United We Stand Divided We Fall

On 8 June, The Straits Times broke the news and almost broke the internet with the following headline.

Singapore public servants’ computers to have no Internet access from May next year

Wah, not only were netizens mad but even civil servants were mad! According to a Today article, here were some comments by unnamed civil servants who refused to go on record (no balls but guess their rice bowl at stake)

Calling the move regressive, civil and public servants TODAY spoke to said cutting off Internet access in such a manner was also disruptive.

“It’s like saying ‘your house could get burgled, but don’t spend money upgrading security features like cameras or locks; just move out’,” said one civil servant, who did not want to be named.

Another civil servant who also wanted to remain anonymous said: “I feel like there are relatively simpler solutions but they just decided to use the nuclear option.”

A public servant said that without Internet access on personal work computers, it would be unfair to expect public servants to have to pay for their own mobile data to carry out the work.

Mothership.sg drew first blood.

Then we also whack.

Then gahmen must defend so The First Volunteer Volunteer No. 1 responded all the way from Myanmar.

Next, our favourite bad@ss & DareDevil, Ambassador-at-Large Bilahari Kausikan played fair by whacking both IDA for their comms strategy and chided the public for not having the brains to figure it out.

Then Communications Minister and Smart Nation Minister also jumped into the picture.

In  the end, the key point was this…

“Singapore is under constant attack on the cyber front,” said Mr David Koh, chief executive of the CSA. “We are a prime target for cyber criminals, gangs, hacktivists and even state actors.”

He added: “As public servants, we have a duty and responsibility to protect the Government and citizens’ information and data.”

But it took The One Volunteer No. 1, Communications Minister and SmartNation Minister to reiterate what the Chief of Cyber Security Agency of Singapore wanted to say…that we were prone to cyber attacks and thus measures have to be taken. In his own words,

“It was crucial to prevent breaches, and to raise cyber defences. This move of Internet surfing separation will significantly reduce the cyber attack surface and make it harder for attackers to exploit our systems.”


To end this saga, their UNITED comeback responses help managed the flaming online and could not be picked apart. After all, who wants their NRIC and bank account number stolen. There are already enough love scams out there. As a result, the issue just died a natural death.

United We Stand, Divided We Fall. Or All for One, One for All. You get the picture.

Mr Teh Terik

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