isn't this the whole point?? Using your examples, shouldn't Christopher Toh just be Christopher Toh, the guy? If you thought he was Chinese and he turns out to be something different to what you expected, what does it matter?



posted on Oct, 10 2005 @ 11:00 AM
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Originally posted by Chunkster

I understand what you are saying because I have had similar conversations with Singaporeans and Ang Mo's who spend a lot of time in Singapore, but isn't this the whole point?? Using your examples, shouldn't Christopher Toh just be Christopher Toh, the guy? If you thought he was Chinese and he turns out to be something different to what you expected, what does it matter?


Hmmm.... might I ask which country you are from? You choice of words and sentense kinda look really local in SG.

Back to your question.

It does actually. I seen how insulted the person feel when someone else gave him the suprised look.



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