The Online Citizen

BREAKING NEWS: PM wants TOC gazetted as Political Association

January 11
07:53 2011

The Prime Minister of Singapore has revealed his intentions to declare The Online Citizen as a political association.

According to an email sent to TOC at 5pm yesterday evening by the Prime Minister’s office, the Prime Minister  ”intends to declare the owners, editorial team, and administrators of The Online Citizen, by order in the Gazette, to be a political association for the purposes of the Political Donations Act. The owners, editorial team, and administrators of The Online Citizen have been determined to be an organization whose objects or activities relate wholly or mainly to politics in Singapore.”

This means that TOC is barred from receiving funds from foreign donors and letting foreigners take part in its events.

TOC has 14 days to reveal the identities of its owners, editorial team and administrators. TOC is also required to designate a President, Treasurer and Secretary of the association, and they will be responsible for the preparation and accuracy of the donations reports for The Online Citizen.

The last group to be gazetted is human rights advocacy NGO Maruah in November last year. Maruah is the fourth group -after the Open Singapore Centre, the Think Centre and Singaporeans For Democracy – to be gazetted as a political association.

If TOC complies, it will be the fifth. It will also be the first time bloggers are considered a political association.

  • Bernard CHAN

    You must be joking!

    Then what about the Toilet Association?

    What about those old ladies selling tissue papers in MTR stations?

    What about the coffee shop ah pehs gossip?

  • Bernard CHAN

    You must be joking!

    Then what about the Toilet Association?

    What about those old ladies selling tissue papers in MTR stations?

    What about the coffee shop ah pehs gossip?

  • Bernard CHAN

    Anyone speaking their mind is considered political.

    I think the stray dogs will also need to register themselves as a “Stray Dogs Party”.

    Why place all these restrictions on Singaporeans? Why?

    Enough is enough. True-blue Singaporeans should just pack up to migrate.

    It’s easy, I just did a plan for a Singaporean lady but she turned it down for some personal reason. Just enrol a 1 year course certifiacte course in Canada and then work 1 more year and you will have enough points to applty for PR after 2 years.

    Write me and I freely will give you the idea.

    Bernard CHAN BSc,MSc DIC
    9090-51 Ave.
    Edmonton, AB Canada T6E 5X4

    Ops! I forgot I need to register as a political party before I can help.

    OK let my party be “Running Dogs Political Party”….RDPP.

  • Bernard CHAN

    Anyone speaking their mind is considered political.

    I think the stray dogs will also need to register themselves as a “Stray Dogs Party”.

    Why place all these restrictions on Singaporeans? Why?

    Enough is enough. True-blue Singaporeans should just pack up to migrate.

    It’s easy, I just did a plan for a Singaporean lady but she turned it down for some personal reason. Just enrol a 1 year course certifiacte course in Canada and then work 1 more year and you will have enough points to applty for PR after 2 years.

    Write me and I freely will give you the idea.

    Bernard CHAN BSc,MSc DIC
    9090-51 Ave.
    Edmonton, AB Canada T6E 5X4

    Ops! I forgot I need to register as a political party before I can help.

    OK let my party be “Running Dogs Political Party”….RDPP.

  • Joe

    this is funny

  • Joe

    this is funny

  • F-off

    MR BUsybody PM LEe….

    IT seems to me that someone of your multi million salary with your other 2 other senior grandfather minister REALLY Got nothing BETTER to DO than to tell others how to run their business

  • F-off

    MR BUsybody PM LEe….

    IT seems to me that someone of your multi million salary with your other 2 other senior grandfather minister REALLY Got nothing BETTER to DO than to tell others how to run their business

  • Kevin

    As a avid reader and follower of TOC, I say “F*ck that shit”.

    Enough of this controlling of media.

    Get one of your readers who reside outside of Singapore to re-register the domains and move it’s operations out of Singapore.

    Make sure there are sufficient mirrors create so they do not end up blocking the site.

    Then it operates just like any other site outside of Singapore and will not be held against such silly rules.

  • Kevin

    As a avid reader and follower of TOC, I say “F*ck that shit”.

    Enough of this controlling of media.

    Get one of your readers who reside outside of Singapore to re-register the domains and move it’s operations out of Singapore.

    Make sure there are sufficient mirrors create so they do not end up blocking the site.

    Then it operates just like any other site outside of Singapore and will not be held against such silly rules.

  • Dead Poet

    What a cheap shot. This just shows to what level they will stoop to stay in power. Once its was the ISA, then it was defemation suits and gerrymandering now abuse of the Political Donations Act. Ask yourself as a citizen, do you have any respect for such people. Ask yourself, other than their diamond ricebowl what are they doing this for. For you and me…if you think so, you must be forgiven for being a total idiot.

  • Dead Poet

    What a cheap shot. This just shows to what level they will stoop to stay in power. Once its was the ISA, then it was defemation suits and gerrymandering now abuse of the Political Donations Act. Ask yourself as a citizen, do you have any respect for such people. Ask yourself, other than their diamond ricebowl what are they doing this for. For you and me…if you think so, you must be forgiven for being a total idiot.

  • trublu

    If true, this are indeed sad times for us. I hope TOC will make the right decisions to deal with this. Good Luck.

  • trublu

    If true, this are indeed sad times for us. I hope TOC will make the right decisions to deal with this. Good Luck.

  • http://mhisham.org Mohd Hisham

    So, the writings of the TOC do matter.

    I personally feel it is a step in the right direction, to be recognised & aboveboard.

