An ‘Exercise of Government Power,’ but can we trust them to use it appropriately?

Minister of Home Affairs and Law, K Shanmugam in an aired television interview on Friday, said on the proposed Protection against Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Bill, “The Government is best placed. What we are talking about is setting out a clarification, sometimes a take-down. And I don’t see why this needs to be politicised.”

“This is an exercise of Government power, just like the exercise of so many other Government powers. Powers of arrest, powers of detention, powers of investigation, powers to run the economy, spend billions of dollars… (and) put out the truth.”

The proposed bill seeks to grant powers to any Ministers to issue out orders to any online communicate for correction or takedown if conditions are met. Other than being false statements of facts, statements that diminish public confidence in the Singapore government are also covered under the said offences.

But Mr Shanmugam said that he cannot vouch for how future governments will act when asked whether the proposed law may be abused. By saying that he is acknowledging that a potential for abuse exists in the act as currently written which by extension means he is also asking us to trust that this current government won’t abuse it.

Leaving that worrying though aside for a moment should we not expect our government to draft legislation that is NOT OPEN TO ABUSE by anybody now or in the future?

As I have said before power once given is hard to retract so every consideration should be made to ensure that it is necessary and certainly not open for abuse before it is given. Is this not a dereliction of duty to rush a law for an immediate need without concern for the future ramifications?

And then we get to the question of can we trust the current government not to abuse it?

The head of the committee on Fake News is Charles Chong and nobody is yet to get a satisfactory answer of his spreading of the mysterious missing funds information that influenced the Punggol East election. Then we have the recent Keppel O&M scandal that was initially denied and then finally admitted when international legal action commenced . Or the health data scandals that were kept quiet until forced in to the open by third parties amongst others and action was finally taken.

With a track record of questionable behaviour and cover ups like this how can we trust the current government won’t abuse it since they know there is a potential to do so?

In fact, given the track record should not the focus be on regaining our Trust so we dont need such laws rather than rushing them with a built in potential for abuse through parliament.

Laws that are now almost universally being condemned and which for some reason also have a clause built in that the government ministers can exempt themselves or anyone of their choosing from compliance from.

We all agree Fake News is an issue but if legislation is to be part of the answer then it must be carefully drafted to leave no room for abuse by the current or future governments and not have clauses exempting anyone from obeying it.

Our laws should be carefully considered, we should all be equal under them and they certainly should not have ANY known potential for abuse within them.

 

 

Brad Bowyer

 

 

 

Sponsored Content

24 Responses to “An ‘Exercise of Government Power,’ but can we trust them to use it appropriately?”

  • opposition dude:

    Of course PAP will abuse it, they will just point to the law that they passed as reason to do so. When you are in power you make the rules and call the shots, simple as that.

    Let us not forget how the PWP was passed eh? And all those silly price increases quickly voted yes by the monkeys, this is not abuse of power?

    And the good for nothing PM even uses it to make sure his father’s house is not demolished too. Suing people left and right including his own nephew under the guise of using the AGC, not abuse then call what?

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • oxygen:

    FORGIVE MY IGNORANCE OF LEE-jiapore’s history, I thought the assertion below is pretty close to the stinkiest FART OF FICTION.

    :This is an exercise of Government power, just like the exercise of so many other Government powers. Powers of arrest, powers of detention, powers of investigation, powers to run the economy, spend billions of dollars… (and) put out the truth

    OPERATION SPECTRUM was also an exercise of the powers of arrest, detention etc, etc..blah…blah…blah

    WAS THAT PUTTING OUT THE TRUTH OF SOME MARXISTS CONSPIRACY THEN and even now??

    Was that legal or BLATANT VIOLATION AND ABUSE OF ADMINISTRATIVE POWER FRAUDULENTLY?

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • oxygen:

    A WISE OLD UNCLE FROM CHINA taught me this – more fishes survive in dirty water than clean water.

    PAPpys must be THE ONLY SELF-ACCLAIMED SPECIE living in the CLEAN AQUARIUM WATER OF HYPOCRISY AND CONSUMMATED PATHOLOGICAL LYING.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • LIONS:

    No need to wait to see if FAKE NEWS law would be adulterated;it has already been!

    No public consultation except one Pritam Singh from oppo side; one OPPO MP who is more ready to JOIN IN SUCH CONmittee than attend an invitation to attend a gathering with other oppo parties to discuss collaboration?

