Following the arrest of TOC editor Terry Xu, many netizens have voiced out against it and the lack of freedom of expression in Singapore. Yesterday, Xu was arrested and had his equipment seized by the police. He was brought in for a 9-hour session at the Police Cantonment Complex in relation to a criminal defamation case. What does this mean for Singapore and Singaporeans?
According to Singapore Democratic Party's Chee Soon Juan, "This is obviously very troubling. This is happening as I am sitting here in Bangkok listening to speakers talk about how to more effectively use the New Media to build and strengthen democracy in our countries."
Artist Sonny Liew sympathised with Xu by saying that "[he] has been running TOC almost single handedly for some time now, despite a very difficult environment and in the absence of any kind of proper financial remuneration.
He has stayed the course, and does the kind of journalistic work very few with much better resources have been willing or inclined to do - a muckracking journalist in the finest sense."
There is now a Patreon page where people can donate to support Terry Xu and TOC.
Even Phil Robertson of the Human Rights Watch has come out to criticise Singaporean authorities for their "unbecoming paranoia". "Singapore's campaign of intimidation and persecution of independent media and human rights campaigners in the city state must stop now. Our worry is these rights abusing attacks against freedom of expression will get worse as the ruling PAP contemplates a possible election in 2019."
First States Times Review, now TOC. Who's next? Do Singaporeans have to keep their mouth shut to remain safe?