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Attacks on the Press in 2006 - Snapshots: Singapore

Publisher Committee to Protect Journalists
Publication Date February 2007
Cite as Committee to Protect Journalists, Attacks on the Press in 2006 - Snapshots: Singapore, February 2007, available at: [accessed 19 January 2018]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his father, Lee Kuan Yew, filed criminal defamation charges in May against politicians responsible for the production of an opposition-run newspaper, The New Democrat. The Lees' lawyers also threatened to file defamation charges against Melodies Press Co., which prints the paper. The government in Singapore uses criminal and civil defamation charges to stifle criticism and independent reporting.

The state-owned tabloid Today canceled in July the column of Lee Kin Mun, who writes under the name Mr. Brown. Lee, a well-known blogger in Singapore, wrote a satirical column in June headlined, "S'poreans Are Fed Up with Progress!" that criticized the government for announcing hikes in transportation and electricity costs only after May's general elections.

On September 28, the government revoked the Far Eastern Economic Review's right to distribute in the city-state. The Ministry of Information, Communications, and Arts said the Hong Kong-based monthly failed to appoint a legal representative and post a 200,000 Singapore dollar (US$129,000) security bond, as required by new regulations covering foreign publications. The action came a month after the prime minister and his father filed a civil lawsuit against the Far Eastern Economic Review alleging that they were defamed in a July story about opposition politician Chee Soon Juan. Damages would be set by a judge. In similar cases, Singapore's leaders have won hundreds of thousands of dollars in compensation from political opponents and news publications.

Copyright notice: © Committee to Protect Journalists. All rights reserved. Articles may be reproduced only with permission from CPJ.

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