    As a blogger though, I wonder if that meant no displaying of Google ads (please allow me to display this part of my ignorance)

    regards,
    Mohd Hisham

  • http://mhisham.org Mohd Hisham

    So, the writings of the TOC do matter.

    I personally feel it is a step in the right direction, to be recognised & aboveboard.

    As a blogger though, I wonder if that meant no displaying of Google ads (please allow me to display this part of my ignorance)

    regards,
    Mohd Hisham

  • democracy

    Wow, he decides, thats is all?
    No voting?

  • democracy

    Wow, he decides, thats is all?
    No voting?

  • Yamasam

    First, is TOC a registered legal entity with ACRA or Registry of Societies ?

    If not, can TOC be gazetted as a political association ? Can a website with no legal existence be dealt with in this way ?

    Second, and more importantly, the intend is to stop TOC and its readers from reporting/commenting on the coming election as reflected by the statement :

    “It is also not allowed to use its funds, premises and new media platforms in any election here”.

    Looks like the muzzling of online media before the GE has begun and TOC is probably the first of many to be gazetted as political association. Others, such as TR, Lucky Tan, Tan Kin Lian, Sgpolitics, Gerald Giam, among others may follow suit.

  • Yamasam

    First, is TOC a registered legal entity with ACRA or Registry of Societies ?

    If not, can TOC be gazetted as a political association ? Can a website with no legal existence be dealt with in this way ?

    Second, and more importantly, the intend is to stop TOC and its readers from reporting/commenting on the coming election as reflected by the statement :

    “It is also not allowed to use its funds, premises and new media platforms in any election here”.

    Looks like the muzzling of online media before the GE has begun and TOC is probably the first of many to be gazetted as political association. Others, such as TR, Lucky Tan, Tan Kin Lian, Sgpolitics, Gerald Giam, among others may follow suit.

  • Su Kam Song

    What happens if TOC becomes a political association?

    What interesting surprises may come its way?

    What is it that have to incur our PM to spend time on this when he needs time to Fix national issues?

  • Tse Yong

    What liberal society did he promise? We have a pussy cat for PM.

  • cho bo lang

    Funny very funny beware something must be wrong better don play play

  • Alan Wong

    WTF is he doing ?

    That’s the last straw that I will ever vote for PAP.

  • Sam

    The solution is quite simple. TOC should just open up a lifestyle and sports desk–that’ll get you round the charge of being an “an organization whose objects or activities relate wholly or mainly to politics in Singapore.”

    It’s not like those articles don’t already exist–just a matter of rebranding and marketing.

  • jack

    Someone can’t take the heat from the different views.
    He should also gazette SPH as one too
    if he is fair

  • Richard

    WALAO!!!

    But this shows he is afraid of TOC, heheheh!

  • TrueBlood Singaporean

    TOC is a voice going to be silent!

    Gazette every Organisations that doesn’t receive fund from gov as illegal.

  • syn

    Any idiot knows that the gazette is an easy tool to control and restrict dissenting views.

  • joker

    TOC this shows that the pigs are really worried about the influence that your website has on the Singapore netizens espeically when the GE is just round the corner.

    What about adding a red lightning symbol in TOC logo? The pigs may think that it is their website and allow you to do anything as you wish and nobody will dare to touch you from then on.

  • cat

    they squeeze you dry…
    wake up sinkapore!

  • Richard

    While at it, the PM should also declare Sammyboy forum as a Sex Association!

  • Spore sucks

    Singapore under LHL is indeed moving backward than forward. A sad country we are in.

  • Navin Reddy

    when will there be a big holiday?
    How long have to wait?

  • bodoh

    admin,
    would u contest the assertion that “The owners, editorial team, and administrators of The Online Citizen have been determined to be an organization whose objects or activities relate wholly or mainly to politics in Singapore.” ?

    who funds u anyway ?
    anti-death penalty group ?
    animal rights group ?
    LGBT activists ?
    drug lords for protection of minor trafficker association ?

  • SAD

    SAD !!

  • Legion

    That is the hallmark of a politcal coward.

  • http://Website(optional) Marco Polo

    Erm…. this is no big deal right? TOC is doing nothing wrong and has nothing to fear.

    If TOC is NOT concentrating on activities related to politics then it wouldnt be so popular in the first place.

    Refusing this will just make the PAP say that TOC has something to hide.

  • ayoungcitizen

    This is really unsurprising. Haha. What else would they do really. Keeping TOC viewable to Singaporeans was inevitable as the world’s democracy and human rights watchdogs have had their eyes on this country for a while. Block this site and we are no better than China. But of course gazetting is a ‘completely’ different approach. Basically any group of people who have some dissenting views on politics here is PROHIBITED from from influencing the masses. Smells strangely similar to me. :p What’s next? Asking taxi drivers complaining about the government in kopitiams to be gazetted as well. Haha.

  • You can’t Catch what you can’t see

    I think the people behind Temasek Review were smart to remain anonymous.

  • Steve Wu

    Instead of addressing the shortcomings of his administration, Lee Hsien Loong has chosen to “fix” the voices who cared enough to tell him where he had gone wrong.

    His action culminates the long string of “own goals” and he will certainly pay a high political price for it.

  • SIBEI LAN JIAO

    This is the first step into shutting TOC down. The PM office knows that TOC will not likely comply with this letter, which will be an excuse to prosecute the team and website.

    To our PM: if you can’t stand the heat, please get out. But don’t fight like a coward using these tricks. Your name is not ‘Dirty Harry’.

