Amendments to Broadcasting Act to ensure only Govt endorsed alternative sources are allowed?

"Read the right things" Yaacob Ibrahim in 2013 BBC interview.

According to news reports, Minister for Communication and Information (MCI) Yaacob Ibrahim has announced during the Committee of Supply Debate on Monday (6 March 2017) that the Government is currently looking to amend the Broadcasting Act (BA) to address misinformation.

He alluded that amendments to the BA were necessary because Singaporeans now have far greater access to media content that is above and beyond the offerings of Mediacorp and existing subscription TV operators.

Given that Mediacorp has the reputation of being Government friendly while existing subscription TV operators already have to adhere to regulations, Is Dr Ibrahim implying that the regulations need to be put in place to ensure that such other sources of content have to been deemed kosher by the Government before Singaporeans should be permitted to freely access their contents?

If so, does it not fly in the face of PM Lee’s interview with HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur where PM Lee implies that our Internet is relatively free given that we have one of the fastest connections in the world?

I understand the Minister’s concern with “fake news” but isn’t the best way to counter fake news greater engagement on the part of the Government? When engagement is lacking, people will tend to make up rumours and speculate which in turn leads to the danger of fake or inaccurate news.

By engagement, I don’t just mean engagement with the state run media but with the online alternative media outlets too.  This will go a long way to build the Government’s reputation of transparency and continued accountability. Will regulating news content alone lead to the eradication of the threat of fake news if the underlying issue of open engagement is not resolved?

Dr Yaacob stressed that the Government needed to ensure that media content had to be in line with our community values, including the need to uphold racial and religious harmony. But, what constitutes community values?

Without defining the ambit of community values, the Government risks coming across as spearheading repression under the guise of “community values”?

Besides, doesn’t this again contradict PM Lee’s interview on HARDtalk where he says that it is not his role to interfere with the values of Singaporeans when asked about the repeal of Section 377A?

Who decides what the “community values” are? If the Government is saying that it needs to screen what it considers acceptable in relation to “community values”, then isn’t that influencing the values of Singaporeans which the PM has said the Government does not do?

I understand the Government’s concern with inaccurate and fake news. However, is the way to deal with it further legislation?

I think greater engagement with all media outlets is the more constructive way forward.



* Article first appeared on The Online Citizen.



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33 Responses to “Amendments to Broadcasting Act to ensure only Govt endorsed alternative sources are allowed?”

  • Boh Bian = No Change = 没变:

    I know why they never lose and instead won more :

    1. Blogs and websites like TRE allow people to voice up their strong criticisms of garment policies.

    With this wealth of information database, the have the edge.

    2. With absolute control over state media and all the machineries and the people, they can program the people to think in ways such they are not affected by the alternative media. Propaganda and tv programming real works after all.

    So, any strong challenge to their policies are known in advance and they have the absolute advantage,resources and 5 years to counter these criticisms.

    Cock can be washed just like the brain.

    So, there is no way they can lose.

    GD Star Rating
  • Chris:

    Cut the crap, no need give lame excuse, just admit you askholds especially the super vindictitive, extremely petty, super small-minded, narrow-minded, oppressive spoilt brat bapok tua loonnng wants to shut mouths to suppress freedom of speech and expression.

    On social media all news related to the bloody oppressive govt are from their controlled media. What they cannnot accept are negative comments about them and exposure of their dirt on social mecia that is why they are working hard to control.

    The papiggs controlled media is ranked 154th for press freedom and is because of this reason plus the facts there are blatant lies and twisted facts on their controlled media that people turn to social media for news. Controlling media, go against alternate media are ways for them to secure and remain in power and authority to continue to leech on us and oppress us.

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  • Sharon Ann Gabriel:

    Yaacob’s warning to amend the Broadcasting Act to address misinformation is a shameless attempt to claim the moral high ground through white-washing and glossing over PAP’s sins. It will be the latest display of hypocrisy perpetuated by the PAP goons to effect direct control for State purposes. The “education” of the citizens require a strict conformity of thought. Such an “education” requires more indoctrination by a motley crew of PAP farters.

