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#46: Suddenly lots of Singaporeans are listening to Watain on Spotify

This weekend I’m at Google Newsgeist right here in Singapore flying the New Naratif flag. I don’t know how many of you subscribers are attending this unconference too, but say hello if you are!

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Regardless of race or religion…

We lead this week with the cancellation of Swedish black metal band Watain’s Singapore debut (briefly mentioned in last week’s issue), which has prompted conversations that go far beyond the merits of heavy metal. If you have time to read only one piece, I’m going to ownself-promote-ownself and say that the round-up on New Naratif, written by Daniel Peters, provides an excellent round-up of the whole thing and why it matters to more than just metalheads.

But beyond the cancellation, Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam put his foot in it when he referred to a photo of Watain and some of their fans flipping the bird and said they were “primarily Malay young men”. RICE Media does a little bit of a roast here.

As a response to this ludicrous situation, I enjoyed these satirical petitions trying to get Maroon 5 and Manchester United banned; Maroon 5 because their song Sugar is inappropriate considering Singapore’s “war against diabetes”, and Manchester United because they’re also known as the Red Devils. LOL.

Also the Streisand Effect is real:

While on the topic of religion: Lou Engle, the American preacher who made offensive comments about Islam during while delivering a sermon at the frighteningly named Kingdom Invasion in 2018, has been banned from preaching in Singapore again. On the other hand, the Ministry of Home Affairs has also said that it has received no “statements of concern” about the sermon of another preacher, Australian Colin Stringer, who was at New Creation Church last Sunday. Stringer previously claimed that Islam is a religion “bent on world conquest, through the weapons of oil and immigration – a modern invasion of the west”.

And one more link I want to put under this section: please read Michael Barr’s excellent piece on Chinese ethno-nationalism in Singapore.

This is really happening too often

A vendor of the Health Sciences Authority put the private information of over 800,000 blood donors online without authorisation. 😱😱😱 A cybersecurity expert discovered it—apparently he’s the only one who has seen the data, and he’s working with the agency to delete it.

Also in this section of medical data privacy #fails: Ler Teck Siang, through whom Mikhy Farrera-Brochez allegedly got hold of the HIV registry, has had his medical registration suspended for nine months. He’s also been sentenced to 24 months in prison after his appeal against his conviction and sentence under the penal code was rejected. He also has charges for drug offences and breaching the Official Secrets Act still pending.

Still got some more…

President Halimah Yacob has approved the Supply Bill passed by Parliament. Teo You Yenn writes for The Straits Times (unfortunately behind a paywall) about how it’s time we considered a living wage in Singapore, while Donald Low suggests that both Singapore and Hong Kong tax the wealthy more.

The High Court has struck out Leong Sze Hian’s counter-claim against Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. Lee is suing Leong for defamation simply because Leong had shared an article on Facebook that was later debunked (he was one of many, it has to be said). Leong had tried to counter-sue saying that Lee was abusing court process.

Events and announcements

Ng Kok Hoe and Neo Yu Wei are leading a second homelessness street survey (following up from their first in 2017). They’re in need of volunteers!

About the neighbours…

This is about Cambodia, but also about Singapore, and it highlights such an important issue.