Chilling reflections on the tube

Chilling reflections on the tube

Summary: I recently traveled on the underground rail system in the United Kingdom. At one of the stations, a commuter attempted to board when it was too late by sticking his leg and umbrella through the door.

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I recently traveled on the underground rail system in the United Kingdom. At one of the stations, a commuter attempted to board when it was too late by sticking his leg and umbrella through the door.

Instantly the train doors shut their jaws on his appendage and refused to budge. Several commuters jumped to his aid and pry the doors open but to no avail. While we waited for the train to start again and carry this person's leg to the next station, the doors opened and freed the man from its jaws.

Then, the public announcement came on and someone, presumably the driver of the train proceeded to chide that man (or the term used was "Mr Intelligent") for carrying out an act that a child would not do.

We looked at this in stunned silence but the matter came to rest there. It was funny but I saw a more serious side to it. I realized that such an occurrence, though normal in the U.K., is unique in Singapore. In Singapore, the fear for speaking up is present--too many lawsuits have taken place for innocuous or deserved comments. This results in what experts called a chilling effect--that even comments that are deserved are suppressed. This was a good example of a chilling effect.

Another example of a chilling effect is in relation to intellectual property law. Where copyright law or patent law over-protects the rights of inventors, the chilling effect may result in a situation where invention is, ironically, curtailed.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Topics: IT Employment, Legal, Singapore, United Kingdom

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4 comments
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  • Chilling reflections on the tube

    "I realised that such an occurrence, though normal in the UK, is unique in Singapore"

    so is it normal in UK or unique only in singapore?
    anonymous
  • RE: Chilling reflections on the tube

    reflection. i can't figure myself out. the shadow would be cool too.
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    anonymous
  • Chilling reflections on the tube

    Dear Mr Bryan Tan, it is an Interesting observation especially since you mention IP laws in Singapore context.

    A consumer blogger has received a legal notice from a company for trade mark violation. Both company and blogger are in Singapore, and blogger is not a competitor, was a consumer of their services, and he is only naming the company and not even displaying that company's logo. Is it correct to understand in this case, the company cannot issue such threat according to Singapore law (Or, how to name a company if not by using their name ?) Its obviously a ploy to shut down the blogger's negative opinions.

    Does Singaporel government or IPOS take any action on companies trying to unfairly apply chilling effect ?

    Thank you
    anonymous
  • RE: Chilling reflections on the tube

    The law does protect persons against unwarranted effects - this will require the application of the law, which in turn may involve lawyers representing the parties.

    The Singapore government or IPOS would play little part, I can imagine.

    So that is the other reality - the law does not always involve the active participation of the State - the law may involve the parties taking up the positions in law to sort the matters, without involvement of the State.
    bryansttan