(Original story at The Straits Times here.)
Singapore’s General Elections are on May 7, and lots of anti-People’s Action Party (PAP; the ruling party) comments and articles can be found online. Generally, the Singapore government does not censor online activities (unlike the Chinese Communist Party in mainland China), so whatever this man had to say, it was probably quite serious a threat for the police to take action.
Regardless, even if you do not live in an authoritarian country, please do not incite violence – especially against elected officials – in exercising the right to your freedom of speech online. First, it is childish. Second, it may get you into trouble.
APR 27, 2011
Man arrested for saying he wants to burn his voting slipA 32-YEAR-OLD man has been arrested for repeatedly saying on the Internet that he intends to burn his voting slip and ballot box on Polling Day.
Police said in a statement on Tuesday that on Monday, officers from Ang Mo Kio Police Division arrested the Singaporean Chinese in his Ang Mo Kio home, acting on information they had received.
Investigations showed that he was also believed to have posted a comment which the police said ‘was suggestive of causing hurt to Members of Parliament’. He is believed to have posted at least three such messages.
The man was arrested for Communicating an Electronic Record Containing Incitements to Violence, under Section 267C of the Penal Code, Chapter 224. Anyone convicted can be jailed up to five years or fined, or both.
Police said they took threats of violence to the conduct of the electoral process and threats of violence against people seriously.