Ok, I know A*Star "considers the matter closed" and I am loathe to pound away at this boring topic of a blogger who kena sued. But Miyagi and I got asked our opinions yesterday for a TODAY piece on the incident so we gave it. However the piece that finally came out today in TODAY, was, how do I out it nicely, a bit the one-sided leh.
Frankly, I felt it took our words out of context. Eh, the quote attributed to me was said with regards to people putting Acidflask on a pedestal, and to underscore the fact that the incident will not be striking fear in the hearts of bloggers, since it is only a speed bump.
Sure, as the paper put it, the legal action taken may have "served as a wake-up call for those who think they can hide behind the anonymity of the World Wide Web", but I also recall telling the reporter that it was also a wake-up call for organisations who think they can get hot and heavy with their lawyers and not get unwanted global media attention. I told her that A*Star probably underestimated the speed and force with which the blogosphere spread the news to even international media.
So the wake-cap call applies both ways.
The deepest irony is that in their bid to defend the reputation of their organisation, their esteemed leader, and ahem, Singapore, A*Star's legal letter approach (which they were totally within their legal right to pursue) ended up making Singapore look a little silly and draconian to the rest of the world. Especially since the Gahmen has been telling the world and their own people, how open and tolerant Singapore is becoming here.
You can send out press releases all over the world to declare that you consider "the matter closed", but once the blogosphere gets hold of it, the matter will not close until the blogosphere says it is.
Sheesh. Ok, enough of this boring shite. Now back to talking about cooler stuff like DJ Slapdash.
Veteran bloggers such as Mr Benjamin Lee (aka Mr Miyagi) and Mr Lee Kin Mun (mr brown) feel that a distinction has to be drawn between free speech and unwarranted attacks on organisations or individuals.
Said "Mr Miyagi": "I am aware that the laws of defamation do apply whether offline or online, and A*Star has a legal right to sue for defamation."
Furthermore, "mr brown" observed that Mr Chen's attacks were of a personal nature: "He was not exactly a freedom fighter. It's not as if he was jailed for fighting for some bigger cause."