  • prettyplace

    The way to go might be, if possible,
    bring the case to court.
    Delay the process till the GE is over.
    Then we shall see if Lee remains in power.

    Well, good move by Lee, shows how worried his team is about the internet & TOC.

    1)Please, write up an article to show how much TOC has to suffer due to this move.
    2)Please let the people know, what excately Lee wants you to be.

    3)How liable TOC can be, if there is any mistakes in an article.

    All this will show the world, what sort of games the PAP is playing to stay in power. Now nobody can question TR’s motive on staying, anonymous.

  • Disappointed

    Outrageous. This shows that the ruling party till today still cannot deal with different views and opinions. They obviously have no idea how to deal with new media and reverting to its old draconian methods of regulatory suppression instead of engaging these alternative views shows that they are conceited in their own views and afraid of open debate.

    The way they are dealing with TOC is disappointing.

  • Bugbear

    So far for feedback from the people!

    I think it’s clear Information must still be curtailed!

    But having said that… election time is near! Don’t think there will be much changes though.

  • Phillip

    Does it means TOC can now run in election as a political entity?

    TOC for president….

  • Steve Wu

    I am just curious.

    Since when does the PMO issue an official order through email?

    Why is the PMO involved when it is clearly the business of the Registry of Societies under the Ministry for Home Affairs?

  • potatoehead

    WTF…. How come the MOST political website (TR) never kenna?

  • Amran

    I actually do not want to post any comment on the TOC site anymore as most of my comments are not good enough for them but I can’t keep quiet seeing another group of people being treated this way.

    So what are your plans TOC? Really hope you guys will not go to that path. Might as well close down TOC and come out with a new one. Can I recommend TTMHPM – Talk To My Hand PM :)

  • http://www.yawningbread.org/arch_2001/yax-244.htm Observer

    The old Sintercom suffered a similar fate and it shut down as the owner did not want the pressure. So the government might be trying its luck and hope TOC shuts down? The PAP must be really clutching at straws as the GE looms.

    However, this threat to gazette TOC as a political association can be seen as a badge of credibility instead and a recognition that TOC has come a long way. A political jujitsu where the opponent’s weight and throw is used against him. So let them label TOC such, it only elevates TOC.

  • dxfhgh

    It will be naive of TOC to think that people can debate with PAPies on gentlemanly basis. Their trackrecord speaks for itself. TR is right to remain ephemeral and anonymous. When PAPies started talking about the role of blogs & new media for the upcoming GE, I already knew that they will be clamping down, despite whatever appearance of being open.

  • Mad Chew

    Singaporeans are stupid enough to let them get away again & again.

  • http://tigertang.multiply.com Tang Li

    As they say, we live in interesting times. I say, we can play by the rules they set for us and we can still come out ahead of the game.

  • VoteForChange

    S’poreans should come together by discarding all their perceived intimidations and apathy to address this very grave issue affecting every true blue S’porean.Over decades of gerrymandering,underhand tactics and scheming have made S’poreans lost their directions and apathy towards their futures which will be very gloomy if nothing is done to correct the evilness perpetuated by the Famineleeches.We have been taken for granted for too long by the govt and the damages are too great to surmount but with cohesion in heart and thought and with the grace of “HEAVEN” everything will be righted.

  • Chinese Reader

    Now you know why Temasek Holding is trying to lure the owners/eitors of TR into the open. The main objective of the PAP is to gag TR during the GE. This is in addition to the Cooling-Off day introduced for the coming GE.

  • PAP?

    PMO has to justify the salaries mah.

    Or else how else can they claim to have earned the money?

    Need to do some work, send some letters.

  • Observer

    Tang Li

    “As they say, we live in interesting times. I say, we can play by the rules they set for us and we can still come out ahead of the game.”

    Exactly. The attention on TOC means that TOC is doing something right in this case, and raises TOC credibility even more.

    TOC is already open and responsible in its work so far compared to other sites so this label would not affect TOC much, unless TOC intends to get foreign donations and would thus be constrained.

  • http://www.xenobiologista.com Xenobio

    Civil activism and journalism are NOT THE SAME as politics. They touch on politics obviously, but an activist is not automatically a politician, and certainly a journalist should not be a politician. If your PM can’t tell the difference, so much for Singaporeans’ purportedly good English and education. (<-I'm kidding, I assume the average reader here is smarter than that.)

  • Hades

    What’s wrong with being called a ‘political association’?

    TOC organises political fora, publishes articles almost exclusively on political issues (please, those ridiculous ‘articles’ by ‘sexologist’ don’t count), and is obviously a non-PAP group, so what is the problem with being called a political organisation? Yes I know, so does the Straits Times, but come on. Are you expecting the Ignorant Son to classify ST as a political organisation?

    It simply means you can’t get anonymous funding for more than 5k, which shouldn’t be a problem since TOC is run by volunteers anyway. Why doesn’t TOC align with a few political parties and serve as their mouthpiece, since it is going to be classified as a political organisation? I am sure with TOC’s expertise and manpower they could really make an impact for those parties.

    TR cannot be made a political organisation because no one knows who runs it. It is hosted from outside Singapore by a group of people who will remain anonymous.

  • Lionheart

    I thought that being gazetted as a political organisation means that you can now take part in the national elections by sending candidates to contest in them. Do take advantage of your new found status.

