Malaysians chide Singapore for wanting to enact fake news laws like Najib

So yesterday, the PAP government sent a request to Facebook to remove a post on States Times Review that had a link to the article the IMDA and other authorities have deemed ‘fake news and libellous’ which was turned down by the social media giant.

Today, when Malaysiakini reported the news about the Singapore government using this act of refusal by Facebook to justify the need for ‘fake news legislation’, its Facebook post was filled with comments from Malaysians who took snides at Lee Hsien Loong and the PAP regime, mocking it as being similar to their old Najib regime, saying things like “Welcome to old Malaysia” and “time to check their financial system”.

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1MDB Investigative journalist believes many ‘secret deals’ were done in Singapore to hide Najib’s crimes

On Wednesday evening, at a gathering organised by the Malaysian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and Macau, Rewcastle said she believed secret deals were done in Singapore so the funds Najib had squirrelled away would not be exposed.

“I think there are still secrets to come out of Singapore on 1MDB, and probably Malaysians will want to prise them out,” she said.

Via: SCMP

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1MDB investigative journalist: Power of the internet helped me a lot

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Rewcastle Brown is the investigative journalist, whose blog The Sarawak Report fuelled corruption allegations against Malaysia’s disgraced prime minister Najib Razak. She has just released a book on the 1MDB saga.

While she was in Hong Kong to publicise her new book on Wednesday evening, at a gathering organised by the Malaysian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and Macau, Rewcastle said she believed secret deals were done in Singapore so the funds Najib had squirrelled away would not be exposed.

“I think there are still secrets to come out of Singapore on 1MDB, and probably Malaysians will want to prise them out,” she said.

Private blog status helped a lot

She acknowledged she would not have had the leeway to pursue her investigative reports if she had been part of a larger organisation where she needed to answer to editors – and legal teams, she quipped.

During lunch at the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents’ Club, she said everyone in Malaysia knew 1MDB was a “slush fund”, but fear of the regime prevented them from speaking up.

Her ability to do so was partly driven by the power of the internet, she said.

“I would get my children off to bed, and I found I could sit in my kitchen with a glass of wine and start burrowing into company records from 1980 back in Canada or the US.

“Something that just a few years ago would have involved a flight, I could do via the internet.”

Via: SCMP

Yahoo Poll: 83% don’t agree with Woody Goh that Ho Ching would make a good minister

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So Goh Chok Tong revealed in his latest book, Tall Order, that he had thought of bringing Ho Ching (now Temasek’s CEO, then still not the wife of Lee Hsien Loong) into politics in the 1980s, saying “she had the intellect and the attributes we were looking for”. He added: “She would have made a good minister, a different kind of minister”. At that time, she actually did not say no, but rather, said, ‘not at [that] stage.’

Yahoo Singapore then made a poll to ask Singaporeans for their take on this view of the ex-PM Goh. And the results were striking.

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Results from the Yahoo survey, as of 12pm on 5 Nov.

 

Malaysians praise Harapan govt for Singapore’s removal of motorcycle toll

So Singapore ‘follows’ Malaysia’s action of removing toll for motorcycles and proceeded to act in kind.

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This act drew wide praise of the Malaysians for their own new Pakatan Harapan government for having ‘good foreign relations’. Some also quipped about the slow crossing speeds at the borders, though where Singapore conducts ‘100% checks’ and frequently catches Singapore and Malaysian citizens alike, for ‘contraband’ and ‘non-taxed’ items.

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Malaysia’s new PM, Dr Mahathir is set to visit Singapore soon to meet with dictator Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, with water price among the issues to be discussed. The PAP govt had previously been very ‘tough’ and ‘firm’ on the water price issue, insisting that the price is fixed and is not open for negotiation. This stance has not been reiterated recently, in anticipation of Mahathir’s negotiating visit. And it looks like Malaysians will be looking forward to more ‘good relations’ with their neighbour Singapore in the form of concessions on our side, not meaningless confrontation.

How the Singapore media pretends to be free

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Former (tenure not renewed) NTU professor for WKW School of Communication and Information, and current professor at the Department of Journalism in Hong Kong Baptist University, wrote a post on his blog, Air-Conditioned Nation, about SPH’s misplaced ‘defence’ of ‘pseudo-freedom’ of its press position, adding that the way the press behaves today was “exactly what Lee Kuan Yew designed the press system to do”.

