[About this blog] Inspired by local soccer player Mike Lim during my rookie reporter days at Singapore Polytechnic, I set up this blog in August 2002. I feel that blogging is a novel platform to document interesting facets of my life and my thoughts on certain issues. [Email blogger] ephraim@singnet.com.sg

Friday, November 10, 2006

[Regulating Blogs]
1. I read the ST reports of the recent debate within Workers Party with some interest. The exchanges must have become so heated that WP Leaders decided to regulate them. In Parliament today, Mr Low Thia Khiang made it clear that it wasn't censorship. I am not at all surprised that this should have become an issue even for the Opposition. When I was the Chairman of the Young PAP, I got a group of YP members to start a website. While I gave them plenty of room to experiment, I told them repeatedly, please, don't get me into trouble. There is no such thing as freedom without responsibility because one man's freedom can mean another man's un-freedom.

2. All this reminded me of my time in MITA when the Internet was just taking off in Singapore. We had heated debates in Parliament with many MPs asking for the Internet to be censored. In 1995, the Chinese Government sent a very high level delegation to study the media in Singapore including our regulation of the Internet. I only found out later that the Chinese Government was settling its own framework for the Internet and wanted to study our experience. A year later when I visited Beijing, the leader of the delegation hosted me to a private dinner at Zhongnanhai. I was delighted to discover recently that one member of that delegation is now the Party Secretary of Guangxi Autonomous Region, Mr Liu Qibao. Guangxi was where the recent ASEAN-China Summit was held. Now China may have more Internet users than the US, as Negroponte from MIT Media Labs predicted ten years ago.


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