  • David

    It is obvious that LHL has no gut to take on the new media. Censoring every form of the new media is like depriving Potong Pasir and HG of the need for lift upgrading. Silencing their critics is one of the money broken promises during ND rally that he wanted Singapore to be open society. On one hand he allowed globalisation to squeeze out Singaporeans, on the other hand PAP is protecting their own rice bowl by pushing away internet “globalisation”. This ungentlemently tactic irked many people inside and outside the political arena.

  • cocomut

    PAP is trying to cut off funding of TOC.

    Using the same principle, SPH should also be gazetted as a political association.

  • David

    Last but not least, we witnessed the pre elections whims and fancies of PAP, at work again, to do what they wanted.

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  • Wilson

    Lol!

    Is the PM so free that he have to be such busy body poking his nose in every single issue?

    Don’t we have like rising food cost to content with?

    Lee Hsien Loong, wake up and do your job properly!

  • sgcynic

    Since Mr Leong Sze Hian writes many articles questioning government policies and articles, does it mean Lee Hsien Loong is going to classify Mr Leong as a politician?

  • angry_one

    Isn’t the onus on an organization to decide what it wants to be? This is most baffling and comedic. A government telling a group of people it is now so-and-so, and demanding they comply to new rules.

  • ahkong

    Looks like from now on any organisation, group etc can be deemed to be a political association in order PAP can apply the ISA etc … to curb or control it. PAP is afraid of losing liao. Opposition works harder your opportunity is in the next election.

  • wikigam

    Hi,

    1)PAP may need to think toward positive on TOC and MARUAH who given alternative voice on our nation developing need.

    2)Mangement well on local born lntelligence group may benefit us in the long term. singapore for singaporean

  • Brendan

    Welcome to 2011, the year of the dark ages !

  • Dead Poet

    This is a coordinated effort to muzzle freedom of speech and expression. Systematically all the voices have been marginalized one by one. The Wikileaks looks like a well planned drama. I was surprised at the united calls by so many MPs to tighten the official secrets act. This well-frogs seem to be oblivious the development in other democracies of freedom of information act (FOI) which serves to bring about accountability and transparency in governance. Here it’s the other way around. The politicians are so well protected from the public that they can do anything without being found out or exposed.

  • Angry Sg

    If MPs are urged to tighten official secrets, TOC also has the rights to tighten their secret and not disclose them. Or will there be double-standard in their talks and actions and selectively decided who to keep quiet and who to be opened? I cannot stand PAP rules, it has no logic no fairness. I am feared they might have too many shameful secrets to hide and afraid TOC will momentarily exposed them. So better nipped the buds before it flourish. No wonder Singapore has never flourished except superficial make-up story of our success.

  • kf

    If this gazette gets through, we will go down in history as the first (maybe even last) country in the world to classify bloggers as a political association.
    First of all, this looks to me as an attempt to do the impossible. It’s common knowledge that websites and blogsites can be put up and taken down in days, so putting a gazette over this site with a reason that the emphasis is political is going to open up a huge portfolio to gazette all other sites ??
    Secondly, the reason to bring about this classification pales in comparison to the high administrative costs of having a PMO to raise it. Shouldn’t the PMO be engaged in more value added activities to the Singaporean community, for all it’s high-salary setup ? Without a better reason, policy makes run the risk of being perceived as using a heavy than usual touch for political controls.

  • Shut down TR

    How come TR still allow to operate?

  • Juanz

    Because elections coming..they want you to observe cooling day too.
    Write back and protest this,since Straits Times is not a political association too, so why should you?
    if not, you can close down TOC and start The New Online Citizen ;)

  • olddie

    PAP is more stupid than the junta.

  • Transparency

    TOC now can show Singaporean they got nothing to hide. TOC demand PAP to be open, so they must be open too about themself and their paymaster

  • http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=153492722129 alex tan

    cut the donation drive, and set aside a sales section in a corner by selling .pdf books, e.g. Leong Sze Hian’s online book or a compilation of a few of the best articles featured in TOC. in this way, it is run as a profitable online start-up with zero start-up capital which doesn’t subject it to ACRA’s registration.

  • Kaomangai

    I remembered sometime back they also wanted to do the same to Talkingcock.com. Then the PAP realized that if they did that, they will look more cock then talking cock. So I think somebody woke up and did not carry that through.

    I think now with this TOC thingee, PM will definitely get voted as the Chief Cock.

  • http://wonderpeace77.blogspot.com georgia tong

    Our PM is gutless. I hope TOC will stand up to him.

  • kakowi

    It is a disappointment that PM lee has decided to behave in this manner.

  • sturmtruppen

    Real leaders deal with real problems affecting the people they are suppose to “lead”…and when these problems are resolved…their reward is as usual more real problems…no matter how tough or how difficult are the problems…Real leaders “hang tough” all the way with their people!

    Anything else…is not real leadership. And shows the real true factual character and value system of such “leaders”.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WD-jTZdypPE

  • kakowi

    No doubt the current PAP deals with real problems. The question is precisely what are these real problems they are confronting? And are their solutions well thought through?

    The dichotomy between the current PAP’s solution and the actual results of their solution cannot be voiced unless they allow the emergence of free and unconstrainted views.

    Will gazetting TOC as a political association results in restraints? If so, how will the PM Lee ever get to hear the views of the citizens on his policies?

  • Chanel

    PM Lee,

    Are you going to gazatte all blogs as political association next???

  • autolycus

    Haha, they should gazette http://www.kiasuparents.com/ as well, since that website is all about local education, and education is manifestly a political issue, especially in an election year.

