"In regulating the Internet, the MDA adopts a balanced and light-touch approach..The MDA also encourages industry self-regulation and public education efforts to complement its light-touch regulatory approach."
- Media Development Authority
Dog lovers' Internet remarks earn Singaporean sedition charges
Two men in Singapore have been charged with sedition, and face jail terms for making anti-Muslim remarks on the Internet.
The case was triggered when a local Muslim woman complained about uncaged dogs travelling in Singapore taxis, and leaving behind drool and dirt.
In a letter to the editor of the Straits Times newspaper, she pointed out that contact with dog saliva is prohibited for many Muslims.
A 25-year-old Chinese man responded with allegedly anti-Muslim remarks on a dog lovers' website.
Police say a second man who works at a dog kennel made an expletive-filled posting about the Muslim woman on his personal website.
In Singapore, political and religious Internet content is closely monitored.
Ever since race riots in the 1960s, the local authorities have regarded racial harmony as a fundamental social principle.
Under the Sedition Act, both men face a maximum penalty of three years jail and a fine.
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Singaporeans face jail terms over dog commentsDog comments on net are sedition
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Two Singapore men charged with seditious remarks aimed at Malay community
What constitutes a 'seditious tendency'?
3. (1) A seditious tendency is a tendency -
(a) to bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against the Government;
(b) to excite the citizens of Singapore or the residents in Singapore to attempt to procure in Singapore, the alteration, otherwise than by lawful means, of any matter as by law established;
(c) to bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against the administration of justice in Singapore;
(d) to raise discontent or disaffection amongst the citizens of Singapore or the residents in Singapore;
(e) to promote feelings of ill-will and hostility between different races or classes of the population of Singapore.
(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), any act, speech, words, publication or other thing shall not be deemed to be seditious by reason only that it has a tendency -
(a) to show that the Government has been misled or mistaken in any of its measures;
(b) to point out errors or defects in the Government or the Constitution as by law established or in legislation or in the administration of justice with a view to the remedying of such errors or defects;
(c) to persuade the citizens of Singapore or the residents in Singapore to attempt to procure by lawful means the alteration of any matter in Singapore; or
(d) to point out, with a view to their removal, any matters producing or having a tendency to produce feelings of ill-will and enmity between different races or classes of the population of Singapore,
if such act, speech, words, publication or other thing has not otherwise in fact a seditious tendency.
4 (1) Any person who -
(a) does or attempts to do, or makes any preparation to do, or conspires with any person to do, any act which has or which would, if done, have a seditious tendency;
(b) utters any seditious words;
(c) prints, publishes, sells, offers for sale, distributes or reproduces any seditious publication; or
(d) imports any seditious publication,
shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction for a first offence to a fine not exceeding $5,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years or to both, and, for a subsequent offence, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years; and any seditious publication found in the possession of that person or used in evidence at his trial shall be forfeited and may be destroyed or otherwise disposed of as the court directs.
(2) Any person who without lawful excuse has in his possession any seditious publication shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction for a first offence to a fine not exceeding $2,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 18 months or to both, and, for a subsequent offence, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years, and such publication shall be forfeited and may be destroyed or otherwise disposed of as the court directs.