Singapore Media Watch

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Singapore ranked 146th in Press Freedom by Reporters without borders

Singapore - Annual report 2006


More than a year after coming to power, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, son of the country’s strong man, Lee Kuan Yew, had not begun any liberalisation of the media. Despite statements in support of an “open” society, the ruling party still does not brook any criticism.

Questioned by the international press about Singapore’s position in the 2005 World Press Freedom Index (140th out of 167), senior minister Goh Chok Tong called it a “subjective measure computed through the prism of western liberals”. He also defended the Singapore model for controlling the media, saying that a press that was too free was “not necessarily good for the entire country”.

Relatively independent for regional and international news, when it comes to domestic politics Singapore’s press, still controlled by associates of Lee Kuan Yew, is in the grip of a rigorous self-censorship. The government threatens journalists, foreign media and opposition with defamation suits seeking dizzying amounts in damages. (Read more...)

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