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  • Uncle Lim:

    Nothing better to do is it Yacult? Too free is it?

    SG is a fascist state all but in name.

    Only rank 154 MSM can be trusted? New laws to punish
    and fine those who spread misinformation?

    Only Yacult holds the keys to the right information?

    What the F***!

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  • Bapak:

    They have to buy over all the social media & blogs all over the world and install their paper generals to make sure no one can criticises the equivalent of Kim Jong-Un in Singapore. What next? Nerve gas?

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  • Lee Chun Sing:

    Everything in sg seems like bohbian and to a great extent indeed singaporeans are left with no choice basically all the time and everytime.

    But this is the system they find is the best AVAILABLE to them. 1 out of 1 model leads to the only choice they are give is 1 choice which means no choice which leads to feeling bobian which leads to 50 years of stability.

    This 1 party rule system is ideal for any politician who desires for long term rule. Such a system is chosen by the people. I am sure the 70% is prepared to sink with this ship because they already accepted that everything is no choice. They depend on a nanny state. They have no solution other than relying on 1 party system.

    Even on their death beds, they will invoke bohbian.
    Absolutely resigned to their fate.

    I wonder the poor productivity results of the last century is it due to the people having creativity resulting in always having NO SOLUTION which makes them feel bohbian which force them to accept their fate. IS THEIR LACK OF CREATIVITY,STIFLED BY AITHORITARIANISM of 50 years, a cause of the poor PRODUCTIVITY despite having spent billions of tax dollars in the futile attempt to grow productivity in the land where birds cannot produce eggs?

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  • Donald J Trump:

    It really depend

    Russia misinformation Act = fake news
    All a sudden Russia is no longer the darling of Asia

    EU had meddle into Dutch Election
    CNN the LGBT news had been switching sides
    CNN had completely DESTROY Geert Wilders election

    CNN & EU will join forces to Destroy Marine Le Pen
    CNN is Pro-High Cost Of Living
    CNN is Pro-LGBT
    CNN is Pro-Cheap Labor
    CNN is Pro-Immigration
    CNN is Pro-Green Crescent Moon
    CNN is Pro-EU

    Again, CNN had won in a Europe

    After France is destroy, they will destroy Germany

    What is misformatiom depend on whose side you are with
    No one is complain, all smile, all joy at CNN HQ after Dutch Election
    The next project France

    GD Star Rating
  • Let Us Not Turn SG into S & G:

    Let us not allow the seeds of perversion be sown in Singapore, not now, not ever in future. Let us not turn SG into S&G — Sodom & Gomorrah.

    I am no Pappy, and personally disagree with many of the government’s policies, but its stand against homosexuality is one which I applaud and fervently stand. Whatever those who are mired in this despicable, worse-than-beastly practices may say, homosexuality is a sin and a sickness. We are all for equality, but equality also means we have a right to decency.

    If those afflicted refuse to be helped and corrected, they are free to mire in their filthy pits, in the privacy of their homes or hideouts. The law is not there to prohibit them from carrying out their disgusting degenerate lifestyles in those places. But the law is there to protect the rights of the straight people, the innocence of children (from malicious, virulent and destructive influences of elements of society with warped minds)!

    We should not let the so-called “gay community” wickedly impose their agenda and propagate their toxic ideas and destroy society. In any case what is so gay about this senseless addiction and obsession? The LGBTs should rightly be called “The Gloomies” because their lives are all doom and gloom. If they refuse to repent, fine, but we must not let them drag others to hell.

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  • control freaks:

    so afraid of what oso we dun know,ah?
    tweak here, tweak there, amend this & that…no end to their control.
    what a weak gov… so afraid even of their own shadows !

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  • oxygen:

    HOW DOES FAKE NEWS OF 1% TRUTH, 99% lies, fantasy and propaganda recognize what is real news from the social media?

