TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Two Singapore Bloggers Charged For Racist Remarks

Two Singapore Bloggers Charged For Racist Remarks

Reuters News Wire (
Mon, 12 Sep 2005 14:14:34 -0500

Two men were charged in a Singapore court on Monday with violating the
city-state's sedition laws by posting anti-Muslim comments on their
Internet homepages, police said.

The two ethnic Chinese men, aged 25 and 27, face charges for promoting
ill-will and hostility between ethnic communities on their personal
websites, or "blogs," in June.

The police said both men were accused of posting racist remarks aimed at
Singapore's mostly-Muslim ethnic Malay community. If convicted, they may
be jailed for up to three years or fined up to S$5,000, or both.

Singapore has one of the highest Internet penetration rates in the
world, but also some of the toughest media laws.

Singapore police have wide powers to intercept online messages, and
Internet service providers are required to block websites containing
material that may be a threat to public security, national defense,
racial and religious harmony and public morality.

Political and religious websites must also be registered with the

The government has defended these controls as necessary to maintain
ethnic harmony among its 4.2 million people.

About three-quarters of Singapore's population is ethnic Chinese.
Ethnic Malays account for 14 percent and ethnic Indians for another
eight percent.

Copyright 2005 Reuters Limited.

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