Singapore has a Hate Speech Minister?
Looks like it, based on the latest reports that US pop stars Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande are on an “offensive lyrics” list.
It was presented to Parliament in Singapore as part of a statement by the city-state’s ‘Home Minister on Hate Speech.’
The statement follows the banning of Swedish black metal group Watain’s concert last month over concerns about its history of “denigrating religions and promoting violence.”
Singapore keeps a tight rein on public speech and the media, especially when it comes to race and religion.
A photo of the ministerial statement on restricting hate speech was posted on Facebook by opposition MP Chen Show Mao with the caption “lesson of the day”.
The list cited Lady’s Gaga’s song Judas and Ariana Grande’s God is a Woman, alongside songs Heresy by Nine Inch Nails and Take Me to the Church, by Hozier.
Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande had both held earlier concerts in Singapore.
Singapore Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam said he gave the list as an illustration of things people may find offensive.
“It doesn’t mean that it can all get banned, just because some people find it offensive,” Mr Shanmugam, who is also Minister for Law, posted.
He said the Government’s approach had to be guided by common sense, however he added that banning everything deemed insulting or offensive by anyone, or allowing everything that is insulting or offensive, was not achievable.
The statement came on a day Singapore submitted wide-ranging legislation against fake news in parliament, which might prompt some internet outfits and human rights groups to watch what they say.
Fake news, as The Donald has often warned, is real in this age of freedom of speech, especially when the ‘news’ is manipulated by people who have no concept of fair and accurate reporting.