The Singapore authorities, below Part 11 of its “Safety from On-line Falsehoods and Manipulation Act of 2019 (POFMA), has demanded that below authorized obligations imposed by the powers of POFMA, Asia Sentinel publish a correction of our Could 24 story titled Killing the Chicken to Scare the Monkeys. Though we have posted the government’s demand, we stand by our story.
First, we’re domiciled in California in the US, which might be the suitable place for any potential authorized motion by Singapore, and we aren’t topic to calls for or threats of the Singapore authorities.
Statements of truth
The Authorities quarrels with the next assertions:
The Singapore authorities alleges we have been incorrect in declaring that Singapore Authorities officers threatened to finish Nikkei Inc.’s enterprise operations in Singapore. We stand by that assertion. The menace was made by an unnamed official on the Embassy of the Authorities of Singapore throughout the federal government’s makes an attempt to get Nikkei Asian Evaluate to withdraw an article important of the Singapore authorities’s dealing with of KTV lounges through the Covid-19 disaster. Asia Sentinel verified the menace from two sources preferring to stay anonymous out of concern of retaliation, and is happy with its veracity.
The federal government says that as a result of Nikkei printed a letter to the editor from the Singapore authorities over the problem, that constitutes a Nikkei retraction. That isn’t true. That merely demonstrates that Nikkei was keen to grant a courtesy to the Singapore authorities, which historically has demanded a proper to be heard.
Our story reported that M Ravi was suspended from practising legislation for 5 years as a result of he had criticized the federal government. The federal government disputed that. We quote from an Amnesty Worldwide press assertion issued on 16 Could 2023 regarding Mr. Ravi’s suspension: “In March, the Singapore Courtroom of Three Judges suspended the practising license of human rights lawyer M Ravi who focuses on demise penalty instances. The court docket suspended M Ravi’s license for 5 years in response to statements he made outdoors a courthouse and posts he shared on Fb in 2020 about his shopper, Gobi Avedian, after he was spared the demise penalty. M Ravi criticized the Public Prosecutor and the federal government for his or her “overzealous” prosecution of Gobi and referred to as for an apology to his shopper. When the Legal professional Normal’s Chamber despatched him a letter calling on him to apologize and surrender his statements, he refused and posted the letter on Fb. Whereas a disciplinary tribunal had already discovered M Ravi responsible of misconduct and imposed a tremendous of SGD 6,000 (USD 4,500), he then confronted additional penalties for a similar feedback. M Ravi’s suspension, the most recent in a collection of sanctions in opposition to him, got here a yr after Singapore resumed executions of individuals on demise row. His newest sanction seems timed to additional stifle criticism of the demise penalty, a follow the present authorities vigorously defends amidst intensified criticism domestically and overseas.”
The federal government disputes our reporting that Lee Hsien Yang, the Prime Minister’s brother, and his spouse Lee Suet Fern have been compelled to depart Singapore as a result of authorities motion was threatened in opposition to them for his or her household dispute with the prime minister. Lee Hsien Yang has repeatedly stated he left Singapore as a result of he and his spouse feared for his or her security. Lee Hsien Yang was one among Singapore’s most outstanding businessmen. He and his spouse have been concerned in no controversies previous to their three-year battle over the disposition of the late Lee Kuan Yew’s residence. That battle throughout the household has been broadly reported together with a number of instances by Asia Sentinel. It’s tough to consider another motive the 2 have been compelled to depart Singapore out of concern until it was using the federal government’s energy in opposition to them in what amounted to a household dispute. In truth, in a Fb publish on March 7, Lee Hsien Yang stated he had been made a fugitive by his nation for standing up for a promise to his late father, Singapore’s first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew. We might refer the federal government to Mr. Lee’s Fb web page for additional affirmation.
The Safety from On-line Falsehoods and Manipulation Act is a draconian provision by the Singapore authorities that has been used in opposition to the press, political figures and Singapore’s critics, and anybody else who dares to lift a voice in opposition to it. We consider it’s getting used in opposition to Asia Sentinel as a result of we reported pretty and fully on the controversy over the federal government’s makes an attempt to silence a critic. We repeat, we stand by our story.