    I hope this FAKE LAW will not turn into more SGPOREANS BASHING,we shall wait n see the TRUTH.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Fake Economy:

    How can the government ministers be the highest paid in the world by a vast degree when they cannot guarantee a minimum wage to its working citizens – which the rest of the first world finds it the ethical thing to do?

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Asd:

    What happened to the truth of saddam having weapon of mass destruction ? What was done or undone ?

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Only One Important Rule:

    It’s time to kick out PAP before further abused of power to a point of no return.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • we know how they will use it:

    When it comes to exercising it on the critics or the oppositions of the PAP, we know how they will use it.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • we know how they will use it:

    we know how they will use it:
    When it comes to exercising it on the critics or the oppositions of the PAP, we know how they will use it.

    You mean abuse of power?

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • EP has to be of the Malay race:

    we know how they will use it:
    When it comes to exercising it on the critics or the oppositions of the PAP, we know how they will use it.

    Like twisting the law to mandate that the ‘Elected President’ has to be of the Malay race who turned out to be an Indian instead so as to disqualify a popular opposition candidate from standing?

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • GRC no need minority rep. now:

    we know how they will use it:
    When it comes to exercising it on the critics or the oppositions of the PAP, we know how they will use it.

    Or how a vacated Parliamentary seat which so happened to be that of the minority race in a GRC which stipulates that there has to be minority representation now need not be a minority representation after all.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • NotMyProblem:

    “.. it must be carefully drafted to leave no room for abuse by the current or future governments and not have clauses exempting anyone from obeying it.”

    @Brad; The opposite can only be true.

    Just ask yourselves, there are more than 15 ministers in the government now, all it needs is just one minister to say the article is “fake news”. It cannot be all the ministers having the same mind. Which is not supposed to be, otherwise how they debate a new policy? So every minister is supposed to think differently. All it needs is just one and you will land in jail or be fined!

    Even without this fake news laws, there is already abuses to other laws. Take for example on GRC. It was intended to ensure minority race to be elected into Parliament, but now only the Chinese are using this GRC to enter parliament.

    GRC was to ensure minority races are represented in Parliament, but it was ruled that it is only required during election time. Without minority races in Parliament is ok.

    Parliament is not supposed to be a place for personal use, like exonerate oneself for allegation of abuse of power. But 2 days of Parliament were used for such case.

    Also the law clearly stated “.. not to be within 200M radius of a Polling station” but inside was OK.

    This one kills it all; The constitution says “.. to elect a Malay President” but an Indian was selected! And who said 4 is 5?

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • F1:

    Fake law.Sounds like

    A song w/o musical notes.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • oxygen:

    @ GRC no need minority rep. now:

    I HAVE A TERM TO DESCRIBE THIS PHENOMENA – it is simply called “windy happy contradictions”.

    GRC no need minority rep. now: Or how a vacated Parliamentary seat which so happened to be that of the minority race in a GRC which stipulates that there has to be minority representation now need not be a minority representation after all.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Dr Tan Tai Wei:

    Faking “facts” should include distorting the full truth, say via getting the nationally controlled press and other media to withhold publishing them, or only partially publishing, or publishing only at selected times or contexts in order to slant the message, or promote a selected viewpoint. etc., etc., ie. what Tharman meant when he said at one forum that “people know how to read the press; ie. see only the small print for real facts, and ignoring the headlines ……”!

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • patriot of TUMASIK:

    The POWER lies with the PEOPLE sadly the sheeple with a CONditioned mind brainwashed from kindergarten has the majority until they remove the stamps from their eye to SEE what is happening

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • pap clown and S$m gang liars:

    … Loong’s false and d**honourable allegations …

    according to Dr Lee Wei Ling, pap clown made false and d**honourable allegations.

    we believe Dr Lee Wei Ling. she has no reason to say so if it ain’t true.

    this means pap clown is fake news. CAN snakemugam check and balance his boss the pap clown? surely cannot. so the fake news law, like all pap clown laws, is one law with two interpretations.

    70% sheep better wake up and vote for New Government. otherwise 70% sheep is voting to harm themselves for more.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Retrenchment good 4 Change:

    The problem is still the people.
    The role of the people cannot be outsourced.
    But the people do not perform this role.
    They find excuses not to perform it.
    But bottom line is this role cannot be outsourced. If the people don’t perform it regardless what are the excuses, there is no democracy.

