Sunday, 9 June 2013
Yet another protest.
For the third time this year, Singaporeans have gathered at Hong Lim Park on the eighth of June, this time to protest the new MDA regulations on "news sites". For a people notorious for their political apathy, this is a bit of a record, especially considering that the Speaker's corner has, prior to this year, been woefully underutilised. Two thousand protesters may seem a small amount to folks in western countries where demonstrations are common, but it's a bit of a milestone for us, for better or for worse.
My personal suspicions are that it's going to be for the worse.
What makes this episode slightly more interesting is the timing, which has happened to largely coincide with the whole nonsense about PRISM and the NSA over on your side of the pond, and Aurini has recently come up with a video on privacy and technology.
Have the more vocal Singaporeans acquired a taste for protesting? I'm personally not sure if this trend will continue, but I can see how it might; protesting, like voting, is ultimately like masturbation: it feels good, but rarely does it accomplish anything. A powerful but useless ritual that makes people feel like they've done something and stuck it to The Man.
Like the US government, the Singaporean government is in damage control mode over the new regulations, although the chance that anything substantive will be changed is next to nil. It'll be interesting to see how things play out, at the very least.