And as for - "I am certain that if this letter is published in The Straits Times, netizens and other cyber-terrorists will have a field day posting all kinds of nasty or defamatory remarks against me." I am not a cyber terrorist and my name is Steven McDermott aka soci, John Hicky and currently a research student in Scotland.
And the reason most bloggers attempt to remain anonymous is to protect themselves from defamation and sedition cases for speaking their mind - defending freedom of speech. Something I am sure you believe is readily available with the Straits Times regardless of what those annoying international independent organisations argue.
Regarding the Char case - I hope that the judge throws it out of court. The sedition act covers race and class and attacking, laughing at and offending a religion is a pillar of freedom of speech. Char was right to post the images and right to defend him or herself against the accuser. This time we have a religious 'jobs worth' arguing that he was 'offended'. Christianity and the iconography of Jesus Christ offends many, the persecution of non-believers, the Pope's refusal to endorse condoms in the fight against AIDS, christian fundamentalists in the US White House, the dangers and absurdities of organised religion 'offend me' but I sure will not be calling on the police force to endurse my belief system.
June 22, 2006S from nofearSingapore...
Bloggers should have the conviction to stand behind any statements they make and not hide under the cloak of anonymity
I refer to the report, 'Divided views over police checks on blogger' (The Sunday Times, June 18).
Personally, I have developed a great distaste and distrust of bloggers who post anonymously or use pseudonyms to disguise their identities. I can understand that sometimes anonymous postings are unavoidable. However, when postings on the Internet are seditious or have a tendency to deliberately wound the religious feelings of any person, the perpetrator of the posting should have the full weight of the law brought to bear on him or her.
It appears to be the norm for bloggers to hide under the cloak of anonymity or use pseudonyms to blame, insult and rant out against the Government or individuals believing that their postings can better the political process or current events concerning Singapore. Netizens have no legal or constitutional right to condemn the whistle blower who brought blogger Char's blasphemous posting of pictures of Jesus Christ on the Internet to the attention of the police. The conduct of netizens is similar to that of cyber terrorists since netizens have unashamedly condoned the seditious posting of Char, which could have sparked off strong reaction as did the caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad published in a Danish newspaper in February this year. Fortunately, Char's blasphemous and seditious posting happened in Singapore, a country of tolerance. I am certain that if this letter is published in The Straits Times, netizens and other cyber-terrorists will have a field day posting all kinds of nasty or defamatory remarks against me. They will do so anonymously or using pseudonyms. To these cyber-terrorists I say, 'Be brave and don't hide under the cloak of anonymity or use pseudonyms'.
They should have the conviction to stand behind any statements they make. If they do not have the confidence and passion to put their names beside their statements, I am sure that all right-thinking people cannot take them seriously. It appears to be the current trend for bloggers to hide under the cloak of anonymity to act irresponsibly by ranting and musing about current events. If their ratings and musings do not cross the line of fair comment, they are free to do as they please. However, for bloggers who choose to post seditious and inflammatory comments that could cause anarchy by damaging the fabric of religious and racial harmony; they should be dealt with vigorously under the law. Cases of this nature should not be dealt with by the Community Court where the punishment meted out could be probation and performing a number of hours doing community service. They deserve a more deterrent punishment. I hope that I do not sound 'sub-judice', but I hope that blogger Char receives his just deserts for his blasphemous and seditious posting.
Lionel De Souza