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Blogger arrested for posting racist online content
Wed, May 21, 2008
The New Paper

A LOCAL blogger who ranted about a commuter's behaviour on an MRT train was arrested on Tuesday night.

Police said the 24-year-old Chinese man was taken from his home at Paya Lebar Way at about 9.45 pm for 'posting contents in his blog which may wound the racial feelings of another person'.

A computer, believed to be used to post the suspect's blog, was seized for investigations, which are ongoing.

The case came to the attention of police on May 19 when they received two reports complaining of the alleged posts by the suspect.

According to a report in The New Paper on Wednesday, the blog was apparently sparked off by the suspect seeing a man of an another race sitting on the floor of an MRT train.

The blogger, an undergraduate, allegedly wrote: 'There he sat, unaffected by his surroundings, smelling like he didn't showered (sic) in years and wore some really scary dirty clothes...'

He went on to make other offensive comments about that racial group in his tirade, drawing flak from local netizens, who called him a racist.

One net-user wrote: 'Stupidity has nothing to do with race at all. Just look to that blogger for proof that stupidity transcends all races.'

Added another: 'Some things, once said, cannot be retraced. Don't even make such stupid remarks in the first place.'

Under Section 298 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224, anyone with deliberate intention of wounding the religious or racial feelings of any person, causes any matter however represented to be seen or heard by that person, can be jailed up to three years, or fine, or both, if convicted.

Deputy Commander of Central Police Div HQ, Superintendent Lee Ping Yue, in a statement late on Tuesday, said that police take a serious view of such irresponsible blog postings in a multi-racial society like Singapore and 'will expend all efforts in tracking the perpetrators'.

Interviewed by TNP earlier on Tuesday before his arrest, the blogger said he was sorry for what he had written and would be more mindful of what he says in his blog in future.

He said he was shocked by the furore over his blog entry, which he said was only intended for his close friends. He added that he was surprised that the entry, which was written two months ago, started circulating only days ago.

'I am a very expressive person - my style of writing is over the top. I write this way to make my entries more punchy and exciting,' he told TNP.

He denied being a racist and maintained that he did not harbour any ill will towards the racial group he wrote about.

But he let on that he was in a particularly bad mood the day he wrote the blog entry.

'I meant what I wrote in a different way. If people read it in another way, there is nothing much I can do,' he said, adding that he planned to put up an online apology for his comments.

He has removed the post and password-protected his blog, which was featured on blog aggregator Tomorrow.sg, and linked to several popular online forums.

 

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