[YOUR LETTERS] We should not support the petition against STOMP

Dear All Singapore Stuff,

Recently many people have criticised STOMP, and there is even a petition with more than 22k signatures asking it to be closed down. But I think that STOMP is a very successful example of citizen journalism that highlights interesting happenings around Singapore and can even act as a deterrent against ugly Singaporeans behaviour because people might be scared that they kena STOMPED. Personally, I also don’t dare to sit in the reserve seat and if i’m seated (at a non-reserve seat) and see a old person in front of me I will immediately get up to offer my seat to them.

In the name of freedom of speech and internet, STOMP should also not be regulated by MDA and the government because it will signal to them that we are ok with them taking away our right to free speech and the voice of society’s conscience. That is why I’m a little surprised that the #FreeMyInternet movement did not say anything to stand up for STOMP when they did issue a statement against the regulation of the Mothership website. I think it is not fair and abit of a hypocrite to support the freedom of one website but not another. We must ensure that all websites are not regulated by the government.

Some people have pointed out that STOMP should be shut down because they have been posting false stories or altered pictures to manipulate readers, but I think that all media organisations will at some point do that in some form or another to suit their agenda, just look at our national newspaper The Straits Times – they also like to present their news with a pro-government slant. The price to pay for free speech is high but sometimes we just have to accept it.

Therefore, I will not sign the petition to shut down STOMP and I urge everyone of you who cares about our freedom and rights to expression not to sign the petition too.

Ben Lim

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