Recently, two social-political websites have been asked to register with the latest MDA’s internet control regulation. Namely theindependent and breakfast network, one continued business and the other simply closed shop [Source]. This naturally got people asking when will it be The Real Singapore’s turn, and PAP supporters of course are leading the call for MDA to shut down TRS. Nonetheless, the fact remains that MDA have not yet asked TRS to register.
The outcome is very simple if MDA decides to conduct a political suicide for the PAP. TRS will shut down, and a new blog will appear. Shut down the new blog, another one will appear. Not necessarily by the same group of editors, but most probably by some TRS fans which is already quite a number of them, given we are the most popular non-PAP controlled media with more than 100K likes on Facebook.
However, chances are MDA have calculated their moves as above and they are leaving TRS alone. There is no benefit for the PAP to shut down TRS. In fact, PAP might be voted out sooner than they think if they remove TRS. This is why:
1) TRS serves as an effective output channel for anti-PAP Singaporeans
The reason why things are bearable in Singapore is because there is TRS to air anti-PAP views. Every article that is highly critical of the PAP are very well-received on TRS with readership easily exceeding 100K views from Singapore alone. Life without TRS will be a pressure cooker with no output valve for the average Singaporean, and an explosion will only be a matter of time. They will continue to take in half-baked statistics and dubious survey results from the mainstream media, and then be in for a rude shock when they found out they couldn’t retire just because they did not complain hard enough without TRS’s presence. The true Singapore Conversation takes place only in TRS, the mainstream media and even other alternative sites practise censorship so much that they have only all but the good stuff about PAP to hear.
2) TRS can die but never the Singaporean voice
TRS is simply just a platform, and prior to TRS were many other now-defunct forums and websites like soc forum, delphiforum sammyboy, 3in1kopitiam, Temasek Review, Temasek Revealed and Temasek Times. Facing a shut down by MDA is within our planning parameter, which means we are prepared to shut down and some of us might still want to continue writing and create a new site.
So long there is a cause for grievance and the PAP-controlled media continues to deny Singaporeans, the Singaporean voice will continue. There will always have a whistleblower who want to expose a corrupted act like the Brompton Bike saga [Source], there will always have a PAP member like Jason Neo [Source], there will always have a Singaporean who are totally fed up waiting for SBS bus [Source], there will always be foreigners like Sun Xu [Source] or companies like La Fondue [Source]…there will always be someone who want justice done and sadly, among so many websites, only TRS have the balls to publish articles like these. TRS have helped the PAP so much on so many occasions with such exposes. The PAP should be giving TRS a National Day Award for relaying the true ground sentiment.
As a website which believes progress comes only with free speech, registering with the MDA is not an option. PAP’s popularity will tank with the suppression of alternative voices. Without TRS, the mainstream media will see an avalanche of anti-PAP voices many times stronger than those found on TRS. At that point of time, a freak election result whereby the PAP lose governance will be sooner than we thought.