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  • opposition dude:

    I’m not sure just how far the Broadcasting Act will be amended and how drastic the amendments will be. Since it’s assumed that the amendment(s) will be harsh towards websites which post fake news then websites who do not do such a thing have nothing to be concerned about.

    I like all the articles contributed by Uncle Leong and Uncle Philip, they come at policies with loads of questions, not the nicely printed nonsense you read in the papers.

    Let’s just wait and see what changes there will be.

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  • Mike:

    Ok, so… what are the counter measures should the gahmen themselves propagates their own fake news?

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  • Bodoh:

    Soon Bodoh will head a Ministry of Truth?

    The Internet was invented precisely for people like Bodoh who wants to control it, right?

    It’s not that complicated if a Govt wants people to believe it: be consistent, fair, transparent and above all democratic. This way you don’t paint yourself into a corner and be a laughing stock when people raise questions about your claims.

    Familee must go. It is the root of many problems.

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  • Bodoh:

    In a freer and truly democratic country, there are always dissenting voices and such voices given air time on TV.

    On CNA, the usual characters appear to endorse Govt controversial policies.
    People are laughing at CNA for such obvious arse kissing.

    Why not invite opposition figures and activists, CNA? Scared?

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  • PAP afraid of the truth:

    PAP ensuring only its distorted / misleading views are heard. Typical of dictatorship started by self-serving LKY.

    GD Star Rating
  • Ah Peng Kia:

    The PAP government is once again treating citizens as dafts, as if we cannot make up our own minds about what we read. They feel they must dictate what we read and hear because we are too stupid to know good from bad, truth from fake. why do Singaporeans continue to give huge support to a political party that treats them as fools? Maybe we really are fools after all?

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  • hhh:

    Govt is number 1 with fake surveys, reports and information. Who can check them? Ownself check ownself?

    GD Star Rating
  • Soulless Papist:

    Is the comment below by a foreign talent deemed by Dr Yaacob as in line with community values?
    As what Arnold says to the Predator when it took off its headgear, I also says the same to this foreign predator, Dr. Jochen Krass. “You one ugly Mother fxxxker!!!”

    “Water price changes a sign of good government” – Dr. Jochen Krauss, a partner at Simon-Kucher & Partners, told The Business Times yesterday.

    GD Star Rating
  • oxygen:

    YOU KNOW WHY THE MULTI-STAGE NATIONAL CUNTversation ended a ghostly death mid-way of their own volition?

    They stuffed up 1% truth, 99% lies, fantasy and propaganda up their own a*ses – it got jammed up by the end of stage ONE. Outside the two-appendaged white canine tribe, there is no non-tribal participants, so there is no more h*les to stuff up their own excr*ment except up their own filled-up a*seholes.

    It didn’t take it that long for them to be left staring at the mirror of shameless comedy of self-fabrication – REALLY STUPID propaganda show which the curtain must close on its own since there is no ghost otherwise in the audience seating gallery otherwise clapping.

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  • Absolute control due to 70%:


    Instagram and Facebook allows live streaming.
    Its a deadly political tool they should be afraid.

    Once the ship sinks the people will sink with it.
    They ensure no alternative ship to abandone ship.

    They will invoke bohbian as the ship starts sinking.

    Even on their deathbeds, they smile and say bohbian with a victory hand gesture.

    Brexit means brexit.
    Bohbian means bohbian.
    The only way is to sink.

    GD Star Rating
  • George Yeo Lan:

    Sharon Ann Gabriel:
    Yaacob’s warning to amend the Broadcasting Act to address misinformation is a shameless attempt to claim the moral high ground through white-washing and glossing over PAP’s sins. It will be the latest display of hypocrisy perpetuated by the PAP goons to effect direct control for State purposes. The “education” of the citizens require a strict conformity of thought. Such an “education” requires more indoctrination by a motley crew of PAP farters.

    Longan once told western media, something like to mind their on business and not interfere how he runs his business.

    GD Star Rating
  • nizhemoshou:

    HoW many countless times SGs have pointed out the BS and lies in mainstream media which they controlled. So they themselves are the giver of misinformation. Will the amended Act be applied to their own media or not?

