31 März 2022

Versicherheitlichung und Solidarität in Singapur nach dem 11. September

Die singapurische Regierung verfolgt einen proaktiven, ganzheitlichen Ansatz, um die nationale Sicherheit, Einheit und Solidarität durch die Rehabilitation von Terroristen zu bewahren. Sie betont die Verantwortung aller Bürger, wachsam zu sein und aktiv die ethnische und religiöse Harmonie durch soziale Interaktion und Solidarität als Teil des Gemeinschaftspakts zu bewahren. Ein geeintes Volk zu bleiben, würde das Ziel der Terroristen vereiteln, einen scharfen Keil zwischen "uns" und "sie" zu treiben. Continue reading >>

Securitisation and Solidarity in Singapore after 9-11

The Singaporean government adopts a proactive, holistic approach in seeking to preserve national security, unity and solidarity through rehabilitation, emphasising the responsibilities of all citizen to be vigilant and to actively preserve racial and religious harmony through social interaction and building relationships, as part of the communitarian compact. Remaining a united people would thwart the terrorist goal of driving a sharp wedge between ‘us’ and ‘them.’ Continue reading >>
16 November 2021

In Singapore’s war on fake news, the Constitution is not an obstacle

Singapore’s highest court has decided the first case under the city state’s controversial Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act. The whopping 154-page judgment finds key elements of the Act constitutional and establishes a test to determine the lawfulness of governmental correction notices. It also illustrates how the government’s insistence on factual accuracy pushes the courts to almost absurdly meticulous assessments, while being barred from asking the most significant questions. Continue reading >>
24 Februar 2021

COVID-19 as an Opportunity for Democratic Consolidation?

The Covid-19 pandemic has tested the legal, political, economic and public health systems of countries all over the world, and Singapore – particularly as it found itself having to hold a general election in the middle of the pandemic – is no exception. However, it does seem that the pandemic has created opportunities for consolidation of democracy in Singapore as a result of increased citizen-state interactions during this time. Continue reading >>
14 April 2020

Abstract panic: On fake news, fear and freedom in Southeast Asia

In Southeast Asia, which is the world’s most dynamic laboratory of fake news legislation, the corona crisis has put previously created laws to practice and sparked additional legislative activity. The professed goal is to prevent public panic. Recent enforcement actions, however, demonstrate the complete irrelevance of any panic indicators. A falsehood’s panic potential is simply assumed. In short, an abstract panic threat is fought with very concrete measures: Arrests and criminal prosecutions. Cases from across Southeast Asia prove the trend, whereas two decisions in Singapore deserve particular attention. Continue reading >>
07 Dezember 2019

Truth vs. Free Speech

Southeast Asian governments have been stepping up their efforts to actively manage the truth by combatting false information. Among the main tools are correction orders and state-run “fake news centers” that monitor and “rectify” alleged falsehoods online. In addition, government discourse employs increasingly belligerent language to denounce the perceived threats. The Southeast Asian “war on fake news” thus makes the region the world’s most vibrant laboratory of anti-falsehood legislation. The protection of the truth is becoming an increasingly accepted ground for restricting free speech. Continue reading >>
20 April 2019

A Ministry of Truth in Singapore? Reflections on the Anti-Fake News Bill

On 1 April, the government of Singapore introduced the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Bill. Often referred to as the Singaporean anti-fake news law, it is expected to be enacted with a few changes in the coming weeks or months. A closer look at the bill’s context, its most powerful elements and its possible regional impact as a model for legislation in other countries reveals that it is most likely to have a chilling effect on freedom of expression. Continue reading >>
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