Singaporean General Election, 2006 - Influence of The Internet - Regulations


Regulation of political content online was an issue throughout the election period. The Media Development Authority (MDA) had reminded Internet content providers to comply with the law of Singapore, including those relating to political content. Online bloggers and podcasts are subject to the Parliamentary Elections Act.

In a notification issued by MDA under the Broadcasting Act, all political websites are required to register with the MDA. These websites include those belonging to political parties as well as to "individuals, groups, organisations and corporations engaged in providing any programme for the propagation, promotion or discussion of political or religious issues relating to Singapore on the World Wide Web through the Internet." A MDA spokesperson said that only a handful of websites have registered and that they mostly belonged to political parties or registered political associations.

Political analyst Cherian George noted that the regulation would hinder the development of citizen journalism in Singapore. A number of bloggers and political commentators had noted that the rules are too broadly defined and were unsure how they would be enforced. They protested that this was a violation of freedom of speech. A candidate Goh Meng Seng (WP) refused to register his blog, saying "I don't see the need to do so as an individual citizen. We have our rights to our political views."

In a parliament session on 3 April 2006, Balaji Sadasivan, the senior minister of state for information, communications and the arts, made some clarification on the regulation in response to a question by Low Thia Khiang. Balaji said that podcasting and streaming of videos were prohibited during the election. On the other hand, pictures of election candidates, political party histories and manifestos were allowed to be used as election advertising on the Internet. He added that bloggers who persistently promoted political views had to register with the MDA. During elections, only political parties, candidates and election agents are allowed to advertise. Balaji warned that those who violate the rules would face prosecution, and said "In a free-for-all internet environment, where there are no rules, political debate could easily degenerate into an unhealthy, unreliable and dangerous discourse, flush with rumours and distortions to mislead and confuse the public." The regulation of political content on the Internet had previously led to the closing down of a popular discussion forum website Sintercom in 2001, after the owner refused to register with the authority and voluntarily shutdown his website. Additionally, publication of election surveys during the election period or exit polls was banned.

Read more about this topic:  Singaporean General Election, 2006, Influence of The Internet

Other articles related to "regulations":

Kho Kho - History
... about the time of World War I in 1914, but lacked exacting rules and regulations that govern the modern games ... by the great Indian leader Lokmanya Tilak drafted the first ever rules and regulations which symbolised the metamorphosis of the game soon to follow ... in consultation with Kho-Kho experts and drafted the rules and regulations of the game which differed but just a little from the existing rules of the Federation ...
Maxfacs - Regulations
... qualified specialist depending on each country's regulations and training opportunities available ...
Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations - Northern Ireland Regulations
... The Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006 were made on 8 November 2006 and laid before Parliament under paragraph 7(3) of the Schedule to the Northern Ireland ... The regulations came into force on 1 January 2007 ... pass a motion to pray for an annulment of the regulations in the House of Lords ...
Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations - Regulations Relating To Great Britain
... Regulations covering the rest of the United Kingdom were first laid before Parliament on 7 March 2007 ... adoption agencies will be covered by the regulations (including those with a religious affiliation) ... In the House of Commons, the regulations were adopted by 309 votes to 99 ...

Famous quotes containing the word regulations:

    If it were possible to make an accurate calculation of the evils which police regulations occasion, and of those which they prevent, the number of the former would, in all cases, exceed that of the latter.
    Karl Wilhelm Von Humboldt (1767–1835)

    The admission of Oriental immigrants who cannot be amalgamated with our people has been made the subject either of prohibitory clauses in our treaties and statutes or of strict administrative regulations secured by diplomatic negotiations. I sincerely hope that we may continue to minimize the evils likely to arise from such immigration without unnecessary friction and by mutual concessions between self-respecting governments.
    William Howard Taft (1857–1930)

    If the veil were withdrawn from the sanctuary of domestic life, and man could look upon the fear, the loathing, the detestations which his tyranny and reckless gratification of self has caused to take the place of confiding love, which placed a woman in his power, he would shudder at the hideous wrong of the present regulations of the domestic abode.
    Lydia Jane Pierson, U.S. women’s rights activist and corresponding editor of The Woman’s Advocate. The Woman’s Advocate, represented in The Lily, pp. 117-8 (1855-1858 or 1860)