The almost dead political scene in Singapore suddenly regurgigated itself after remaining dormant for quite some time. Never mind that Singapore was and is currently facing inadequacies issues with it’s ‘ever cocky and ever reliable’ government who is unable to manage the influx of heavy downpours leading to floods in the shopping district of Singapore. Singapore has also recently been rocked, out of nowhere, by the removal of a political video by Martyn See on Dr Lim Hock Siew.
For most of us, we have only received Singapore’s historical education from the ears and books that our teachers impart to us through. Such information of course, is as true as it can be but for anyone who is a tinge bit extra interested in Singapore’s history, one would have to conduct it’s own investigative work to ascertain the facts in order to satisfy all doubts beyond reasonable doubt to ensure that the information you eventually end up with is the true fact.
In the case of Singapore and countries such as Myanmar, the government takes the approach to allow public education and limited investigative work in the name of democracy. Myanmar has Au Sang Suu Kyi as it’s most famous political prisoner but for Singapore, our political prisoners will and can never get as famous as her since every attempt to popularize such individual will be dealt with rather promptly – depending on the urgency of the situation.
In the most recent case, Martyn See was asked to remove the video of Dr Lim Hock Siew, a political prisoner who was arrested during the Coldstore Operation in 1963.
All political reasons aside, in policing work, when conducting investigations or whenever a police officer attends to a case, the police officer is first required to ascertain all the facts. This means that the police officer must first ascertain facts from the parties involved before he/ she is able to make a decision.
Now, let’s bring this back to the removal of such political videos.
Using the example of investigative police work to ascertain facts from all parties involved, in this case whereby the true history of Singapore is at stake, the Republic of Singapore government has prevented the Citizens and Residents of Singapore to understand the other side of the story. Now, we all know that we need to hear from both sides of the story before we come to a conclusion and make a decision. I think this is the ability to make a choice and to be given a choice is what’s involved in Democracy but perhaps, the Singapore government has decided that their side of the story is sufficient and it’ll be too difficult to rewrite the Social Studies and history books which has already been mass produced and distributed for sale and hence, has decided to order for the removal of any political video which may result in altering the course of history which has been so painstakingly crafted and written by the only modern forefather of Singapore’s history that we have all been taught about.
Singaporeans are so well educated though but unfortunately, most of us have such narrow aspirations to stake a claim in our own motherland that we prefer to accept what’s been meted out to us than to fight for what we believe belongs to us – Singapore.
Luckily, with the advent of technology, the banned video is still circulating online and whilst anyone in possession and distributing the video is liable to a charge of a jailterm not more than 2 years, a fine of $10,000 and/or both, the law doesn’t cover anyone distributing the links.
So, here’s the link to the video http://vimeo.com/13292596
Actually, in actual law context, it mentions Possession and Distributing – this means that the individual needs to be doing both work before he/she can be charged. In the case of Vimeo and Youtube, the individual is not distributing the video because the act of distribution means that the individual needs to be physically handing out the videos. With such availability of such video sharing, the individual is only in possession of the content and has the rights to it but distributing work is done by the video sharing network.
So, unless Martyn See was really physically distributing the videos, I don’t think there really was a need to remove the video but hey, if ISA is a law which is not governed under the statues of law, anything could happen!