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Blog   |   Singapore

Blogger in Singapore faces financial ruin following defamation suit

Singapore blogger Roy Ngerng addresses a crowd protesting website regulations in June 2013. The blogger faces damages in a defamation suit brought against him by the prime minister. (Reuters/Edgar Su)

"If we want our freedom, we have to fight for it," wrote blogger Roy Ngerng last year after he was sued for defamation by Singapore's prime minister. The case was sparked by a blog post in which Ngerng allegedly suggested Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had misappropriated funds in a state pension system. In November, the court ruled in favor of the prime minister.

Blog   |   Singapore

Lee Kuan Yew's legacy

What to make of Singapore's first and former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, who died Monday morning in the city-state? Under the banner of the People's Action Party, Lee held government power for three decades. After stepping away from the prime minister's office in 1990, he held positions of senior minister and later "minister mentor" until 2004, when his son, Lee Hsien Loong, became prime minister. Under their rule (and the interregnum of Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong--not a Lee family member, but hand-picked for the role, with the elder Lee looming over his shoulder for 14 years), Singapore emerged from Southeast Asia's post-Second World War tumult as its most successful economy, a combination of authoritarian government, democratic trappings, and free markets that some predict will be the next century's model for growth and stability. And Singapore's media policies are being replicated across much of Southeast Asia.

Blog   |   Singapore

In Singapore, blogger under pressure, CPF under scrutiny

Blogger Roy Ngerng, shown at a June 2013 protest against licensing regulations on news websites, has been fired from his job in health-care since being accused of defamation by the prime minister. (Reuters/Edgar Su)

A critical Singaporean blogger continues to suffer financial and legal pressure because of a blog post that allegedly accused the city-state's prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong, of corruption. The episode is part of a disturbing pattern of government legal and financial pressure on critics, but it is also a lesson in how censorship can backfire.

Blog   |   Singapore

Singapore blogger: 'I have been waiting' for government backlash

EDITOR'S NOTE: This week, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong demanded an apology from a critical blogger who has allegedly accused him of corruption. Roy Ngerng Yi Ling, who is also a healthcare worker, has frequently posted critical commentary on the ruling People's Action Party on his blog, The Heart Truths.

May 22, 2014 1:45 PM ET


Blog   |   Internet, Singapore

Singapore bloggers wary of news site license scheme

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.

June 4, 2013 10:48 AM ET


Blog   |   Singapore

CJR: Singapore not so modern on press freedom

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.

June 29, 2010 12:45 PM ET


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