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Singapore


This screenshot shows Singapore Minister of Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim telling a BBC interviewer that new license regulations will ensure users see the 'right' content online. (BBC)

Singapore's Internet community is in backlash since the government announced on May 28 a new licensing scheme for "news websites"--a term it did not define--arguing that digital news platforms ought to be regulated on par with offline media. The government said the scheme would take effect June 1.

New York, May 29, 2013--Singapore's plan to impose licensing fees on news websites will further stifle the press in the city-state's already claustrophobic media atmosphere, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam had vibrant blogospheres--until the crackdowns. By Shawn W. Crispin

(AP/Apichart Weerawong)

New York, January 26, 2011--In a concerning move against political commentary in advance of upcoming general elections, the government of Singapore has ordered a journalistic website to register as a political association, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The Online Citizen says it has complied with the order, and has announced a January 29 "celebration" of its new status and invited the prime minister to attend. 

New York, November 16, 2010--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the Singapore High Court's sentencing of British author Alan Shadrake to prison over his book criticizing the nation's judiciary.

Singapore twice fined the Dow Jones-owned Wall Street Journal Asia over its editorials. (AP)Singapore is a rich country with a surprisingly poor press freedom record—so says a story out this week in the Columbia Journalism Review. CPJ’s own findings point to a series of court fines and damages awarded over slights to the country’s government by major international papers like The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. The ruling Lee family protects its image fiercely, and through the court system. Justin D. Martin writes in CJR, “What Singapore’s overseers don’t seem to grasp is that without a press free to monitor power and challenge wrongdoing, even otherwise ‘developed’ countries suffer greatly.” Read the rest of his story here.

The New York Times Co. apologized on March 24, 2010, to Singapore’s prime minister and his two predecessors for a February 15 article that described the island nation’s leaders as a political dynasty, according to international news reports. The company and the article’s author, Philip Bowring, agreed to pay damages of 160,000 Singaporean dollars (US$114,000) in addition to legal costs, the reports said.

New York, November 19, 2009—The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the Singapore government’s refusal to renew British freelance journalist Benjamin Bland’s work visa and its rejection of his application to cover the recently concluded Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit meeting. Bland had planned to report on the summit for the U.K.’s Daily Telegraph newspaper.

A high court judge in Singapore ruled on March 19, 2009, that Melanie Kirkpatrick, deputy editor of the Wall Street Journal's editorial page, was in contempt of court for two articles and a letter to the editor published by the Dow Jones-owned Wall Street Journal Asia last year, according to international news reports. Kirkpatrick was ordered to pay SG$10,000 (US$6,549), according to The Associated Press.  

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Asia

Program Coordinator:
Bob Dietz

bdietz@cpj.org

Tel: 212-465-1004
ext. 140, 115
Fax: 212-465-9568

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Blog: Bob Dietz