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The Sedition Act inherited from the colonial era is also used to charge internet users deemed to have promoted feelings of ill-will and hostility between different races or classes of the population of Singapore.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the law was necessary to preserve Singapore's racial and religious harmony as ethnic tensions in South-east Asia may give rise to Islamic terrorism.
The Sedition Act carries a maximum penalty of three years imprisonment and a fine of S$5,000 (US $3,939) if found guilty. Chew states that he “was interrogated for over 30 hours and placed under island arrest for 3 months and (had) to report for bail extension 6 times during that period.” Academic Cherian George noted that in most cases, state action to prosecute individuals was instigated by complaints from members of the public, and the offensive content were spread further by those reporting the offence.
He argued that internet users should be able to partake in open debates and opinion leaders can make a collective stand against ideas contrary to Singaporean ethos, without the need for government to intervene and censor or punish.
In July 2001, Dr Tan Chong Kee, the founder of Sintercom, was asked to register the website under the nascent Singapore Broadcast Authority Act (now Media Development Authority).
Dr Tan chose to shut down Sintercom due to concerns over the ambiguity of the Act.
In the years since, the government has taken a much tougher stand on Internet-related matters, including censorship.
Amendments to the Penal Code in 2006 hold Internet users liable for "causing public mischief", and give the authorities broader powers in regulating Internet content.
The amendments allow copyrights holders to apply for court injunctions, making it compulsory for internet service providers block access to websites that "flagrantly-infringe" intellectual property.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating