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Internet use in Singapore: Politics and policy implications

Lee, T.ORCID: 0000-0003-3333-0076 (2003) Internet use in Singapore: Politics and policy implications. Media International Australia, 106 . pp. 75-88.


As one of the most networked societies in the Asia-Pacific region, Singapore commands a high degree of attention in the information and communication (infocomm) sector. However, internet use, along with the politics of internet regulation, in the high-tech city-state has not been sufficiently critiqued. This paper aims to address this 'lack' by examining the politics and policy implications of internet regulatory practices in Singapore. It begins by looking at some development in Singapore's infocomm sector, highlighting political responses to key occurrences over the past decade. Taking on board the discourse of auto-regulation - that regulating the internet and new media in Singapore is mostly about ensuring an automatic functioning of power for political expedience and longevity - advanced by this author (Lee, 2001a, 2001b, 2001c; Lee and Birch, 2000), this paper offers updates and new insights into the normalisation of internet auto-regulation in Singapore. The final section of the paper looks at the fast-developing application of electronic government (e-government) services in Singapore via the national 'e-citizen' website. I argue how online extensions of government are really about providing internet users with degrees of structured freedom, while tightening the more permanent and potent strictures of political control.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Media, Communication and Culture
Publisher: University of Queensland Press
Copyright: 2003 Media Information Australia
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