    It’s like a soldier. If he runs away during war, he has a great excuse. Self reservation. But soldier cannot outsource this role. If he does not perform his role, he guarantees the country is occupied. If he performs his role, he risks being killed. But that’s why It’s so important to perform your duty. Excuses no matter what cannot justify not performing their duty.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • How to Kill People Power:

    Once the people have no power, a regime cannot be overthrown despite allowing elections.

    Only External Forces can stop them.
    Domestic forces have capitulated, circumcised, impotentised , culled and destroyed.

    The WEAKEST link is the people if they dare not enforce people power due to cowardice.

    Who can debunk me?

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • RDB:

    We all know what is wayang in Malay. And others may know too what is wayang-kulit. So now this govt since 1959 has to resort to such low down means too is it.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • LIONS:

    WHAT IS EXCERCISING POWER BY THE ELECTED GAHMEN?
    WHO GIVE THEM THE *POWER*?
    WHO GIVE THESE PPL THE AUTHORITY TO EXVERCISE THIS POWER in the first place?

    Now,DO THESE PPL STILL HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO EXVERCISE POWER,MORAL AUTHORITY,THAT IS?

    PUBLIC SERVANTS MUST UNDERSTAND ONE SIMPLE RULE.
    THIS IS POWER IS *GIVEN* TO THEM BY THE PEOPLE TO HELP THEM SERVE THE NATION EFFICACIOUSLY,NOT TO ABUSE SUCH POWER IN SERVING ONLY FOR $$$?

    THE GOVT IS UNFIT FOR DUTY AS SUCH AS IT HAS LOST ALL MORALS N WITH IT,THE AUTHORITY TO LEAD,TO GOVERN.

    ARROGANCE WILL LEAD TO DESTRUCTION IN ALL SENSE,TO ONESELF N OTHERS.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Haigen-Diaz:

    Yet another example of ‘Alternative Fact Syndrome’! While I whole-heartedly agree that in the long run the legislation will be passed, I am not bemused by the law minister and his ilk’s penchant for hastening our chastening.

    You cannot have one standard that applies to the population and then waive it for your own cohorts like ministries, agencies, academia, etc. Is it OK for ministers who for all intensive purposes have the power of a government themselves be exempted from oversights and limitations?

    I think that rational political discourse is impossible unless both sides agree to engage in it. The Govt. is not merely rejecting contrary facts, they are rejecting reasoned analysis even of the few facts that do leak into their increasingly peculiar reality-distortion bubbles.

    It’s one thing to believe strongly in an ideology. But it is just plain stupid to cling to that ideology when you and your family are being squashed by it. When we know that any deviation from their extreme ideology is liable to punishment and ouster.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Regime change is the solution:

    The bottom line is that Singaporeans need to kick ass instead of kissing them. This ensures accountability and that the right things (for Singaporeans, not for GDP or infrastructure) get done the right way.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • HarderTruths:

    Never use the words Trust and Government in the same sentence. That is an oxymoron.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...

Leave a Reply

 characters available

Member Services
Self-SupportMembers Login
Sponsored Advertisement

Search On TR Emeritus
Sponsored Advertisement

Most Recent Comments
  • NotMyProblem: @Lim Tean; Let’s face it, there are people who love to be slave. Slaves do not need to think....
  • DoYouWantTheTruth...: ..and nothing but the truth? Then I think in the future, there will be a lot of complaints and...
  • Bbc: Nus and police appear to be sexist for treating peeping criminals against women so lightly.
  • Bapak: Now we understand why so many youngsters have to consult IMH. They are so confused taking completely naked pix...
  • No Dafts or Dogs Allowed: The fire had already started long ago. Problem is 70% daft frogs are still sitting on it....
  • Flabbergasted: what happened to our champion of rights, san-mu-kan ? so quiet over this episode? say something lah,...
  • patriot of TUMASIK: Cry for Thatman: Sorry, I disagree (btw, I didn’t thumb you down, apparently someone...
  • Great Asia: Those people listed are all angmoh worshipping Bananas. They are just leftist or Rightist Bananas! All...
  • AristoCATs cant Handle d Truth: > SG ” is not ready for a minority PM” - It is Fake News - Just like...
  • Great Asia: Democracy, Equality, Justice, Peace & Progress.?!!!! Democracy = The Bible = Christianity = A...
  • patriot of TUMASIK: FAKE all the WAY…with Fake 1st World status leading The WAY!!! and FAKE is a four letter...
Announcements
Advertisements
Visitors Statistic
Latest Statistic
Advertisements