Singapore has freedom of speech. A fair enough amount of it.
Freedom of speech is the political right to communicate one's opinions and ideas using one's body and property to anyone who is willing to receive them.
Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and by many state constitutions and state and federal laws. The freedom of speech is not absolute; the Supreme Court of the United States has recognized several categories of speech that are excluded from the freedom, and it has recognized that governments may enact reasonable time, place, or manner restrictions on speech.
Limits placed on libel and slander attach civil liability and have been upheld by the Supreme Court. The Court narrowed the definition of libel with the case of Hustler Magazine v. Falwell made famous in the movie The People vs. Larry Flynt. New York Times Co. v. Sullivan established the actual malice standard, a high bar for public figure plaintiffs. Making false statements in "matters within the jurisdiction" of the federal government is also a crime.
What many people do not realize is that freedom of speech has a purpose. The purpose is to allow freedom of communication of truths and ideas and unhappiness. (See my first quote above)
I can say I do not like the CPF Minimum Sum scheme.
I can say I do not like the government.
I CANNOT say that the government is embezzling money.
The first 2 are statements of my own view and I can express why I do not like them.
The 3rd statement is an accusation with no evidence AND the government has the RIGHT to take me to court to ask me to prove it, otherwise I would be deemed to be slandering the name of the government.
Many people do not understand the difference and think that freedom of speech means that someone can say anything about anything or anyone. That is not what freedom of speech is about.
Freedom of speech is about allowing the freedom of people to say things and express their ideas and opinions and express why they might not be happy with the government, certain policies, unhappy or dissatisfaction with people. Freedom of speech does not protect you from accusing someone of something which he/she did not do. That is defamation.
Singapore allows freedom of speech. You can hold a rally at Hong Lim Park and talk about why you are not happy with the government, policies, people, etc. Singapore Press has it's own freedom to not print anything which might be against their own interests. Similarly, theonlinecitizen, temasekreview, etc can post anything they want about their own views which are truths.
THAT is what Freedom of speech protects.
Not the freedom to say just anything that one wants.
Apologies for the rant. I just get very frustrated when people talk about freedom of speech or their RIGHTS when many people are just ignorant or do not know enough about the topic and just use these terms to their own convenience, before finding out what they actually mean and represent.
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