  • LIONS ROAR

    hahaha,can our poor and our middli-class-turn-poor receive donations from foreigners the way our govt donates to foreigners?

    so,must all the POOR FORCED -OUT- OF- JOBS SINKIES register themselves as a POLITICAL ASSOCIATION?

    Our gvot seems to have no ideas when it comes to SAFE-KEEPING our jobs and livelihoods and on how to alleviate the multi-problems of our poor citizens like that elderly limping scavenger.
    but,our govt are full of ideas when it comes to HELPING FOREIGNERS and destroying our simple livelihoods.

    now,they EVEN want to stop us from AIRING OUR SINCERE FEEDBACK on TOC?

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  • gabriel

    vote out this clown.

  • Goondoo

    I don’t know how TOC is financed, but hopefully we can overcome it by encouraging Sg’reans only to donate to TOC to keep it running.

    What is more sinister is: “It is also not allowed to use its funds, premises and new media platforms in any election here, including the sponsoring of any candidate or member.”

    I have not seen the Political Donations ACt, but knowing how our govt drafts sensitive legislation, this is probably a more ONEROUS condition – since determinations of this nature are usually in the absolute discretion of the Executive, and they will outst the jurisdiction of the Courts to review this. Which could (if i’m right), mean that if PM feels TOC in its articles ‘use its platform.. in any elections’.. which could even mean reporting on what Opposition parties are saying for instance.. TOC would be in breach of the PD Act. Again.. i could be speculating here.

    This move to gazette TOC just shows the level of desperation of the powers that be.. and the fear they have of the new media. Its also a means of applying psychological pressure on TOC.

    Everywhere u go, u hear of the govt facing disgruntled Sg’reans on so many fronts… n they are NOT taking any chances.

    Elections around the corner people… do the RIGHT THING.

  • Peter Sellers

    Shocking.

    Singapore is moving more and more towards a fascist state reminiscent of 1930s Germany.

    In its desperation and bankrupt of new ideas, the PAP has decided to use the only ammunition it has, its deep war chest. By cutting off funding to independent non-aligned groups, it hopes to perpetuate its rule forever.

    Shooting the messenger will not change the message. Singaporeans, speak up at the polls. You HAVE the power.

  • Predictable

    The prediction by netizens in 2006 was accurate. Need we say more…

    read here:
    http://singabloodypore.wordpress.com/2006/05/31/govt-promises-review-of-new-media-lighter-touch-in-next-ge/

    or Singabloodypore blog

  • FPC

    WHICH political party is TOC afilitated to?

    tell lhl to do some proper work instead of telling others to stop producing good stuff like toc does.

  • http://Website(optional) Apollo

    So much for the “light touch”. This gazette plan means they take TOC seriously. Whether it is good or bad news, I think more good than bad for TOC’s image.

  • Civil Servant

    To those who think that the PAP people are angels, I hope this is a wake-up call. The rot within has long begun.

  • Can Meh?

    Bullies are cowards at the core.

  • http://Website(optional) Apollo

    @Chanel
    - They would gazette only the blogs that matter e.g. TR is not gazetted as it is just trash.

    @Goondoo
    - Not only desperation from the powers that be, but insecurity as well in the way they treat TOC. In a perverse way, the gazetting can be reclaimed by TOC as a badge of power and recognition. If TOC sticks to what it is doing now, the gazetting is a powerless tool to control TOC.

  • Sharpe

    You guys threaten their hegemony, so they throw the book at you lor, it’s like the brute in school who tells the boy who decides to stand up for himself, “dun u dare f.. with me!” or else..

  • popcorn

    When the Grand Master of taichi could not be used to settle a problem, PAP resorts to the Law.
    Hurray to Temasek Review, all the people behind TR are anoynomous, and sweetest of all, all of them based overseas.

  • confuse

    Not very clear from the article, other than foreign donations, it doesn’t look like it will impact TOC’s fundamental work a lot? I mean, TOC doesn’t hide the identities of its writers afterall.

  • btan

    This is what happened what you brazenly support opposition and still show your identity. Now they will target each and every one of your editors like they did back in the 60s of the independent newspaper outfit.

    You should have been more subtle like Temasek Review where the authority cannot touch them for now.

    I suggest TOC disband and reform as a more secretive outfit or even consider joining with Temasek Review, the last bastion of freedom of information in Singapore.

    It is dark day indeed, but the news is expected from years ago when we warned you to be careful of the authorities.

    Yet another dirty trick by PAP.

  • taxes

    @kf: costs (money) is never a problem for the ruling party coz everything is/will be funded by taxpayers via all kinds of taxes.

  • http://Website(optional) trtoc

    why isn’t TR gazetted as well? TR is worse IMO

  • Geekyprince

    It was expected. Actually, the moment PAP refuses to join Face-to-Face, it was actually the plan itself. By not involving themselves with the F2F, only Oppositions would end up meeting and when that happens, it gives PAP the power to cheap shot their way through just as they are doing now.

    If PAP attended the F2F, then they cannot claim the TOC as a Political association. Which is the precise and clear reason why they chose to keep quiet and not turn up!

  • http://Website(optional) Jasmine

    Could this be because of the Alan Shadrake case? Is PM punishing TOC?

  • Soojenn

    This is not surprising if the elections is looming in sight and is probably a desparate effort by the incumbents to deprive the opposition exposure which the TOC can provide, now that its readership has increased, and will be useful during the elections.

