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Valar Qringaomis

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Thursday, June 15, 2006

char responds to the newspaper article on him:


Singapore's Sedition Act, part deux?

Hi Zakir,

Congragulations on your article making the front page of Tuesday's
newspaper. I'm certain that "Blogger who posted cartoons of Christ
online being investigated." was a lot more eye catching a headline and
interesting a storyboard compared to "People left in limbo by police
cases", where you quoted me issues such as the Martin See episode,
whereby his recording equipment is still being held by the police
"pending investigation", in order to get me to agree to your interview
last Thursday evening.

It's no wonder your story did make the headlines, and no wonder the ST
is still the most read broadsheet newspaper in Singapore.

Anyway, here's to clarify a couple of points which probably ended up
being edited out in the rush for your story going to print; I will be
referring to your original article hereon in.

(I hope that you don't mind that I've included some friends, bloggers,
and the foreign media, of whom are included within the bcc list; so
that they'd get the story as well. I'm sure they would be interested
to know how I'm doing, as well as what's happenning. Of course, they
are very much free and welcome to reproduce and use the contents of
this email.)

----------

>June 14, 2006
Blogger who posted cartoons of Christ online being investigated
>By Zakir Hussain

>A 21-YEAR-OLD accounts assistant is being investigated for allegedly
flouting the Sedition Act by publishing pictures on his blog that were
thought to depict Jesus Christ in an offensive manner.

>The blogger, who used the online moniker Char, had found the cartoons
on the Internet and began posting them in January.

[While there is no real issue in this point, it did make it sould like
I posted more than four pictures, and was posting them regularly too.]

>He told The Straits Times last week that he was called in by the
police for questioning in March, after they received a complaint.

[Yes, I was called in by the police for questioning. However, I
believe that you failed to note that the complainent had prior
dealings with me before, after I implied on a forum that he was a
fundamentalist Christian bigot, and that I believed that he had
personal issues with my implied insult.]

>Yesterday, the police confirmed they are investigating the matter but
declined to give details as 'investigations are still ongoing'.

[No issue with that, as I do believe that investigations are still
ongoing three and a half months after my computers were siezed, when
you mentioned to me that for the first 3 sedition cases, the parties
involved were brought to court and sentenced within two months.]

>News of the investigation was announced online by Char himself last
week when he sent an e-mail to a mailing list of more than 300 young
Singaporeans. He told them of his experience and how it came about. He
removed the cartoons from his blog after he was questioned.

[Technically, I removed the pictures, then subsequently deleted the
blog, on advice of the investigating officer, as the pictures there
might "agitate others". My original email on the 7th of June is
replicated at:
http://gssq.blogspot.com/2006/06/story-friend-of-mine-told-me-while.html]

>When contacted by The Straits Times, Char asked that he not be
identified for he fears he may lose his job, which he wants to keep
before entering a local university in August.

>Describing himself as a free thinker, he said he had posted a cartoon
that depicted Jesus as a zombie biting a boy's head in January.

[Technically, I'm an ex-christian-turned-deist/free thinker.]

>The following month, he received an online message asking him to
remove the image. It came amid the global furore over the publication
of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad by several newspapers.

>Char did not reply to the message but chose to irk the person
instead. He searched the Internet for more pictures depicting Jesus
and published three of them on his blog.

[Interesting that by not revealing what exactly I posted after the
Jesus zombie picture, it made it seem that my followups were even more
offensive, so much so, that they had to be obscured. Perhaps you
remember the description of police annexes B, C, and D, right? You did
have the printout of the original email when I met you. But
respectively, they are: licenceplateworld.com - picture of
licenceplate saying "Jesus loves you, everyone else thinks you're an
asshole"; somethingawful.com, photoshop phriday "sensational news
stories" - fake CNN image of Jesus on paper
(http://www.somethingawful.com/index.php?a=3193&p=9) - third picture;
and somethingawful.com, photoshop phriday, "the biggest movie of the
year" - edited photo of Last Temptation of Christ, with Jesus looking
at a KFC bucket (http://www.somethingawful.com/index.php?a=2995&p=5) -
first picture.]

>Looking back, he felt he made an 'unwise' move. 'I never thought
anyone would complain to the police because the pictures were not
insidious,' he said.

----------

I do have to include a point that a friend noted; that it would be
interesting to know what exactly IS offensive enough to threaten the
population. Otherwise, unchecked, this leads not to preservation of
harmony, but the creation of a frivolously litigious society. Or even
worse, a frivolous litigation via police proxy society.


Addendum:

This post has been linked by mediawatchwatch.org.uk » Zombie trouble in Singapore and Два.ч — Общие рассуждения (some Russian site), which both have copies of the original Zombie cartoon.

Example picture of the Licenseplate
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