    Shameless hypocrites. Want to deprive Sgs of their only source of access to information that they dont want Sgs to know , dont say. .

    Now u see why the leegime leeder did the BBC talk? Part of conditioning the people lst prior to their doing something bad that is detrimental to the interest of Sgs. Typical sly tactic of the leegime to do this all along. In this instance, , pretend to be the good guy, then the gullible Sgs will fall easily to the leegime’s BS justifications that it is for their good as they are good guys always on the lookout to safeguard Sgs from harm.

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  • Ali Baba:

    Fake news can only come about when the governing regime is either non-transparency or are not truthful in their message. What truth can one expect when the state own main stream media is 154 rankings in world’s press freedom. They should correct themselves for a respectable standing, rather blaming on other social media. This regime aren’t ashamed of their low integrity!

    GD Star Rating
  • C'est la vie:

    It has and will always be about CONTROL and new legislations introduced to counter and negate the ever-evolving and ever-progressive IT landscape; to ensure CONTINUED CONTROL.

    GD Star Rating
  • Sr Citizen:

    Keep going Sir, Not far enough. The 70% have your back.

    The 4th industrial Revolution is upon us with all its exploding technologies undergirded by the imminent need to embrace an innovative culture. Those economies who know what innovations are including the World Economic Forum do not buy the notion that innovations can be bred by ‘control freaks’.

    Prove them Wrong with your innovation labs and top down ecosystem. Yes, it is also innovative to be a contrarian against the global norms of innovation at the risk that you become irrelevant to the 4I revolution.

    Control the dialog with self praises and create the artificialities with migrant mercenaries, the global economic giants can be fooled by a scholar/general leadership. Really ?

    Dump downs are already viruses that have been working fine with the 70%, now you need the whole Tribe to be inoculated. Of course, it takes force to shut out the global trajectories of innovation and technologies to preserve internal power structures from disruptions.

    GD Star Rating
  • N.Jungne:

    You can take your time Ah Cock, remember you a little more than 2 yrs to do it. There’s time for a short nap, but do not sleep too long or else we have to call a lorry.

    GD Star Rating
  • RDB:

    PAP is kia-nan-boh-kia-si chin ku liao! Tia tio ki-yim-hu eh lar! By then si liao gao im-hu kwa tiao gui liao a ka bun liao bui har!

    Si pun tio ai kia nan min. Si a ka gu pian kar 24 ka 08 pai KIA DAN – kia lai kia ki bui sian meh? Yi nan 24 ka 08 si mm si chow ka “bo-lum-pa” lan lan hor? Chu a ni cho tao siam siam lai siam ki bo ti sek e. Chee kwan si kian lan meh?

    This is MY chute pattern kong wei lor! Angmo kio chor You get my drift about Pee AND POO?

    Dear TRE Editor, like dat can you pass to post or not? Thank you if can. As dis stylo style is for dam 70% gullible not only DA-Pen-Dan de. But actually their Da-Sha-Kua enriched of lky or made poor too he saw them as surely with children not worth fir elected PAP GaGamen to educate for to become REAL-WORLDS. But he and they his henchmen PMs, ministers etc all agreed with him to have Graduate Mothers Scheme so dat only graduate children will surely be born in his made Singapore in his SINKYland lar! Bo Tio Meh? WHY?

    Ass… how come his own parents & grandparents too are not uniVarsity graduates, yet HE could become a UK Cambridge graduate with double honours some more leh? He not elitist and they PM@ & PM3 too meh? All uniVarsity graduates dat stupid cannot figure out dat Lee Kuan Yew was absolutely flawed in many of his reasoning har? Because by their unison agreeing with dat Lee Kar You, it means only by some FLUKE DISTORTIONS OF NATURE THAT they all BECAME uniVARSITIES gRADUATES SI BOH Har? aH nI kWANG pun wu 70% a PAP kian lan kong yi Lee kwang Yio tiam tiam tio a meh? Yi Lee Kwang Yao si chab chuan chab mui eh lan si wu yah boh a tia chi. Ho siong seng meh Prof. Tommy Koh! Li nan ching kian meh?

