Although I don't usually support the PAP, I think it was imprudent of them to announce what they've been doing. They really should have just shut up about it.
Let me make it clear first that I don't condone hiding behind anonymity online. There were occasions on my Victoria School forums where some students were critical of certain actions of the Prefectorial Board (when they didn't even understand or bother to ask about the rationale behind it), and since the complaints forum was auto-anonymous, students from the Prefectorial ExCo and some others who were closer to them, including me, defended the ExCo and left our name and class for all to see. Now I won't feel so safe doing that on public forums, and I thought that some of the guys were asking for it to have put 'Anything you want to discuss come find me' because... it is a boys' school after all and the hell there are some who'd take your offer up anytime. Not smart.
So I don't condone online anonymity. More so because this is the PAP defending their actions, not dissidents in danger of being summoned for that dreaded cup of coffee with intelligence officials. You are the government, our leader. What are you demonstrating to your people with these actions? That it's ok to hide behind a one-way mirror just to disagree? You guys should be least afraid of putting your names down, this is Singapore. You were the ones who made it safe.
However, my dear audience, from the perspective of their PR with us citizens, they would have totally been better off just doing this quietly. Doing something like this that isn't really condoned or positive in the community that you're in, then announcing that you have been doing this, is like going around executing bank robberies to textbook perfection, then holding a press conference to tell the whole world that you have been doing it - you're just sticking a flaming target to your chest and inviting one and all to screw you upside down aren't you?
Governments, as I said, have to keep up with the newest communities to address issues before they go out of hand. So it is admirable that the PAP are attempting to extend their influence and presence to the online community. But what they are doing reflects that they have next to no idea what and who they are dealing with. It's really like walking into some Afro-American slum and going 'HEY! HEY! HAHAHA! LEMME TELL YA A JOKE! YO' MAMA SO BLACK, PEOPLE TRY TO USE HER FOR CHARCOAL! HURHURHURHURHUR!'
Dude, You. Will. Die. Certain places you can't do certain things, and those who have been posting, along with the monitoring committee, are obviously concerning themselves only with righting what they think are wrong perceptions, and not with the way the Web 2.0 works. Posting anonymously, saying things like 'to moderate the vitriol', 'the identity is not important'... these things are infuriating to just about any active member of Web 2.0 who understands that at this point in Web history you do not do or say these things. It's total lack of netiquette. 'IT-savvy party activists'? Riiiight...
Now look what you've done. You've gotten just about the whole blogosphere majorly pissed at you. Call it 'counter-insurgency' if you want - you made it anything but 'quiet'. And what are you supposed to do after this? You revealed your plan to an offended cyberspace and you still expect people to listen to you? You try posting now la. The only thing you'll gain from it is an increased knowledge of expletives from 5 languages.
Sit up boys. Do your homework first.