Sunday, 2 June 2013

MDA’s SledgeHammer approach to the Internet

The Singapore’s MDA has recently imposed a new online licensing scheme requiring websites that report on Singapore news and have at least 50,000 visitors a month to obtain annual licenses. The websites will also have to post a performance bond of S$50,000.

This blog website who has less than 50 readers a day will definitely not need to go through this crazy licensing, but since all the rules are arbitrary and fuzzy anyways who says they might not change it to 1 reader requirement in the future. We interviewed a few people on the street to get their thoughts.

Banker Jing Bo Eng was rushing off to work with his Starbucks and Prada manbag when we stopped him to ask some questions, “new licensing scheme for new websites? Okay lah, I dun really read Singapore news anyways, so boring, some politician visiting, govt agency killing mosquitoes, some Singaporean got some award, army personnel cleaning up beaches.” He paused, as he suddenly was distracted by a lady in a short mini-skirt walking by. He turned back and comment,” I use the Internet for online gambling, soccer betting, porn websites and downloading bootleg movies lah, now if they clamp down on these, I immediately migrate and take all my CPF away I tell you!”

We also managed to catch up with Internet Entrepreneur Mr Wong I-Dear, and he was concerned with the trend that seems to be occurring, “We are monitoring the current situation closely and are concerned that this just the start of a larger plan to control the internet and internet users. Our worry is that this rules can apply to all forms of internet media and businesses. So if we set up a gaming website which borders on gambling and have 50,000 per month and profitable, does that mean we are under the rules too? It does seem that the government just wants to take money from businesses and people in all ways, no wonder they are called Pay & Pay.”

Housewife Mrs Mei Li Hoh was very harsh with her words, “Wah-lao eh, so many other problems like MRT breakdowns, crazy property & car prices, indiscriminate import of foreigners, dengue fever all never solve! Spent the time to do all this ‘eat full nothing to do’ [Jiak Bah, Bo Sai Pang] stuff to regulate the internet, tell them to go and piss into the ocean lah!”

MDA’s Senior Director Boh Zo Kang defended the new ruling as necessary to ensure that Singaporeans get the right news that they deserve and it was never intended to regulate the internet, though if they manage to convince the masses, they may consider expanding the ruling. “We are in the experimental stage with this ruling, we really like the potential controls and regulations that will come to the Internet. Next in our long term unrealistic plans is to solve world hunger and set up colonies of Singaporeans on Planet Mars.”

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