28 Oct 2005

Singapore bans gay website

It appears that the Media Development Authority is more than happy to practice the banning and fining of websites and web material without so much as a court order. What power from upon high has given the MDA the authority to decide what people can or cannot see? Surely this is yet a further undermining of freedom of expression in Singapore.

There are millions of websites that breach "the Internet Code of Practice, which governs the content of websites in Singapore." Here is another site openly available http://gay.date.com/gay-personals/singapore-singapore.htm. The MDA are applying this code of practice in an arbitrary manner without recourse to proper due process.

All it takes are "several complaints" from so called concerned yet highly misinformed homophobics claiming that the site will "entice young boys to join this lifestyle". The misinformed image of gay men preying on young boys paints an image that gay equals paedophile. An image that has been reinforced by The Straits Times article. This can only be viewed as an attack by the MDA on homosexuality and the continued drive by the government to ostracise the gay community from Singapore.

Some people may be 'offended' by homosexuality but simple offence should not entail banning and fining.

It further undermines the claim by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong "I don't think we are homophobic."

Yes you are, and you openly promote homophobia.

From The Age
October 28, 2005 - 11:01AM

Authorities in Singapore banned a gay website after receiving complaints about the promotion of promiscuous homosexual behaviour and recruitment of underage boys for sex and nude photography, news reports say.

A second website, titled "Meet Gay Singapore Friends", was warned by the Media Development Authority (MDA) to remove offensive content and fined 5000 Singapore dollars ($A3886), the Straits Times said.

Web users in Singapore could no longer access the banned site, which is hosted overseas, from their home computers, the MDA said. It was put on a list of 100 banned websites, including 98 containing pornographic materials and two promoting religious extremism.

Spokesman Kwan Sui Fen said the MDA took action after receiving "several complaints".

Investigations showed the two sites breached the Internet Code of Practice, which governs the content of websites in Singapore.

The banned overseas site also provided listings of public swimming pools without shower doors and pickup places for casual sex, information about mass orgies and explicit personal advertisements recruiting underage boys for sex or nude photography, the report said.

"The way the sites glamorise a promiscuous gay lifestyle and try to entice young boys to join this lifestyle ... is very wrong," the newspaper quoted Ricky Lee, a 33-year-old software programmer and one of the complainants, as saying.

The banned site's registered members grew from 60,000 last year, when Lee stumbled upon it, to more than 330,000 this year.

The MDA has referred the banned website to police, but lawyers noted that trying to make the operator take the website down could be tough since it is run from abroad.

An annual gay and lesbian beach party, which drew international revellers to Singapore's Sentosa Island for four years, was banned by police in August, forcing it to move to the Thai resort of Phuket in November.

Police declared the event "contrary to public interest" in an apparent departure from the gradual acceptance of gays and lesbians into the social mainstream in recent years.


pleinelune said...

I am bisexual, proud of it, and passionate about gay rights. Banning a gay website just because it is gay is not acceptable to me, but IF the said website really promotes paedophilia, child porn etc, then even I cannot condone the existence of such a website, straight or gay.

But then again, I am not in full possession of the facts of this incident, and it might just an over-reaction on the part of the homophobic public.

Personally, I am surprised the gay website Fridae has not been banned yet.

Think Singaporean said...

Chinatown in Sg has become like another Geylang area. Many massage parlours are opened and many of the masseuse are those who came here from China on the pretext of tourists. Some also hang around overhead bridges. They not only provide massage services but also provide sex. All these are shown over TV-Channel U. I truly hope that the Sg govt will be more stringent with these group of people as they might be AIDS carriers too.

Concerned citizen

pleinelune said...

If you are talking about gay men, you are barking up the wrong tree. Majority of HIV carriers are straight men. And whom do they get it from? Certainly not from their girlfriends/wives, most of the time, but instead in the whorehouses of Batam, Thailand and various such destinations. Why are you calling for stringent measures on gay people when you can't even control straight men?

Think Singaporean said...

i'm referring to be stringent to those masseuse who came here on the pretext of tourists and work in the massage parlours and as "pros" hanging around at the overhead bridges in Chinatown and geylang areas. They usually attack those Singaporean men. So, if these men got HIV from these Chinese women, obviously will spread the HIV to their spouses. So, hopefully the sg govt will look into this issue asap before it is too late!

concern singaporean

Think Singaporean said...

these chinese women even said they prefer the old singaporean men, especially those above the age of 55 because they'll have alot of CPF savings and also at such an old age, they could also feel bored. these "predators", I think, are straight men.

concern Singaporean

clyde said...

Think Singaporean, while I do not condone the illegal sex trade, nor am I confident in your assumption or implication that most illegal sex workers in Singapore come here out of their own will and carry AIDS, I think discussing the demographics of AIDS carriers is irrelevant whether they are gay, bi, straight, foreign or local. The same can equally be said about casual sex in any demographic. It really boils down to why the man was not using a condom in the first place...

Think Singaporean said...

Thanks Clyde for your comments.

Yes, I do agree with you. But in this particular instance I mentioned, since there is an evidence that there is an illegal sex trade going on in Chinatown now, and also for the benefit of all parties, I truly hope that the Sg relevant ministry would track down on this and stop the spread of illegal sex trade-cum-AIDS spread. At the same time, this could also be able to prevent more and unnecessary abortions that would lead to more and unnecessary killings.

My emphasis is "Prevention is better than cure".

Think Singaporean said...

Well, I personally feel that to contract AIDS is a gentle way of receiving a death penalty but slow and difficult process of dying - it's a torture and humiliating to the carrier as well as to the family members.

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