IMDA geo-blocks States Times Review after editor’s refusal to take down “baseless” article

4845

The Infocommunications Media Development Authority (IMDA) appears to have made good on its promise to block anti-PAP website, the States Times Review, after the website editor published and refused to take down a contentious article, linking Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and the Singapore Government to the 1MDB scandal.

Published on 5 November 2018, the article entitled “Lee Hsien Loong becomes 1MDB’s key investigation target” made statements that were false and malicious, and impugned the integrity of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) as a financial regulator.

The article further alleged that Malaysia had signed several unfair agreements with Singapore, in exchange for Singapore banks’ assistance in laundering 1MDB’s funds. The defamatory article has been deemed “baseless” by Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam, who has said that the authorities will take action against all parties involved.

Earlier, MAS, Singapore’s central bank, filed a police report over the defamatory article. Alex Tan, the editor of the website later revealed on Facebook that the IMDA also sent him a notice to remove the defamatory article from his website.

The IMDA asked Tan to take down the article by 5pm today and warned him against publishing their confidential notice to him in the public domain since this would be considered an “aggravating factor warranting further regulatory action from IMDA.”

Refusing to abide by the warnings, Tan defiantly shared the notice on social media and asserted that he sent this response to the IMDA:

“The website will refuse to bow down to the dictatorship’s draconian censorship order or accept any arbitrary order naming any content as “fake news”. I will wear the ban and the falsified charges as a badge of honour.

“Singaporeans should not be afraid of the truth or impugn their integrity bowing to legalised corruptions and threats.”

Tan, who runs his website from Australia, added on Facebook: “States Times Review will refuse to remove the alleged offending article. If the Singaporean Prime Minister is adamant on being innocent, he or his acting proxies, i.e. Monetary Authority of Singapore and Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), is welcomed to file a case with the Australian authorities.”

Law Minister asserts action will be taken over “baseless” article linking PM Lee to 1MDB as editor insists he will not bow to the “dictatorship’s draconian censorship”