14 Mar 2005

Recent Email Discussion

Dear Steven
I am intrigued by the subjects you constantly tackle in your blog: basically, politics, and disputing selected government policies. It makes for very good reading, and frankly, resonates with a kind of dissent I wished I had the courage to imitate.

I'm very curious, and was hoping you could indulge me as a fellow blogger: has your writing ever gotten you any undesirable attention or harrassment from our government? It would be nice to hear from someone who doesn't seem the least bit worried about putting his real name and identity behind his voice.

Hi @@

and thanks for the encouragement. I began the blog while living in Singapore and while there used the name John Hicky. I was a little concerned about how my employer would react as opposed to the reactions of a government agency. Therefore I very rarely wrote about my work and still don't actually refer to the actual name, and still have no plans to do so. The name has however appeared when students of mine have referred to it on the tagboard.

I moved to the UK in September 2004 and I still hadn't revealed my true identity. After living in the UK for a few weeks I kinda re-assimilated to the UK environment. I then realised that I was no longer in Singapore and a kinda, "whatever" attitude fell on me.

I express my opinion sometimes, mostly link to or post articles from other sources. I think I should be able to personally stand next to my opinions and claim them as my own, defend them, alter them... But stand up and take the criticism.

In Singapore this was a rather frightening thought, less frightening in the UK, I am no longer concerned that my opinions will somehow jeopardise my employability or career. People go to university and get degrees and postgraduate degrees, but sometimes they get opinions and ideas. I think that when educated people are supposed to sit passively and follow orders unquestioningly, it defeats the point of going to university in the first place.

As for unwanted attention from the Sg government, I find that the government doesn't need to get involved, because there are many Singaporeans willing to do it for them. The PAP wannabes. The blog was hacked once, I think. I say I think because I am not geeky enough to work out if it was. It happened while I was in Singapore and for some reason the address was somehow redirected to a "We Love Jesus" site.

The central issue is am I afraid of receiving a knock on my door from the ISA. Well I am currently not residing in Singapore, although I do have plans of returning to Sg sometime this year. That might be fun. I have never been arrested in my life. And the thought that I might be, refused entry to Singapore, sued, or arrested for having an opinion... Well that would be a sad day.

So if you don't mind me asking, what stops you from revealing all?

Take care and keep your head down..


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