Colors: Blue Color

Be prepared to fork out $50,000 or jail time of up to six months if you pick up fruits dropped on the ground from trees in nature reserves or national parks in Singapore. Minister Lawrence Wong said this on 7 October. 

It makes no difference whether you plucked it from a tree or picked it off the ground. The tree is located on state land and therefore belonged to the state. For those who wish to do so might want to approach NParks for permission.

What a vast difference in those molesters and peeping toms in Singapore, no? How are molesters getting a smaller punishment as compared to these people? Just because these fruits and trees belong to the state? Obviously their things are more of a concern to them than the people. Though we have long learnt of this fact. They just want to get more money from us in any way possible. 

Yesterday, we talked about the statement by Elections Department who said that political parties should not use children who are too young to understand what they may be promoting or subjecting themselves to. You can read more here: Election Department Say Cannot Use School Kids In Election Activities But PAP Can Use Kindergarteners?

Well, news has hit the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) and they bit back, hard! They came back with a case of say people say yourself and published a couple of photos with PAP members together with young children. Let's just say there were quite a few. SDP explained that the child in their video was the daughter of one of their Central Executive Committee (CEC) members. Both she and her parents are happy with the production.

SDP then questioned if these children understood what they were promoting and whether parental consent was even obtained! 

You can see their post here together with the photos.

The election department recently published a letter on Straits Times in response to a forum letter by one Sean Lim Wei Xin titled "Inappropriate to use children to promote political parties". The letter talks about the Singapore Democratic Party's video who used a young child to promote their party. Sean thinks that the girl does not have the maturity to understand partisan party politics and questioned if the Election Department have any guidelines regarding the use of minors in political advertising.

The letter the election department wrote that there is a Parliamentary Elections Act that prohibits primary and secondary school students from taking part in election activities from the Nomination day to the polling day. They also agreed with Sean saying that "political parties should refrain from inappropriate use of young children who will not fully understand what they may be promoting or subjecting themselves to."

However, prominent blogger Andrew Loh noticed something was amiss. In his Facebook post, he brings up a photo from the General Elections 2015. PAP's Sembawang GRC team on the way to a press conference during the election period. Children can be seen lined up with flags to greet them. He also wrote that the Election Department didn't say anything about it then.

It seems like our country has two different set of rules doesn't it? One set for those who support the ruling party and another set for those who disagree with them. The children seen in the photo shared by Andrew Loh seems to be younger than primary school kids. Perhaps they meant that the prohibited ages are just between primary school students and secondary school students. Which also doesn't sound right as they are way younger and they probably "will not fully understand what they may be promoting or subjecting themselves to."

These twistings of rules and regulations are all too confusing for us to keep up. Best to just diam diam and follow. If not later you all kena sue like Terry Xu.

Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) and Minsitry of Law (MinLaw) came out on a joint Facebook which alleged an article on The Online Citizen (TOC) and Terry Xu for spreading fake news.

The article in question is titled 'Has anyone thought about this one way top down enforcement of so called “fake news”?' by one Ghui on The Online Citzen. In the article, Ghui mentioned that the new law "could potentially allow a Minister to deem a piece of news as “fake” as a means to silence a critic just because of how much discretion it gives the minister in this determination."

Though he did write a disclaimer: "While I am not suggesting that this has been done or will be done, therein lies a risk."

Ghui also questioned if there is a "risk of the legislation being used to silence critics for a crucial 9 days in the lead up to an election?” another question in mind is whether the opposition parties will start to censore their own campaign posts leading up to the event in fear of running foul of the law.

Editor of TOC, Terry Xu also talked about the POFMA in a Facebook post. He talked about what the appeal timeframe means in a General election. According to his calculations, it would take nine or ten days to appeal to the minister and setting the hearing date. The Singapore General Election is typically just nine days long from the point of nomination day to polling day.

With this, Terry Xu's concern is that if someone whistleblows during an election or just prior, the ruling party can throw a takedown or correction order on the story or statement by the whistleblower, only for the story to be proven correct after the election is over.

