Two charged over online racist rants; other Netizens may watch their words

The first thing I thought when I read about the two convicted “racists” was to mentally check my blog posts in my mind before physically scrolling through them in search of any “defamatory, inflammatory racist remarks”. What I realised was that there was a thin line between having blatantly racist remarks and harsh pointed criticism over the failures of your own community itself. Its a grey area because what you may consider to be fair and reflective of the current socio-economic trends may prove to be highly disparating and racist to others. More of the case can be read here. Channelnewasia also published an article here.

Benjamin Koh Song Huat, 27, and Nicholas Lim Yew, 25, were arrested and charged under the Sedition Act. Investigations into the case, which has created a buzz among bloggers, began after someone called the police hotline at 3am on June 19 to complain that Koh’s blog on http://www.upsaid.com “discussed topics that would disrupt racial harmony”.

What I find so shocking was the fact that someone actually called the police at 3am in the morning! How enlightened and civic-minded that person must be to be awake at night when, upon discovering the “defamatory, inflammatory racist remarks”, quickly ran to the phone to inform the police. I must sincerely commend this individual for this act of pure initiative and commitment to our nation’s racial peace and harmony! If you do come across my blog, please drop in a comment!

According to court documents, Lim’s forum message began with: “The masses are idiots. ‘Nuff said”. He went on to make disparaging remarks about Muslims. Then, turning his attention to the Chinese and Indians, he wrote that listening to the complaints of “Chinese and Indians … was no less irritating”. Koh was more pointed. Peppering his blog entry with vulgarities, he directed his tirade at Malays and Muslims. His blog had a picture of a roasted pig’s head with “a Halal look-alike logo”, according to court documents.

The temerity of such overtly “racist” remarks truly disgust me. More so since it was targeted at my own race. How can concerns over dog saliva splattered all over a taxi seat be construed and used by others as a means of racial slurs and discrimination is beyond me. More so with his attempt at criticising my race and religion with the image of the pig and the halal logo. I will not go to his level. What I am expressing is pure disappointment and disgust over such acts.

“There are a lot of remarks out there (on the Internet) that are defamatory, inflammatory racist remarks. These are not taken seriously in many parts of the world,” said Dr Ang. “They are seen as rants and people usually ignore them. Singapore is an unusual case.”

Why is Singapore an unusual case I wonder? I shan’t say anything in case I am also charged under the Sedition act since “a seditious tendency is a tendency to bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against the Government”.

Blogger Lee Kin Mun, better known as mrbrown, told Today: “A vast majority of bloggers here don’t go into race or religion … we have other things to write about. “Besides, there are other ways of discussing race or religion that will not get you into trouble with the law.”

Read more about it in Mr Wang Says so, mrbrown and Singabloodypore.

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