    On hindsight, TR, the other socia-political site was smart to keep it ownership, editorial board, etc.. anonomyous, even though there were many hecklers, back then, and even the incumbents themselves professing that people who blog anonymously are not “credible” and should be identifiable. Well this is the result of playing to their rules, be out in the open, being identifiable, where the incumbents are resorting to using this, to censor and deprive TOC of potential funds, by gazetting TOC as a political organisation?

    I believe that TOC’s major objective is to provide news which is not covered by the pathetic local media, or even in cases, with major distortion, and as an online media. After having read quite a few of the articles posted on TOC, which are not consisting only of political commentaries, articles, but is also inclusive of other stories, social issues. It is therefore interesting to note that the PMO is now classifying TOC as a political organisation.

    TOC should ask for clarifications from the PMO:

    1. the reason, criteria for classifying them as a political organisation
    2. what is the definition of a political organisation in Singapore, and under which of these definition has TOC been classified as, that is, which rule, which clause?
    3. who is the body that has the authority to issue such a notice to TOC? the PMO office?
    4. is email an official form of notification by the authorities? Anyone can use the email address of the PMO office to send an email, without being from the PMO office, and this is one of the reason why emails are not considered official or an acceptable or official form of notification in most businesses, if there are no signature to the notice or letter, especially if this is involving serious issues, which I believe this case is.

    It also reflects how afraid the incumbents are, that TOC can be a useful online media providing raw information (that is, no cover ups) for its readers especially providing insights from the opposition parties which the local media mostly obliterates or presents the story in a distorted and incomplete form.

    One possibility is to disband and set up a new group like the TR anonymously, and outside of the Singapore jurisdiction?

  • Xan

    Ridiculous! PM office is wasting of time n tax payers $.

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  • Singaporean

    They’re obviously doing this in time for the GE. Tightening the noose around TOC so that one wrong move on Cooling Day, it’ll give them a chance to take out TOC.

  • lakey

    What do you expect from these PAP cowards…..its almost laughable how paranoia these idiots get

  • Nothing better to do

    Instead of addressing the high cost of living which is causing hardship to a wide section of Singaporeans, he choose to involve himself in such small stuff. Why is it that everyone choose to move the piano stool when it is the piano that needs moving?

  • Skywalker

    Lee Hsien Loong, like father like son , both are = COWARDS

  • sunny

    what happens if TOC doesn’t comply?

  • PM Lee-ch

    Looks like the loser of a PM is out trying to fix alternative voices than to solve the pressing problems that Singapore faces. Pathetic man from pathetic family.

  • Shinn Ng

    IF a march or a mini-protest is organised, I will definitely attend. TOC, please do not accept their proposal. FIGHT ON! Rally the Opposition Parties who will come to TOC’s cause. This cannot be allowed to happen. Regular readers of TOC and may I say TR as well, please rally behind the TOC team at this time. General Election is just around the corner, and the PAP is damn scare. We just have to hang on till then. FIGHT ON TOC! Do not give up!

  • paul

    was to be expected, you get what you deserve when the majority of the population is more interested in any electronic gadget than in freedom of speech

  • http://thinkingbetterthinkingmeta.blogspot.com sam

    it’s a sign of respect and recognition, but a way to bring prominent sites under control and subject them to the subjective rules of the state.

    either that, or election is coming really soon. forever akan datang.

    to bring under control websites like TOC, doesn’t necessarily hide the shortcomings of a state that is deficient in citizenry engagement, let alone new media engagement and e-governance.

  • Akau

    To quote Aung San Suu Kyi…”It is not power that corrupts, but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it.”

  • kelvinli1974

    To be fair. TOC is a political website. What’s wrong with being classified properly. At least people know your intentions. No restriction whatsoever apart from foreign funds. Unless TOC says they are not political and survive on foreign funds. So quit complaining and keep doing what you are good at. Write more articles!

  • saiber

    I just went through the Political Donations Act and the Societies’ Act (the only two acts which mention political associations) and neither one says anything about what a political association can do in an election.

    “This means that TOC is barred from receiving funds from foreign donors, letting foreigners take part in its events and operating as a political party.

    It is also not allowed to use its funds, premises and new media platforms in any election here, including the sponsoring of any candidate or member.”

    The foreign donors part is correct. I cannot for the life of me figure out where you got the rest of it.

    Anybody can enlighten me?

    You are the ones being gazetted, surely you’ve checked properly to see what it means right?

  • doctorwho

    Pretty useless for a PM of a country?nation?city to resort to all these tricks. He is forever hiding between his father skirt.

  • http://www.google.com tencents

    In my personal opinion, an eye for an eye, since the PAP see TOC as political association, why not we really rally around TOC and form the The Citizen Party – let’s associate and whack the hell out of the wimpy PAP in the next election and get netizens’ voice out in Parliament. At least TOC gets the decorum and are on off better than TR – I say.

  • http://google.com tencents

    GO THE CITIZEN PARTY!

  • eric

    TOC, what do u plan to do? I hope u won’t shut down and quit the good work u have done here. After u register, can u still write on politics? Before u register, u can still be sued for defamation if MIW wants your blood?

  • http://yahoo.com pamelot

    The ELD issued a statement:

    The Registry added that TOC is “entirely free to continue with its normal, lawful operations and to receive financial support from Singaporeans and Singapore-controlled companies”.

    The Media Development Authority (MDA) has also written to TOC, asking it to register its website in 14 days.

    It said the registration is to “emphasise to Internet Content Providers to be responsible and accountable for what they say online …which is important given that Singapore is a multi-racial, multi-religious society”.

    MDA qualified that registration “does not mean that the discussion of political topics is disallowed” and “does not entail more stringent conditions”.

