Wednesday, December 2, 2009

My blog will disregard the "cooling-off" day election regulation

http://southeastasia.foreignpolicyblogs.com/files/2009/07/leeclan-300x210.jpg

So it appears that PM Lee Hsien Loong (son of ex-PM Lee Kuan Yew) has proposed a “24-hour cooling-off” period before Polling Day. During this period, campaigning such as mass rallies, door-to-door visits and display of party logos and symbols in public places will be banned. This is apparently is extended to cyberspace as well and will be tabled in parliament in early 2010.

Local websites like The Online Citizen, Temasek Review, SG Politics and the Singapore Democratic Party have written their respective analyses of the proposal, which I recommend reading.

While some are quick to mention that this "cooling-off" period is in practice in other countries like Australia, they are not as quick to mention that they observe it with several variations. For example, in Australia, there is a 3 day period before election day where electronic (TV & radio) advertising is not allowed. All other public campaigning continues and newspaper & online advertisements are allowed right through election day without restriction.

I will let everyone know right now that I will not only post news reports but also my political opinions on my blog on the day before, and on the "cooling-off" day itself. I will post images and logos of the political parties and figures that I support and will blog about who I voted for and why.

I urge all Singaporean bloggers to join me because we have a right to post and share our opinions, political or not, on our personal blogs at any time.

28 comments:

BryanT said...

Good to take an early stand, Seelan. Well done.

But you are not correct to state that there is no mention that the cooling-off periods in other countries have "several variations".

Our friendly ST (which you might note is part of the MSM) has an article by Nur Dianah Suhaimi dated Dec 2, titled "In some places, curbs are in place for 3 days."

I'll send you the article via email since its too long for this comment box.

Seelan Palay said...

Before you make the assumption that I'm "not correct", I'll let you know that I was not referring to ST at all.

So it's alright, no need to send me the article via email.

E-Jay Ng said...

In other countries, cooling off simply means no more outdoor campaigns. It does not mean bloggers cannot blog. Extending election rules to private bloggers seems to be unique to the PAP.

And it must be noted that the examples raised by the MSM are countries with a free press.

skeptic said...

I myself am thinking of reposting a series of video that highlight the plight during the cooling off period to show the true face of our government.

skeptic said...

Sorry I meant plight of the poor in my last comment.

utopia said...

I FULLY SUPPORT YOU SEELAN PALAY

i urge all bloggers to participate in this movement.

vote for Change, vote the PAP out!

below is my blog post:

in support with Seelan Palay's blog, i will continue blogging and commenting political articles in online forum.

http://seelanpalay.blogspot.com/2009/12/my-blog-will-disregard-cooling-off-day.html

all fellow Singaporean patriots should likewise reject such PAP's political pranks and push for

CHANGE

vote for Change, vote the PAP out!

Anonymous said...

Good Mr. Seelan!

Wah this Mr. Bryan T so picky everything also got something to say.
The truth is after some time, people treat his comments as "pang pui"/fart. A lot of noise and waste products.

I look forward to reading your blog on that day.

Anonymous said...

"I cannot control several million videos on youtube but your website, what you’re putting up in your own name, I think that should end the day before the cooling-off day."
Therein lie the justification for anonymous postings. Now is the time to set up new blogs. Lee Kuan Yew has openly declared to his adversaries that he is a thug, his son has proved to be no better. You cannot play by his rules, as did the 66.6% For the sake of what's left of Singapore, prepare for this last battle. After this, they will remove the vote altogether.

Anonymous said...

A true leader is someone who can take a stand.

You have, Seelan.

Kudos to you.

Anonymous said...

Seelan, I support your move 100%. I have something to say on that day, I will also blog. We shall overcome.

BryanT said...

@ E-Jay Ng said... December 3, 2009 12:51 PM

"In other countries, cooling off simply means no more outdoor campaigns." - some include ban on broadcast media and apparently Malaysia's restrictions are "almost identical to what Singapore has in mind".

"Extending election rules to private bloggers seems to be unique to the PAP." - I don't seem to have read anything that impact private bloggers for the proposed rules.

- "And it must be noted that the examples raised by the MSM are countries with a free press." - Free press perhaps, but it does not stop these countries imposing such restrictions over which there is a hue and cry here.

Ganesh Gopal said...

Refuse / Resist - My full support towards u. Good day.

Anonymous said...

Strangely, PAP's "COOLING OFF" means nobody else is allowed to have the final say, except our prostitute main stream media can still use the last 24 hr to promote the PAP whores. Unless there is a BLANKET BAN on all forms of campaigning including ZERO COVERAGE by the mainstream media of any candidate, I support your call to disregard PAP's "cooling off" crap!

Seelan Palay said...

BryanT wrote "- Free press perhaps, but it does not stop these countries imposing such restrictions over which there is a hue and cry here."

