Thursday, June 7, 2012

One more silenced.

Just last week, a seventeen year old Junior College student posted on his blog what he thought about a Cabinet Minister who visited the Pre-University Seminar which he attended.  His posting received the attention of other bloggers who lauded his post and circulated it all over cyberspace. A few days ago, I saw on my tumblr a post he made about his surprise that his blog which had all along been read by only a few friends should suddenly receive the attention of so many people including quite a few online bloggers who are usually critical of the government.  A day after that and without a word, his blog disappeared totally from tumblr.

One can easily conjecture what must have happened after he gained popularity for that post of his.  Singaporean society is very tightly controlled by rules, a lot of which are unspoken.  A word from the principal of his college is enough to ensure that his blog is removed from the internet.

While I do not approve of profanity used in any form of writing, I do not understand the need for him to remove his blog entirely from tumblr.  He could easily have set that article to "private" (that's a feature in tumblr) but half measures are not what Singapore is famous for.  I'm only surmising of course but whoever had told him off must have insisted that he deleted his entire blog.

That's a shame.  Stifling the writings of young people is something nobody should do.  If I were the principal of his Junior College and I felt strongly that his blog post did not give a fair assessment of the Minister at the Pre-U Seminar, I would have written a response to his blog and requested him to post it alongside his original post.  I would most certainly take him to task for his gratuitous use of profanities which appear quite liberally in his other entries too.   These profanities certainly detract from the general elegance of his style.

It is really unfortunate that his entire blog has been removed.  What Singapore needs are more young people who are able to think through issues and express their thoughts in words.  Fifthazure, the username this boy used for his blog, is certainly capable of doing that but the poor chap has had his knuckles rapped.


  1. I can no longer be bothered by Singapore. Join the smart folks who have already read the tea leaves proper and fled. It's time to emigrate.

  2. Thanks, NEWater, for your comment. We must remember that what I have said about this boy being given a rap on his knuckles is pure conjecture. For all we know, he may have just become really tired of all the attention or his friends may have been displeased with his posting of the video of their dancing which was really more like jumping up and down repeatedly. There are many possible reasons why his blog has been removed. It's just that I'm inclined to the view that his principal must have got wind of the blog and he's been told to stop blogging. As I recall it from a friend, NTU students were told they could not blog without registering their blogs with the school admin. If that is true, it would be outrageous of the university to make such a ruling and if I were a student of NTU, I would most certainly refuse to abide by it. Only a fool would bother to register his blog with some institution.
    But this is all just a minor irritation and nobody needs to listen to the admin when they make stupid rulings of such a nature. Such rulings are never enforceable and the bad publicity it will attract if a school attempts to enforce it would most certainly deter enforcement. I don't think this is cause enough for emigration. Frankly, to me personally, I would rather visit every other country on earth for a holiday but I'd any time prefer to live in Singapore. Of course such preferences are always personal. Cheers!