    Did not see MARUAH stopping its cause and activities online anyway. Urge TOC to do the same.

  • mice is nice

    can the relatives of L** be classified as political association? make it special case, like Dr Chee SJ- 1 man (or woman) political association?
    :D

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  • prettyplace

    Meant for you guys at TOC.

    Endevour, as the saying goes.
    When the going gets tough, the tough gets going.

    Remember, you have many supporters out there, be brave to ask for help.

  • Observer

    David vs. Goliath

  • theforgottengeneration

    TOC and its commenters have only themselves to blame should this happened. If we had been kinder, polished more of the prince’s apple, shine the boots of of ministers instead of highlighting their inadequacy, supported their ever increasing salary, etc…. then maybe LHL would have instead gazetted TOC (and likewise sites) as model examples of ‘trusted media’, blah, blah, blah.. in his ND speeches.

  • theforgottongeneration

    @mice is nice

    “…can the relatives of L** be classified as political association?…”

    Why the hell U think mummy got a state funeral?

  • wally

    Close shop and “moved & operate” overseas.

  • x

    corruption at highest level.

    PM Lee can change law, internet online can be a political party.

    beware sg, we had created monster.

  • rockabyebaby

    Dear Akau 11 January 2011

    To quote Aung San Suu Kyi…”It is not power that corrupts, but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it.”
    ————-
    Please write to stooge Kishore Mahbubani who said…

    “On the eve of the award of the Nobel Prize to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, Kishore Mahbubani, a former Singaporean career diplomat and now dean of public practice at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, spoke at a shipping and offshore conference in Singapore.

    He had this to say about the Nobel Committee’s picks for the peace prize:

    “We all respect the Nobel Peace Prize. Most winners deserve the prizes they get. Nobel Prizes by and large reflect the western world view. The winners in Asia are never leaders who brought great change.
    The man that did more good than anyone was Deng Xiaoping. When he came to power 800 million people were living on less than one dollar a day.
    Thirty years later on after the results of his reforms, 200 million
    lived on less than one dollar a day. Six hundred million people were lifted out of poverty.”

    What is TWISTED LOGIC? It is the side of certain politicians that the masses DON’T know anything about! WHY?

    And of Deng XiaoPing & the Nobel PEACE Prize:
    “Will he ever get a Nobel Peace Prize? Never. Because of the
    western world view that the prize must be given to dissidents in Asia like Aung San Suu Kyii”.

    Aung San Suu Kyii a desident because she sacrificed her family life personal safety and a life of luxury to fight for her people’s freedom? What has Kishore Mahbubani sacrificed for Singaporeans? Except perhaps snugged up to the right person and got rather rich? A stooge and henchmen!

    And of Obama he said…
    ” What has Obama brought? Where is the peace in Iraq? In Afghanistan?”

    Question: 8 years of “GW BushWhack” and learned Kishore Mahbubani expects Obama to magically solve all of the problems Bush Jnr. created? Is he suffering amnesia or other? How is Indonesia now with 32 years of Suharto shit and after Soekarno at that? Just levelling of right!

    “How can you give him a Nobel Peace Prize? He is a wonderful guy but he has achieved nothing. Deng Xiaoping saved 600 million people and he will never get a Nobel Peace Prize. That’s why it is important to step outside the western world view.”

    What are people like Aung San Suu Kyii, Liu Xiaobo and Obama stand for and fight for? PEACE right! And also what does the Nobel Peace Prize stand for? Peace right. So why not according to smart-alack Kishore Mahbubani? Oversmart kid who sacrificed nothing and talk nonsense for the money! A NERD+++!

  • Alan Wong

    When all the blunders occurred, our coward wasn’t even brave enough to come out first to make a public statement for fear of political backsplash.

    He only knows how to hide behind the law to bully people into submission just like his father. Very pathetic for leaders having to behave like this.

    A sad move indeed. People will not forget so easily what you have done to us or neither will we forget what you haven’t done for the rest of us either.

  • kf

    We don’t have a perfect situation here.
    Just as internet content providers are supposed to be responsible for what they say online (which not everyone complies), this level of responsibility in the mainstream media is equally wanting, and without repercussions. Setting double standards to hold internet content providers (in particular TOC) MORE RESPONSIBLE than sources of media, including mainstream media, does not help.

  • Johannsen
  • iamthenewHIMMLER

    zeil hail..welcome to the brand new world of the new gestapo party…
    my dear here prince the cancerlee chancellor of this small tiny red dot states…you are just a CHANCELLOR..not God nor Moses..you don’t go aroun to other people homes and tell them repaint your house.. i don’t liked your colour
    last but not least you also cannot tell meesiam hawkers to add seahums just because you are an a s shole well beside your whole family from papa to son…if only your mother was alived..she would had SLAPPEd you 3 times

  • Ronda Givic

    Hi ,

    “Civil Servant 11 January 2011
    To those who think that the PAP people are angels, I hope this is a wake-up call. The rot within has long begun.

    But does the majority even know about this?

    My eternally apathetic brother did not know anything about this when I asked did he know about it.

    He told me “TO…what? TOC ? what place you talking about?”

    We really have to thank the apathetics.

  • http://www.singaporeenbloc.blogspot.com The Pariah

    Big Brother banging Big Stick, ugh?

    Will there be UNintended consequences from this? Eg, a backlash against the PAP in much the same way that the PAP blitz unleashed in the James Gomez saga in last 2006 GE?

