09 August 2006

Singapore government takes hostages from foreign press

The government has demanded that Time and Newsweek magazines, among others, deposit S$200,000 as surety for legal damages, and appoint legal representatives here to receive summonses. Full essay.


teck soon said...

After having a look at the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it appears that the Singapore government is also violating several other articles besides Article 19:
Article 1 and 7, for discriminating against homosexuals;
Article 2, for the banning of some religious groups;
Article 3, for maintaining the death penalty;
Article 4, for the treatment of foreign maids;
Article 5, for allowing caning as a form of punishment;
Article 8, for having national tribunals that are not competent;
Article 9, for the detention powers allowed under the ISA;
Article 10, for the use of summary judgment in settling defamation suits;
Article 11, since those found in possession of a drug over a certain amount are presumed guilty of trafficking unless they can prove their own innocence;
Article 12, for unchecked police search and seizure powers;
Article 13, for holding Chia Thye Poh on Sentosa and preventing CSJ from leaving Singapore to attend a democracy conference;
Article 14 does not apply, since Singapore is not a destination for asylum seekers. Indeed, Singapore GENERATES asylum seekers.

There are 30 Articles. I lost steam halfway through.

Anonymous said...

do I detect a note of disillusionment? that the writer was previously believing that the system was opening up?

my own observation is that the system is much tighter than 20 years ago, when many niches were left outside the system; these have since been bought into the system; this substantial tightening allowed the people in charge to feel more relaxed about opening up in superficial ways, but they then discovered problemes in this as well, and have to tighten up again

Sinsling said...

Maybe I am missing the point, there have been several comparisons between the conditions in Singapore and whats provided for in articles like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but LKY has made it very clear over the years that Singapore is a unique place where universalities need not apply, only what he and his government decide is best for Sporeans. And the majority have bought into it and keep buying into it (see GE2006).

He abolished the jury system, the right to appeal to the Judicial Court of the Privy Council, the independence of the judiciary (I recall reading somewhere his comments that the judicial branch should be subserviant to the executive, but correct me if I am wrong). Retaining the the Sedition Act, implementing the Films Act, PELU, MDA and the list goes on..

What are we fighting for? Who are we fighting for? If the majority are pragmatists whose priority is not Human Rights are we justified in continually critising the establishment? Do we have the right?
I wonder?

Anonymous said...

Arrogant Singapore Govt! The foreign press should not bother to cover any event in Singapore. A $200,000 money up-front? Why not make it one million?

Anonymous said...

IS Mr. Wang blog shutdown?

Yawning Bread Sampler said...

Re Mr Wang's blog, it's probably a temporary technical problem. Blogspot did announce ahead that there'd be a maintenance shutdown on 9 August.

Anonymous said...

>foreign press should not bother to cover any event in Singapore

the rules are about circulation in singapore, not sending reporters to cover events, which require employment pass/professional visit pass depending on long term/short term

>independence of the judiciary

calling judiciary not independent would be contempt of court here; the question is the exact meaning of "independence"; to SG government it means "judges make their own decisions about cases without being told what to do by the executive"; however, since judges are appointed by the executive, not like in the US, by the legislature after a public confirmation enquiry, judges need to consider how decisions affect their future promotion

Anonymous said...

Wow, just realized that censorship in Singapore is so "popular" a topic that it warrants an entry in Wikipedia, the online Free Encylopedia :P Oops!

Anonymous said...

Teh sI

I don't think Singapore signed the Universal Declaration of Human rights. Hence we are not denied of our basic human rights. We don't even have them in the first place! - Less than a human.

Anonymous said...

I have to say that as a foreigner living in Hong Kong, I think that under these restrictions, foreign newspapers should not publish in Singapore. The Singapore governement says it is a 'privilege' that they publish in Singapore. Fine. When all the international bankers and investors start asking for newspapers that are not published in Singapore because of the restrictions, what is the Sing govt going to say ? Sorry, but they don't toe our line so you can't read them. Does the Sing Govt really think this ? My best advise to these international publications is to refuse to publish. then when the businessmen and tourists ask for these publications and find they are not available, the true nature of the Sing society and the dictatorship of that old man called harry lee ( he conveniently forgets the harry these days) will be known.

Anonymous said...

Good show by the SG govt. These MSM publications are well known for their inaccurate, biased and intellectually dishonest reporting over the Bush administration and the Middle East.

Nowadays, evil in this world is not only done by crazed islamic dictators, but also by a crooked press that seeks to undermine those who work for freedom and peace in the world, which in this case, is the Bush administration and the coalition forces in iraq.

The SG govt is absolutely right to keep a tight rein on these rags that pander to the morally and intellectually confused fanatics who seek to promote the most absurd leftist ethos.

And Human Rights? Nowadays hijacked by left-wing protestors to impose their own idea of lebensraum on the world.

Nowadays, the protestors and journos are bigger crooks than the politicians or tycoons.