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Malaymail Online: There is more freedom of religion in Malaysia compared to Singapore and the United States, both of which imposes stricter laws against various faiths, a prominent Christian preacher said today.
Religion News Service: A teenage blogger from Singapore has been found guilty of insulting Christians and of distributing an obscene image of the country’s founding father, Lee Kuan Yew, and former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
The Washington Times: Religious freedom? Or misuse of church funds? Those are the questions surrounding the ongoing corruption trial of a megachurch founder in Singapore who has won support from international religious leaders such as Pastor A.R. Bernard.
CNA: “The Ministry of Health (MOH) is proposing that pre-abortion counselling be made mandatory for all women seeking a termination of pregnancy in Singapore.”
Malaysia Chronicle: Singapore Pastor Lawrence Khong of Faith Community Baptist Church talks about why he opposes calls to repeal Section 377A of the Penal Code, which bans homosexual sex, and how he became a pastor . . . And there is a difference between loving people, including homosexuals, and allowing the homosexual lifestyle to become normalised in society.
AP: Singapore’s government has ordered a prominent church to pay compensation to a former employee who was fired for alleged adultery, officials said Tuesday.
AP: This conservative city-state convicted men for homosexual behavior as recently as seven years ago, and the British colonial-era law it used is still on the books. The government shows no interest in making a change: The prime minister’s advice has been to just let things be.
Religion Clause Blog: In Lim Meng Suang v. Attorney General, (Singapore High Ct., April 9, 2013), a Republic of Singapore trial court refused to declare Singapore’s ban on male homosexual conduct to be unconstitutional.
Singapore High Court Allows Sodomy Challenge; LGBT challenge versus Russia filed at European Court of Human Rights
Jurist: The Court of Appeal of Singapore [official website] ruled [judgment, PDF] Tuesday that a man charged with gross indecency under a provision of the penal code criminalizing sexual acts between men can proceed with a constitutional challenge against the law in court . . .
Yahoo News: “If we go on like that, this place will fold up, because there’ll be no original citizens left to form the majority, and we cannot have new citizens, new PRs to settle our social ethos, our social spirit, our social norms,” he said, noting that Chinese reproduction rate is now at 1.08, Indians at 1.09 and Malays at 1.64.
Christian Science Monitor: “‘Shanghai-China’ outperformed all other global participants in an average of the three areas of evaluation (math, science, and reading). South Korea (2), Hong Kong-China (4), Singapore (5), and Japan (8) also placed in the the top 10. Non-Asian countries in the top 10 were Finland (3), Canada (6), New Zealand (7), Australia (9), and The Netherlands (10). The US was no. 17.”
Sify News: “Singapore said Wednesday it will continue a ban on 100 websites, rejecting a recommendation from a government-appointed panel to scrap Internet restrictions. The government will block the websites — which contain pornographic content, incite racial and religious intolerance, or promote terrorism and extremism — as a symbolic gesture to reflect Singapore’s values, the Information Ministry said.”
MSN News: “The Bioethics Advisory Committee has proposed that a national body be set up to monitor all stem cell research, including human—animal stem cell combinations, in Singapore. And this could materialise early next year.”
LifeSiteNews: “The government of Singapore announced that it has asked for tenders from communications agencies to produce a television commercial to “promote dating and come up with a ‘unique dating concept’ to get singles to interact” in a bid to deal with the city-state’s low birth and marriage rates.”
Channel NewsAsia: “Singapore authorities have made known publicly the use of commercial property for religious activities. Previously, the authorities grant requests from religious organisations to use commercial space on a case-by-case basis. The guidelines issued on Tuesday follows several high profile real estate investments by religious groups.”
Today: “Two years ago, some churches raised a debate on whether religious charities should be regulated separately from other charities. While their wishes were denied then – and churches and temples continue to be regulated under the Commissioner of Charities office today – the latest investigations into alleged misuse of funds at City Harvest Church has put the spotlight back on how the religious charities sector should be regulated.”
The Straits Times: “McDonald’s this month started selling cartoon character miniatures depicting the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac calendar, but the pig was replaced by love god Cupid as McDonald’s said it did not want to offend Muslims.”
Channel News Asia: “The Ministry of Education (MOE) has released guidelines which external vendors conducting sexuality education programmes in schools will have to adhere to. The vendors are also required to submit their policy statement on sexuality education. The statement must cover five areas, including homosexuality, abortion and pre-marital sex.”
SSRN: “In this essay, I argue that the rationales offered by the Singapore Government for restricting racial and religious hate speech are not only constitutionally unsound, but also not without serious moral and social costs.”
AFP: “Richard Revesz, dean of New York University’s law school, said Thio Li-ann had informed him she would not be teaching during the fall semester because of ‘controversy surrounding her views regarding homosexuality and gay rights.’”
David Bernstein writes at the Volokh Conspiracy: “Inside Higher Ed has a story about the ongoing controversy over Thio Li-ann of the National University of Singapore, who will be teaching International Human Rights at NYU as a visitor this Fall. As IHE report, she is an ‘outspoken opponent of gay rights. Thio has argued repeatedly and graphically that her country should continue to criminalize gay sexual acts.’”
Religion Clause Blog: “Ong Kian Cheng and his wife Dorothy Chan Hien Leng were charged with giving copies of Christian publications titled ‘The Little Bride’ and ‘Who is Allah?’ to Muslims who were offended by them.”
Breitbart (AFP): “Plans by Singapore to allow payments to living organ donors have run into opposition from some lawmakers who fear they may draw indebted foreign workers, according to press reports Tuesday.”
The ABA Journal: “Catching up to other Asian markets that have invited foreign lawyers to practice locally, Singapore is opening its doors to the legal profession by issuing licenses to practice to six Western law firms . . . “
Tsun Hang Tey, “Excluding Religion from Politics and Enforcing Religious Harmony” (July 31, 2008). Singapore Journal of Legal Studies, pp.118-142, July 2008. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1268673 The Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act is a unique feature in the legal landscape …
The AP reports: A Singapore television station has been fined for airing a show that depicted a gay couple and their baby in a way that “promotes a gay lifestyle,” the city-state’s media regulator said Thursday. The Media Development Authority …