Tan Dawn Wei, Straights Times, July 2, 2012
The police have arrested two male 17-year-olds for posting racist remarks online which it said ‘could promote ill-will and hostility between different races in Singapore’.
They received two reports on June 27 about the postings on Facebook and Twitter. After investigations, they managed to establish the identities of the two and arrested them on June 28 and 29.
Under the Sedition Act, anyone found guilty of promoting feelings of ill-will and hostility between different races or classes of the population of Singapore faces, on conviction for a first offence, a fine of up to $5,000 or a jail term of up to 3 years, or both.
Commander of Bedok police division, Deputy Assistant Commissioner of Police How Kwang Hwee said: ‘The right to free speech does not extend to making remarks that incite racial and religious friction and conflict. The Internet may be a convenient medium to express one’s views but members of the public should bear in mind that they are no less accountable for their actions online.’
He said the police take a serious view of acts that could threaten the social harmony in Singapore.
Any person who re-posts or contributes offensive comments to the postings that are the subject of ongoing investigations, and is also found to have committed an offence, are also liable.
He added that members of the public should let the investigations take their course and refrain from adding comments that may further inflame the situation.