  • Howlidat

    This is a fact that TOC is rather political and it is why it exist. Nothing to be afriad if TOC is upright and above board.

  • Josh

    Hi,

    I am a Malaysian reader from KL. Now that they have gazetted this blog site, i shall read be reading it more.

    Singapore becoming legalistic is not new to me. But a citizen’s blog getting the attention of censors is something new. Let TOC grow its readers across Asia and change/influence Singapore’s regime with a powerful cocktail of logic, good sense and justice.

    Same thing is happening in Malaysia. Najib changed course to a more inclusive and less race-based economic model (NEM) after getting whacked silly and laughed at by bloggers/economists for several years since 2008 tsunami.

    You guys need more humour and intellectual peer pressure to stand up tall against political oppression. There is nothing worse for an established politician than to be put down in the most intellectual way.

    The gazzetting of TOC may be a sign post of either the beginning or the end of an empire….the empire of online hearts and minds.

  • http://TOCSingapore Edward

    I was at the PAP Raffles Place rally during the 2006 GE where LHL said he would fix the opposition if they are going to get more than 10 opposition MPs into parliament as he could not manage so many of them. With 12 SMCs in the coming GE he has started the pre-emptive strike against the opposition to ensure the number is less then 10.

  • reservist_cpl

    People who think this is only a “proposal” are misguided. The government is not asking for cooperation but making an order to be published in the gazette.

    Either try to challenge the orders, or comply, or move overseas.

    The first is insurmountably difficult, and the last might mean that TOC could get blocked by the govt internet filters one day.

    TOC just has to comply. The only question is how to find a smart way to comply with the directives.

  • David

    PAP said TOC has the ability to influence readership so need to be gazzetted as political association. What about mediacorp trying to influence viewership and Straits Times trying to influence readership and still allowed to run commercially untouched. If this is not double-standard and contradicting rules, what is? Oh, I know the reason, because TOC tell the truth that hurts PAP whereas main stream media loves polishing their master and thus spared the whipped. I wonder how Singapore Kangaroo court view this matter? Anyway, don’t bother – they are just birds of the same feather. It is the voters power the “white-shirt” crows are afraid of and we must chase them away and not allow them to shit around our backyards again.

  • James

    First of all, this is a blog. A blog is like an online diary where pure personal thoughts, opinions and ideas of the author are expressed online (web log). Unlike a diary, its contents is not secret. A blog does not have the ability to command someone to do something for the sake of the author.

    PAP has over-reacted to TOC, thinking that it actually serves to influence people. Wrong! Their way of thinking that way is wrong. I just cannot believe that this government could interfere with a medium meant for review of the author’s collective thoughts. Absurd in a way I shall say.

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  • hi hitler

    so,does he wants gazette himself as ‘FUHRER’,hi HITLER!

  • Denial Tan

    So, showing the final true colors.

    TOC, just open another outside Singapore like TR, far away from Singapore jurisdiction, then announce big, big on this website the last week regarding the new TOC hosted in overseas.

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  • Funny

    Funny that TR is not required to do the same when their report is much more anti-pap than TOC. It must the article from Lun Tian that managed to divert the attention from TR to TOC and makes TOC sound very scary.

    As they say, the pen is mightier than the sword!

  • Kenny

    TOC is a great website – keep it going despite the unfortunate and unfair order of having it gazetted as political association.

    I have TOC more informative than the Straits Times at many instances.

  • Dean Joe

    The advent of the Third Reich has begun, all over again! Sieg heil, mein Fuhrer Lee!

  • bedouin

    well…. at least TOc is making large enough waves to get the system worried. They do not act rashly and must realize that the reach is getting wider and hence the voice louder. Kudos to TOC for scaring the PAP into their opening gambit!!

    //b

  • Fugazzi

    Hitler existed cos most of them (population) were stupid and he leveraged, manipulated and used them for his own ends.
    Here in Singapore, the likes of old fart, LHL and many others exist not because they are clever or ”talented”- it is simply cos the Singaporeans psychic is of apathy, self-interests and fear.
    Fear has been exploited and of course, it is also cos of stupidity and blind allgegiance of the population. We have forfeited our right to exist, we are all mere shadows!

    Hope sense prevails to undo and unlearn the mistake(s) of acquisecence to ….
    The day the population starts ”waking up” is the moment the politician(esp the self-serving type) would quake in his/her pants.
    Intuitively one cannot help but feel that the incumbents cannot accept or fathom/prospect a scenario where citizens decide to think freely and live freely.

  • No hope

    There is only one way TOC can be left alone to thrive as it is. PRAISE PAP till heaven opens even if it means telling half truths all the time.

  • http://www.theonlinecitizen.com curio6

    I don’t understand the logic…afterall, this site is not exclusive to non-PAP..hence, PAP followers can also post their comments..how come TOC need to be gazetted as a Political Association…????

  • Take a rest

    1) 好汉不吃眼前亏

    2) 留着青山在,哪怕没材烧.

  • Wang

    This remind me the story of Bengawan Solo, a well-known bakery shop.
    If the founder not being complained and got red eyes from her neighbours which being forced to register as a company, Bengawan Solo will not be what it’s today.

    PM will regret his decision.

    http://www.bengawansolo.com.sg/abtus_history.aspx

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  • fpc

    in the past , the pigs have the isa.

    Now, it is not fashionable to use the isa.

    But the pigs still need to control people.

    So they come up with this un-necessary label for TOC so that they can catch and sue much like isa allow them without the stigma.

    TOC is silly to pursue this option.

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