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Why is MDA making a meal out of BN?

 I am going to KPKB here. I will make sure that I do not defame anyone, including the MDA (even though you can’t defame a G agency). I will not touch on the judiciary. And I will not advocate disobedience – civil or otherwise. 

In other words, I will do my best to be nice. 

What the (insert your choice swear word here) is MDA up to? Why me? Why BN? Isn’t it enough that we write responsible stuff? With bylines and all? We even correct mistakes openly!!! What makes you think we want to take foreign funding?!!! We’re Singaporeans, for crying out loud! We just don’t want to sign your papers! Cannot ah?  

Sorry. I simply had to get that out of the way….

I am floored, flummoxed and flabbergasted at the MDA’s twists and turns. So its replies have NOT been “curiously vague’’ but crystal clear? Gimme a break. Anyway, I leave it to readers to cut through the bureaucratese below:





I think almost everyone, including the MDA, thought BN would register. I was given a two week deadline (please remember that The Independent was notified in July) to think things through and get my people to agree that we should be registered. 

All I have gotten so far is grief from MDA.

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I asked for one month, it gave me one week, because it reckoned the forms were straightforward. You’ve seen those forms on BNFB.  

You would think that with a two-week notice, it would be able to give you quick replies to calls for clarification. It would know what to do/say. I can only guess that it didn’t cater for a “rejection’’. Instead, it was a step-by-step dance. If it had said BNPL should close, then we would have closed it. Instead we closed the site, and left social media to function.Then comes this silly tango about mode of operation, corporate entity etc etc.

So I closed the company, and now it says I should have told them who owns and runs BN’s social media platforms? Well, it’s not BNPL. It’s not me. I’ve quit. As for who the people are, I am tempted to say, what business is it of MDA? If the problem is whether the volunteers are getting foreign funding to run social media, then may I respectfully point out that there are plenty of social media groups which have political and religious content? 

So what in heaven’s name is this? Persecution?

Is MDA making up rules as it goes along?

Frankly, everything is getting stranger and stranger or curiouser and curioser. So if it’s not a company behind it, but an association, a society or an individual– foreign funding issues will not arise? It knows that this would be crazy, and maybe that’s why it wants to know who owns and runs BNFB and Twitter as well. 

If so, then it really has to net every site, social media platform that has political and religious content – never mind that there is no corporate entity behind them.

Is this why it hasn’t answered the critical question of whether the main BN site can be resurrected? Or that BNFB and Twitter can be continued by volunteers using the BN name? Is it still figuring out the answer?

I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry at this state of affairs.  

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Written By

An ex-journalist who can't get enough of the news after being in the business for 26 years

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