Spamming someone of another religion with one’s own religious pamphlets like The Little Bride is now a punishable crime.
The Singapore government is again out to assure the Muslim minority that their needs are also important. These symbolic gestures are vital especially when the authorities are out detaining alleged Jemaah Islamiyah members who use Islam as the justification for violence. The government tries hard to give the view that it is balanced and that it protects the interests of all Singaporeans.
Religion is a sensitive issue. Fitna this year and the Prophet cartoons last year sparked right wing politicians using freedom of speech as the pretext, and radical clerics using Islamophobia as the pretext, to go head to head with each other. The angry reactions in Singapore look comparatively muted and that is a good thing. But this tip-toeing around each other at the risk of being over-sensitive, only makes everyone thin-skinned and edgy, and perpetually immature.
The court case will be heard at the end of the month and I am curious to see how Christian radicals would react.
Ong Kian Cheong, 49, and Dorothy Chan Hien Leng, 44, had two charges lodged against them in court on Tuesday — one under the Sedition Act and the other under the Undesirable Publications Act, The Straits Times reported.
Police declined to comment and court officials could not be reached.
The report did not provide details about the couple’s alleged publication but said the couple had distributed it to two people, one in March last year and another in October.
Singapore, a multi-racial island nation, clamps down hard on anyone seen to be inciting communal tensions.
In 2005, two ethnic Chinese men were jailed for anti-Muslim blogs.
The following year, a Singaporean blogger received a stern warning after posting cartoons mocking Jesus Christ on his online journal, police said at the time.
Ethnic Chinese make up a majority of Singapore’s resident population but there are significant numbers of Malay Muslims, ethnic Indians and other groups.