Posts circulating online over the past day have puzzled Singaporeans after Taipei’s National Taiwan University (NTU) allegedly censored an email announcement of the Singapore ambassador’s guest speech.
Photos of the email body were circulating online and on popular Internet forum Reddit.
National Taiwan University censors e-mail announcing Ambassador of Singapore’s guest speech: removing references to "Singlish" (Singaporean English) and "Singapore’s unique method of punishment, "caning,” which makes people afraid, effectively deterring crimes". from singapore
While the email source is unclear, it seemed to be have been addressed to faculty members and students.
However, in the revised version of the email, references to Singapore have been removed and in their place is the following apology, “Please see the updated version below. We are sincerely sorry for the mistakes in the previous email.”.
Also removed was a reference to Taiwanese mayor Han Kuo-yu’s recent visit to Singapore.
Further still, the revised email omits the line, “Are you interested in Singapore’s unique method of punishment, “caning”, which makes people afraid, effectively deterring crimes, also creating a safe environment for Singapore?”.
Netizens are having a field day speculating the reasons behind Taiwan’s sudden censorship.
One user, Ambitious_Operation said, “When they talk about singlish and caning, I knew they were being sarcastic. Taiwanese think that there is only 1 correct way to speak English which is the American way and the law is known to be liberal and not strict”.
TISG reached out to NTU to verify the email, and for further comment.