May 29, 2009
|By Elena Chong|
| || |
A CHRISTIAN couple who mass-mailed evangelical tracts to the public for many years were on Thursday found guilty of distributing seditious or objectionable publications to three Muslims.
This is the first time a full trial under the Sedition Act has been heard.
In 2005, a man was jailed a month for posting inflammatory and vicious remarks about Muslims and Malays on the Internet.
The following year, a 21-year-old accounts assistant received a stern warning for posting an offensive cartoon of Jesus Christ on his blog.
Ong was arrested on Jan 30 last year after he was seen by police dropping off a stack of brown envelopes into a post box outside his office at ComCentre at Exeter Road.
He subsequently led the officers to his car and his home, where more of the Chick Publications materials were seized. Chan was arrested the same day.
The case centred on whether the couple, who were then attending Berean Christian Church at Havelock Road, knew or had reason to believe that the publications they had mailed to the three were seditious.
The prosecution argued that the couple had carried out their evangelical mission 'with eyes wide open', and that they were fully aware of the offensive nature of the contents.
They distributed those offensive publications to members of different faiths in Singapore with no regard for their feelings or sensitivities, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Anandan Bala in his closing submissions.
This article from the Straits Times brings back memories from the past.
More than a decade ago when I was still in secondary school, students from my school were made to attend church service every week. The service was 2 hours long, if memory still serves me well, and we had to sing praises of the lord. Singing christian songs with woeful melodies was bad enough for a teenager who wanted to do only "cool" things. Singing christian songs was definately not cool. What made it worse was, some of the songs were actually mandrain songs! WTf? Christian songs in maindrain? Totally not cool.
So one day, I decided I'd enough. I gathered some of my friends and proposed this to them: Let's skip this totally "uncool" 2 hours every week and head out for some food at the nearby hawker's centre. And so we did that every week for a couple of months before disaster struck: Our absence from the church service was finally noticed by the teachers.
As a result, each of us got 5 demerit points, which was 33% of the path to getting yourself expelled from school. Add detention classes to that.
Of course I wasn't all too happy about that. I told my parents about it and whined about those long boring 2 hours of hell we were made to go through every week. Then I mention this "Why do they keep saying that we will have to go to hell for not believing in jesus?" to my old man. My old man sort of LOLed and said something that I shall decline to reveal here.
Ok. Back to the main topic.
Why is it that telling a muslim that hell awaits him if he doesn't turn to Jesus a crime while telling the same thing to an atheist not? I'm sure it did "promote feelings of ill-will and hostility" between me and the pastor. Heck, I'd be pissed if anyone else were to tell me that I'd be "going to hell".
Why was it that I was never given the option of not attending the church service?
Oh well. Just food for thought.