As Posted On Prime Minister Lee’s FB: Re POHA Ruling By Court Of Appeal — Hail To Its Independence

Plaudits To The Court of Appeal — A Vote of Confidence For Its Independence

Good evening PM Lee and a Happy CNY to you and yours.

Allow me to briefly comment on the recent ‘Is Government a Person’ ruling by the apex court. Evidently, it was an unmistakable exercise in official overreach by the authority, that thankfully was rebuffed by the highest court in the land.

The AG’s use of POHA (Protection Of Harassment Act) against TOC (The Online Citizen) was simply an extreme version of the discredited so-called legal bootstrapping rule in an attempt at muzzling the press. Were such a move successful on the part of the authority in deciding what independent media can and cannot publish for its news items, it would most definitely lead us down the slippery slope of greater unwarranted censorship.

Take the case of the recent BuzzFeed reportage controversy over the alleged 2013 rumored sexcapade video of citizen Donald Trump while in Russia. If that kind of indiscriminate reportage by certain news outlet were to happen to an official here, tort suit damages would doubtless ensue. But for the authority to try ‘bootstrap’ the whole government edifice unto laws intended for interpersonal transactions, with an apparent intent to stifle the flow of worthy news, that would indeed be vintage Orwellian — Singapore surely can do better than that.

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