A GUIDE TO WHAT YOU CAN & CANNOT WRITE UNDER S'PORE LAW

Views sought on Bill covering Kwong Wai Shiu hospital

I refer to the article “Views sought on Bill covering Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital” (Straits Times, Jan 11).

It states that “People with views on issues relating to the change of status of the Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital can write to Parliament from today.

Offence to publish any … ?

Parliament said it is an offence for any person to publish any evidence given, or any documents presented to the committee, or extracts, before the committee has presented its report to Parliament.”

To be safe – don’t write anything?

So, to be safe – does it mean that one should not write anything because how would you know whether what you write may in some way be construed as may be related to “any evidence given, or any documents presented to the committee, or extracts”?

Guide to what you can or cannot write?

After reading this – it got me thinking – perhaps I could try to write a guide on what you can or cannot write about in Singapore?

Well, here goes …

…  “Seditious tendency 3.—(1)  A seditious tendency is a tendency —

(ato bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against the Government
 
 
– “(2)  Notwithstanding subsection (1), any act, speech, words, publication or other thing shall not be deemed to be seditious by reason only that it has a tendency — (a) to show that the Government has been misled or mistaken in any of its measures” (Sedition Act)

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… cannot write about an on going court case or police investigation? (Administration of Justice (Protection) Bill)
 
 
… cannot write about anything that may be deemed as harassment? (Protection from Harassment Act)
 
 
… cannot write about race, religion or nationalities or different classes of people?
 
– “(e) to promote feelings of ill-will and hostility between different races or classes of the population of Singapore” (Sedition Act)
 
 
… cannot write about anything that may be deemed as defamatory? (Defamation Act)
 
 
… and of course as explained above in the beginning of this article – now we know that we cannot write about anything that may be construed as in some way, be related to “any evidence given, or any documents presented to the (Select) committee, or extracts“? (Sorry, I am unable to find the link (like the links above for the other “cannot write”) on the internet that says this is an offence)
 
 
I hope you find the above layman’s guide useful.
 
 
My fellow Singaporeans – Happy writing!
 
 
 


Leong Sze Hian
A.S.S. Contributor

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