The Select Committee on Deliberate Online Falsehoods has been questioning witnesses since 14 March (salute them man). The group Reporters Without Borders (RSF), which always like to whack Singapore for lack of press freedom, was invited on 13 March and after a long process of ding-doing, then posted a statement on March 22 on its website.
Their statement said: “Doubting the sincerity of an invitation to address a parliamentary Select Committee that is supposedly helping Singapore’s government to draft a Bill to combat ‘deliberate online falsehoods,’ RSF will instead submit its recommendations when it has seen a draft (of the Bill).”
This was after RSF was offered paid travel to Singapore AND when they said they cannot come, they were offered the chance to give evidence via video conference. So basically RSF gave the parliament secretariat the run-around, then finally said they are not coming to give evidence cos they are suspicious of the Select Committee’s intentions. Here is the long story of the chronology of the twist and turns.
What I don’t understand is how people say this Select Committee is one big wayang but when they invite the biggest critics like RSF and Human Rights Watch to defend their stance, these critics give all sorts of excuses to siam. Thanks to these MIA crtitics hor, all these is our tax payer money and resources can?!
And what is ironic is that organisations like RSF don’t even have any staff based in Singapore. Then what gives them the credibility to make all sorts of accusations? Just because they interview some people that they cherry-pick to suit their agenda?
The whole point of an exercise like this is to gather inputs and views from all sides BEFORE drafting the Bill. Wouldn’t it be too late to seek views after the Bill has been drafted and wouldn’t it be even more wayang to do so? It really is a case of damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
To the Select Committee’s credit, they are still open to hearing evidence from both Reporters Without Borders and Human Rights Watch. Well, the last day of the hearings is tomorrow (29 March). So is it must make special arrangements again for these critics who couldn’t be bother to show up and speak up? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