For all the bluster about waging war on the Singapore government, November 5 — designated a global protest day by hacker collective Anonymous — was rather uneventful in Singapore.
While marches were held in the Philippines, Australia, and the United States, Anonymous Singapore mostly kept a low profile yesterday. Except for one small incident.
It turned out that the social media accounts for Ridhwan Azman, a Singaporean movie actor well known for his role in Ah Boys to Men and also for hitting his girlfriend, may have been hacked. He’s apparently still in control of his private Twitter account though.
And the reason for the intrusion? He had been talking smack to Anonymous on Twitter:
What happened next set the Twittersphere aflame. Azman’s Twitter account was apparently compromised by Anonymous, who used to post a series of tweets.
One tweet led to a video that was uploaded on Ridhwan’s YouTube channel, which seems to have been hacked as well. The video, addressed at the actor, gave this warning:
We have seen that you have been dissing the legion. Also, claiming that we are a joke, in all attempts to trend such is now nothing but inactive accounts. What you thought was a joke is now real.
Another tweet led to a message addressed to Singapore citizens which purportedly explained why Anonymous didn’t organize any large-scale movements on November 5.
The letter expressed support for the Messiah, a hacker who claimed responsibility for the threat of war and for hacking a few websites belonging to government entities. He also told Yahoo Singapore that Anonymous was responsible for the outage of dozens of government websites, directly contradicting the government’s stand.
“Yes I agree there are probably better approaches [to what Messiah did] but think about it. Nowadays are our government really listening? Do they take the very same MRT the citizens take to work daily? Do they take the busses (sic) daily? Will the government really understand what is happening on the field,” the note read.
The letter writer also claimed that attempts at organizing a protest had been unsuccessful. A permit was sought to hold an event at the Speaker’s Corner, but it was rejected without explanation.
He then laid some of the blame for the disarray on ‘AOTWH Singapore Project’, which is apparently another Anonymous group in Singapore, for creating an event page for the protest but not following up on it.
The note then ended by saying the Anonymous will be more prepared for future protests, and even tried to reassure Singaporeans about its supposed legality.
We Anonymous are a NON-VIOLENT movement and we will not go against the law in order to put a point across. That is the main point to why we didn’t go on with the Million Mark (sic) March.
While Singapore saw nothing like what happened in the Philippines, there appeared to be a few modest attempts at a march. An extended conversation on Facebook documented how a few individuals sought to organize a gathering at City Hall yesterday.
One particular individual even denounced an act of graffiti that was apparently done in the name of “the legion”. It’s unclear where these acts of vandalism were committed.
(Editing by Josh Horwitz)