In MCI and MinLaw's statement on their Facebook, they wrote " “For example, they incorrectly assert that Ministers can use POFMA during the elections to restrict and curtail online content.

The Act states that for the entire election period Ministers cease to exercise their powers under POFMA. Instead, senior civil servants are appointed as the Ministers’ alternate authorities for the election period.

The robust safeguards on the use of POFMA will continue to be in place during the elections.”

However, Terry Xu rebutted by saying that both post and article are of the author's opinion on how POFMA could be potentially abused. Also, "It does not explain away from the fact that it is PAP ministers who will be choosing the senior civil servant in charge of exercising the powers granted under POFA, prior to stepping down as ministers when parliament is dissolved for an election."

Way to stand up to them Terry! They say that they "cease to exercise powers of POFMA" during elections. But these aren't these the same people who deny any gerrymandering when we see it happening all the while? Or is the change of boundaries truly for a better Singapore? These are the same people who claims to want to give us a better, more affordable future but prices are rising everywhere. We should all also think about how these ministers are the one who order the civil servants to babysit POFMA during the election period. Would they dare go against their bosses?

Exciting times are coming though. Kudos to people like Terry who are standing up for us and asking the right questions!

On 29 Sept 2019, Straits Times (ST) published a forum letter 'TOC must clarify its intentions' by one Chng Hui Ling. The letter referenced Law Minister K Shanmugam about Singapore needing a law to counter attempts of foreign influence on domestic policies and opinion.

On 30 Sept 2019, Terry Xu, chief editor of TOC took to Facebook to highlight that the letter "contained highly defamatory allegations".tocallegations

Terry also sent a letter of demand to Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) to demand that they take down the letter and undertake to not repeat the act. ST removed the letter subsequently. Terry did not ask for any apology or damages from SPH as he just wants to see the "right thing done".

You can read his full post here:

However, on 2 Oct 2019, SPH legal counsel said in a letter addressed to Terry saying: "These remarks were unfair and uncalled for, and make serious allegations that have damaged our reputation as a trusted media organisation."

They claim to have taken down the forum letter as a gester of goodwill and without any admission of liability even though they did not agree with his allegations of defamation. However, since Terry and his team has reposted the letter on his Facebook and in their article, they have decided to repost the forum letter to make its position public. They are also taking further legal advice and are ready to defend their position.

Wow. When did our 151 media become a trusted media organisation? Will Terry Xu continue to fight back admist his lawsuit with PM Lee? Seems like a war with brewing. Are you ready to #standwithterry and #standwithTOC and not let the people in ivory towers bully us anymore?

Progress Singapore Party (PSP) had a successful first walkabout in 29 constituencies on 29 September 2019. Close to 300 volunteers and supporters joined the party in the event. Progress Singapore Party is helmed by Dr Tan Cheng Bock.

Dr Tan Cheng Bock joined the walkabout at Ghim Moh and Tiong Bahru.

Meanwhile, as Dr Tan's party was working hard trying to connect with the public at Marine Parade GRC, an old salty friend looked on and came to his own conclusions of PSP eyeing his constituency. That's right, the old friend is none other than Mr MParader himself, Goh Chok Tong.

In his post he captioned "PSP eyeing Marine Parade. 'Et tu, Brute?' --- gct". 'Et tu, Brute)' (meaning 'even you, Brutus?') is from the play Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare. These were the words which Caesar muttered as he noticed his friend, Brutus, among the assassins who are killing him.

From the quote, MParader is probably referring to Dr Tan as Brutus, while he himself is Caesar.

This is not the first time for MParader to make comments towards his former friend, Dr Tan. In his previous Facebook post, MParader likened Dr Tan to Don Quixote, tilting at windmills and said that Dr Tan has lost his way.

Why is MParader so salty over Dr Tan trying to better Singapore? Is the result of a guilty conscience? After all, MParader promised us a Swiss standard of living. But look where we are now, with hiking taxes and bills, low birth rates and jobs getting stolen from FTs. I say we are far from any Swiss standard. What about you?

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