A former boss was once caught by such warped logic when he received a letter from his bank in Manila, informing him his check book was ready for collection. After braving the nightmarish traffic of Makati, he was shocked when the clerk told him it was not ready. He showed the Filipina the letter. She read it back, adding, "Yes, Mr Hancock, it does say here the check book is ready for collection. It doesn't say when."
The Law Minister has announced Government plans to put up new laws to better protect people, not against bad laws, but for "victims of harassment, both in the real world and online." These will be implemented either in the form of new legislation or amendments to existing law. Article 9(3) of the Constitution of Singapore will probably not be amended:
“Where a person is arrested, he shall be informed as soon as may be of the grounds of his arrest and shall be allowed to consult and be defended by a legal practitioner of his choice.”
What you can bet on is that the wording will be similarly crafted. For instance, they are already contemplating that courts should be given the power to order that online comments be taken down if they "cause distress or alarm to others." This is obviously adding clout to Yaacob Ibrahim's proposed internet licensing rules. It also means halting further queries about the unsettling and unsettled transaction between A.I.M. and PAP town councils, a subject that must surely cause distress or alarm to Teo Ho Pin and associates.
Earlier this year, Shanmugam had said,"...if you say I am a stupid fool who doesn't know what I'm talking about, and the Government comprises ministers who don't know what they're talking about and you criticise every policy of the Government, no one can sue you." Maybe he did not know what he was talkng about then, since the new laws make it possible to be sued for "spreading malicious comments or lies about someone, in person or online." Maybe what they are ultimately aiming for is lèse-majesté legislation.