    Get my drift you all kian lan 70 pa sian tao?

    GD Star Rating
  • Danger of speaking up.....:

    John F. Kennedy prepared his own death warrant. The speech he made in his first 100 days in office, and the Executive Order he signed in an attempt to eliminate the Federal Reserve System about two years later, sealed his fate.
    By Vandita – December 7, 2016.
    In his speech before the American Newspaper Publishers Association on April 27, 1961, John F. Kennedy talked about ‘a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy’ and ‘secret societies’ that rule the United States in particular, and the world in general. Excerpts:
    “The very word “secrecy” is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it.
    “For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence — on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day.
    “It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations. Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed.”
    It is said the speech JFK made in his first 100 days in office was apparently the one that sealed his fate. He didn’t want to censor the news, to stifle dissent, to cover up government mistakes or to withhold from the press and the public the facts they deserved to know. He wanted the press to inform, to arouse, to reflect, to lead, and to even anger public opinion. The hard hitting speech obviously didn’t go down well with the “system” and the powerful elite at the helm who felt threatened with JFK’s ideas.
    “When Kennedy called for a return of America’s currency to the gold standard, and the dismantling of the Federal Reserve System — he actually minted non-debt money that does not bear the mark of the Federal Reserve; when he dared to actually exercise the leadership authority granted to him by the U.S. Constitution…Kennedy prepared his own death warrant. It was time for him to go.“ — Colonel James Gritz

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  • reminder to the 70%:

    The PAP invented “fake news”.
    They know how to twist n tweak everything n still come out smelling like roses.

    GD Star Rating
  • singapore cowboy:


    GD Star Rating
  • oxygen:

    YACULT WANTS 70% OF THE DUNNING-KRUGER INFECTED (too stupid to realize they are stupid lot) to read only the ‘REAL NEWS’ – the ‘FAKE NEWS” from some parts of the POLITICALLY-INCORRECT social media is offensive to him and needs to be CENSORED.

    TRE readers, please read on these two weblinks including MANDATORY STATUTORY ANNOUNCEMENT through the Australian Stock Exchange for your education of FAKE news and real news differentiation.

    Is this not political m*sturbation of news at its best yet?

    GD Star Rating
  • Zen:

    It is ironic that Yaacob’s plans come close on the heels of urgings that
    yes-men are not going to help the country move forward. In the last few years
    particularly, the PAP has been saying one thing and then contradicting itself
    with its actions.

    It is doubly ironic that much of the fake news here is propagated by the govt.,
    which refuses to give necessary details on just about every subject, so
    people can discern between sense and nonsense and come to their own

    It is tripley ironic that the govt believes there is only One view of subjects –
    its own, and has come down hard on critics and people who disagree and
    point out flaws in its thinking and arguments.

    It is quadruply ironic that the current state of affairs is the result of more than
    50 years of the govt’s heavy-handed actions to disallow people to think for
    themselves and its efforts to make sure they don’t.

    It is extremely puzzling that the PAP feels so insecure that it is unable to
    open itself to any other views besides its own. One has to really doubt the
    calibre, abilities and motives of the party in the light of all this.

    It is impossible for Spore to move forward as it insists on continuing to wade
    in the mud of the past, even when it comes to a simple condolence note.

    All this indicates, the PAP would rather see our country get into a seriously
    bad state, rather than lose even a weeny fraction of total control and power.
    One has only to recall how a town council computer system was used to wreak
    havoc. Obviously, citizens don’t matter.

    This is not the way a govt that claims to be caring runs a country. It is extremely
    childish and vindictive.

    One proves oneself by standing tall not stooping low.

    It is pathetic that the PAP opts for the latter, and in the process puts its party,
    which, rightly And wrongly, has worked hard for this country, in a very poor light.

    GD Star Rating
  • Why Halimah, why not me?:

    Do you know why he was not considered for Presidency?

    GD Star Rating
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