While many argue that the banning and closure of popular online citizen website The Real Singapore by the government is a harsh measure, it must be said that the PAP government is slowly learning how to deal with dissent with civility.
In the past, the PAP government is prone to charging its political opponents for defamation. Gallant politicians such as JB Jeyaratnam, Chee Soon Juan and Tang Liang Hong have been sued by father, son and many others in white. Only "play safe" politician such as Chiam See Tong and Low Thia Khiang avoided this low blow in the PAP play book.
After a while, they realise that suing politicians may backfire because the people might just vote these people to show their displeasure, and so they began to sue activists to further pepetuate their climate of fear. Outspoken critic and gay rights blogger Alex Au was sued for contempt of the judiciary while CPF activist Roy Ngerng is being sued by the Prime Minister for defamation after questioning where's our CPF money.
Before we realise it, they went for a 16-year-old kid who admittedly is a rebel without a cause, but who is merely immature and exercising his freedom of speech. Does it mean LKY cannot take an insult from a kid? Does it mean the PAP government can go after anyone just because majority of Singaporeans mourn for the death of LKY?
Now they have unleashed their master stroke, which is to censor and ban a website that represents the true feelings of Singaporeans without even going thru any rule of law or any procedures. As the rest of the world marches toward more freedoms and democracy, Singapore is taking a step back into the dark ages.
Yet, the government is insisting they are applying a "light touch" to the online space. I guess it is a light touch when we compare how communists, leftists and those who oppose the government were locked away without trial in the 60s. At least, no one is being locked away or made a bankrupt now.