He singled out two recent incidents. One, the censorship done by the Straits Times in its report on a recent talk at NUS which Prof Tommy Koh attended. Two, the recent closure of the political desk at the Straits Times to merge into the Singapore Desk, and the redeployment of former political editor, Li Xueying, on suspected displeasure from the PAP leadership towards her reporting and stance.

While Straits Times denied any infringement on press freedom, Cherian feels the workings in these news organisations only reinforce the ‘pseudo-freedom’ that Lee Kuan Yew so put in place in the Singapore press system. While Singapore falls into neither the category of the adversarial press like the New York Times or the Washington Post, nor the likes of The Global Times in China, that is an overt, total mouthpiece, the ‘fake media freedom’ model is specifically instituted by Lee Kuan Yew to help in PAP’s political hegemony and stranglehold on power.

“There are newspapers around the world that struggle for press freedom. There are others at the opposite end of the ideological spectrum, like China’s Global Times, that unapologetically serve as mouthpieces of the ruling party.

The Straits Times in Singapore is in neither category. It operates under laws that compel the press to align itself with the government, which is not its fault — but it tries to deny it. Instead of struggling to be free, it struggles to be seen as free.

..This is conformism and self-censorship at an advanced level, where gatekeepers do what’s required of the powers that be while insisting, maybe even believing, that they are acting independently.”

-Cherian George

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Mr George, at the book launch of Singapore, Incomplete.

In the article, he referenced a chapter on the press in Singapore from his own book, Singapore, Incomplete where he detailed how Lee Kuan Yew specifically enacted laws like the Newspaper and Printing Presses Act (1974) which essentially destroyed individual and family ownership of newspapers and instituted a ‘profit-based’ media company management model, whose main shareholders (management shareholders who have 200 times voting power compared to normal shareholders) are NTUC Income, OCBC Bank, etc. whose ‘common trait’ was that they were all ‘deeply invested in Singapore’s political stability’ and hence would favour and tilt the balance towards ‘favourable news’ for the PAP instead of ‘popular’ news, news that the people can feel emotional towards or that represented what the people wanted to speak after.

This after learning from experience that it were those who put ideals ‘ahead of profits and even personal safety’, like the former chairman of Nanyang Siang Pau (later forcefully ‘merged with Sin Chew Jit Poh to form Lianhe Zaobao), Lee Eu Seng, who was detained under the ISA for 5 years, that posed the most serious ‘threat’ of fighting for justice and reporting the truth, much like The New York Times and Washington Post are all owned by family businesses. Lee Kuan Yew saw that those who do not fall into such categories and have ‘profit-minded’ management tended to employ ‘tamer editors’.

Meanwhile, MediaCorp is even more fully-controlled and is wholly owned by Temasek.

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Cherian George, at the PAP’s Fake News Committee hearing.

 

 

PM Lee in Jan 2015: Vote in people who can be good checks on the PAP

He remains adamant that while there is ‘a desire for alternative views in parliament’, Singaporeans “still want the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) to govern the country”.

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Mr Lee told the people in Jan 2015, to “vote for somebody who you think will be a “good check”, adding that they should also “make sure he or she is up to the standards you expect.”

He also referred to the Opposition Workers’ Party and SDP (Singapore Democratic Party) as parties who refuse to say they are ready to take over government. “If you ask the opposition parties, whether it’s the Workers’ Party or the SDP, nobody says: ‘Vote for me, I will form the government, I will be the prime minister, I will run this place better’.”

He, however, remains adamant that while there is ‘a desire for alternative views in parliament’, Singaporeans “still want the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) to govern the country”.

It was at a time when Lee said his team was busy with the country’s year-long golden jubilee ‘SG50’ celebrations and had not thought about when to set up the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee.

The general elections were called in September that year, just months after the death of his late father, Mr Lee Kuan Yew in March, and just weeks after the SG50 National Day celebrations. Also coinciding with the Sep 11 attacks anniversary, the GE2015 saw PAP returned to power with 69.9% of valid votes cast.

News from: Asiaone