I never knew blogging could make me bankrupt

"Why do you prefer to live in London?" I asked my Singapore ex-colleague who now lives and works in London.
"Because in London, I can do whatever."

I asked him exactly what he meant when I met him last month. He said that in London people were free to voice out their views, question the government policies and their effectiveness, new ideas and ways of thinking are welcome, and people are not ostracized at work for their beliefs, ideas and how their spend their personal time.

In Singapore, he has held leadership positions in government-linked companies. Whenever he had views that were different from the VIP's or raised potential issues with policies that the VIP's wished to implement he was promptly cut off. Furthermore, his colleagues would be afraid to be associated with him for his "radical" ideas.

From 1 June 2013, the Media Development Authority (MDA) of Singapore requires online news sites to be licensed if they:
"(i) report an average of at least one article per week on Singapore’s news and current affairs 1 over a period of two months, and
(ii) are visited by at least 50,000 unique IP addresses from Singapore each month over a period of two months.
"Online news sites are required to put up a performance bond like all other individually-licensed broadcasters, and the sum of $50,000 is consistent with that required of niche TV broadcasters. "
Reference: MDA website

I find this regulation unreasonably restrictive. We already have laws in place to punish people for defamation, racist and religiously inflammatory speech. And the government asks, "Where is the creativity?" Or are they encouraging it by forcing people to think of ways to protest or bypass this regulation? I doubt it.

This post of mine counts as 1 new and current affair article. If I write 8 posts about it today and not write anything else for the next 2 months, and my blog invites 50,000 unique IP addresses per month from Singapore to this article or other articles over the next 2 months, I'll have to shut down my blog! Because I can't afford to pay the $50,000 bond. And if I continue blogging without a licence, I could end up in jail or become bankrupt!

So for my sake, I beg you not forward my blog to anyone.


David said...


Since you asked, I will not forward your blog anywhere or to anyone.

The MDA reference is sort of vague in describing exactly what is a news site, presenter based or otherwise. I suspect it will not take long before this ends up in SG's court system.

Is there anything to prevent a SGbased blogger from hosting their blog at an offshore site in another nation?

Similar to radio and television broadcast that travel beyond national boundaries.

IP addresses are world wide, and as such unless SG communictation czar plans on a great wall of SG electronically speaking, hosting a blog in another nation could result in the law not applying.

Last comment, on one level this appears to be an attempt to create more income for the government.


Anonymous said...

This is the LEEches way of stopping people from telling the truth that they are crap!

Or it is the USA's NSA technique of stopping others telling the world that they are spying on everyone.