In my previous blog post, I had asked if our overly sensitive Government had declared “war” on alternative online news sites and on Singaporean bloggers who criticise them. I had used the word war as a metaphor to describe their stepped up attacks and controls on the Internet. Then lo and behold, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen spoke to the press yesterday and referred to the online world as a threat to the security of Singapore! And he (presumably with the blessings of the cabinet) and the Mindef team even came up with the acronym DRUMS to describe this online monster threat. DRUMS stand for (cue drum roll)…”Distortions, Rumours, Untruths, Misinformation and Smears”! (Ok I just gotta ask, so is Drums caused by Drummers?)
Dr Ng warned (cue drumroll again) that DRUMS is a new threat on the horizon that could hamper Singapore’s Total Defence efforts and he said such distortions could spread far and wide and even cause confusion and chaos, weakening the country’s resolve and causing disunity. Sounds too incredulous to be believed? Click on this link and read the news report if you need proof he actually said this. http://www.todayonline.com/singapore/spore-must-be-guard-against-online-threats
Seriously, should we be scared when the DEFENCE Minister says online comments should be viewed as a national threat? His words sound ominous – for the netizens and bloggers I mean , not about netizens being a national threat. We had better pay attention when the defence minister refers to something as a threat right? After all, he is the one controlling all the big guns and fire power in the country.
On his comment about DRUMS being a threat to national security, I really have to ask what universe is our government leaders living in. Do they not understand that chatter online reflects how chatter is done offline in the “real” world too? We gossip in the office, in the loo and in the kopitiam. Are we threats when we do that? No right? Think of Facebook as the online version of a global kopitiam ( or giant loo) How is such online chatter dangerous and a threat to the nation?
The government should spend more time learning how the Internet works and how to ensure accurate news is communicated by the various ministries instead of spending so much time on coining childish acronyms and trying to discredit the online world. And they really should stop spreading fear and misinformation through scaremongering.
Speaking of drums, I wrote this ode to our dear Minister sung to the tune of the “Little Drummer Boy”….
Come they told me, pa-rum pum pum pum
Our nation’s at seige, pa-rum pum pum pum
Our safety is threatened, pa-rum pum pum pum
Let’s condemn “Drummers”, pa-rum pum pum pum
Rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum
So to honour Ng , pa-rum pum pum pum
When we sing.
-The End –