Aiseyman! Did the judiciary over-react to some stupid comments?

Ello-Ed-Mundsel-Bello

Kesian siol this Ello Ed Bello…True that he made some disrespectful comments about Singaporeans and was stupid enough to lie to the police about it, but surely 4 months behind bars is a little too harsh for the offense right? There are so many other bigots, both foreigners and Singaporeans, who have made even worse comments about each other online so is the police going to waste their time and resources on arresting all these people too?

This case is merely a symptom of an increasing Singaporean-foreigner divide that was a result of the government's liberal foreigner policies and the inability of our country's infrastructure to properly deal with the rapid increase in population. It is therefore quite unfortunate that the authorities decided to make an example out of him, possibly as a warning to other bigots that such disrespectful and insulting comments will not be tolerated. But by simply using the law on sedition to clamp down on such comments is not solving the issue but merely sweeping it under the carpet.

Thankfully there are still voices of reason online that are critical of the authorities' overhanded approach to this issue.

Migrant workers advocate Jolovan Wham reminds us that the state should also shoulder some of blame for the people's discontent and anger when they chose to bulldoze their policies through without consulting us and clamping down on our right to free speech.

JW_edz

Activist Kirsten Han also has a point when she says that "fault lines in society cannot be erased by criminalising speech. We need to go far deeper than that, to address the lack of rights and protections for foreigners and locals alike, as well as the existence of discrimination in our society, even in state policy."

Blogger Limpeh also thinks that it reflects poorly on our justice system in jailing Ello Ed Bello because stupidity is not a crime, and there are better ways of dealing with such threats to our national, racial and religious harmony.

So what do you think? Do you agree that Ello Ed Bello's conviction was an over-reaction to his stupidity?