Hello? A free press is one of the most important factors in a democratic nation.

To say that there is a hue and cry here over these restrictions without taking into account that the other repressive mechanisms put in place contribute to this hue and cry shows an incredible lack of insight on your part.

But as I've said many times before, you only see what you want to see, BryanT.

Anonymous said...

Dear Seelan,

I agree with your statement that "A free press is one of the most important factors in a democratic nation."

Singapore does not have a free press, and it certainly could do with one.

I wonder though, about the dangers of a free press degenerating into a licentious press.

Any thoughts?

Regards.

Seelan Palay said...

In how many other developed countries has a free press caused mass social instability, poverty, hunger and riots?

It's political policies, economic turmoil and politicians themselves who cause them.

Has the free press in Denmark, Sweden, Taiwan, Australia, Japan, Germany, Hong Kong or Canada degenerated into a licentious press?

Anonymous said...

"Has the free press in Denmark, Sweden, Taiwan, Australia, Japan, Germany, Hong Kong or Canada degenerated into a licentious press?"

Dear Seelan,

To my mind, a free press is not an unmitigated good: try watching FOX News for two hours straight. Better still, watch Bill O'Reilly for ten minutes.

But seriously, and to answer your question, we all know the costs and fallout from the Danish cartoon incident, not only for Denmark, but for the world at large.

In an ideal world, I would like to have a Singaporean press that is responsible and free. The PAP has it half right when they champion solely for a 'responsible' press. True, the press has a responsibility which to impart to society. But genuine responsibility comes about only with freedom.

So, perhaps we are in agreement more than it appears at first sight?

Regards.

P/S: Don't point your fingers at me. After all, it was John Locke who cautioned against confusing liberty with license (section 6 of his Second Treatise of Government).

Seelan Palay said...

Don't worry, I'm not pointing fingers at you.

I mentioned Denmark first because I somewhat wanted you to bring it up. One incident like the cartoon in the Danish press cannot outdo all the positive benefit to society a free(er) press there, or anywhere else in the world can offer.

And you are right, genuine responsibility comes about only with freedom.

Nyved said...

The PM must know that regulating the internet on the cooling off day (and the day before - yes, he seems to mention TWO DAYS of no blogging or posting or whatever) is impossible. Beyond blogs there is facebook, twitter, email and what's not. Let's see how he deals with millions of emails, videos and whats not.

People are going to figure a way around this anyway. Since Youtube and blogs are on the WORLD WIDE WEB, anyone including non-Singaporeans can post things about Singapore ;) And you never know: this 24hr cooling off period may actually backfire on the PAP. So i wish them the best of luck for their stupid strategy.

Seelan Palay said...

That's right Nyved, the PAP should just stop making silly statements like these.

Maybe they've been in power for so long, and are so often not taken to task much by the local media, that they've become complacent?

Nyved said...

Well, let them be complacent. Then we can see the end of the road for them. As i said, this new election strategy may backfire. After all, rational and calculated decision on who to vote for may be for the opposition instead of the PAP ;)

Anonymous said...

"I mentioned Denmark first because I somewhat wanted you to bring it up. One incident like the cartoon in the Danish press cannot outdo all the positive benefit to society a free(er) press there, or anywhere else in the world can offer."

Dear Seelan,

I disagree. I don't think it is helpful to speak in too abstract a manner in this case.

One would be hard pressed, in a place like Singapore, to justify a rerun of the Danish cartoon incident on the basis of free speech. In other words, there must be limits on press freedom and by extension, the freedom of expression.

Regards.

Seelan Palay said...

Sure, I will not write in a manner that may seem abstract.

I am not justifying a rerun of the Danish cartoon on the basis of free speech.

The incident can serve as an argument for "some" regulations for the press regarding racial and religious issues, but cannot justify the state of the press in Singapore.

Anonymous said...

"The incident can serve as an argument for "some" regulations for the press regarding racial and religious issues, but cannot justify the state of the press in Singapore."

Yes, we agree then.

jenny said...

I think on election eve should be public holiday too. We must have cooling period to think. Best of all election eve can be a day with free parking, dont need pay ERP…

r4i

Seelan Palay said...

Haha.. yes. Let's hope it rains that day so it can be even "cooler".

Anonymous said...

A man has to do his own growing
irregardless how tall his father is.

Son: Dear Father, what to do?

Natalie Koh said...

Hi Seelan,i like your articles,they are very thought-provoking. :)Good food for thought. I'm going to disregard the 'cooling-off' day election regulation and continue to support and gain support for the political parties and candidates i believe in. And i will also continue to spread the truth of what LKY did to get in power. He was not the hero who fought for Singapore's independence. People who are interested in this should read Dr Chee Soon Juan's book 'A Nation Cheated'.It can be bought from kinokuniya and from the SDP. After hearing so much propaganda from the PAP,don't you think we should listen to the other side of the story as well?