The block against anti-PAP website, the States Times Review, appears to have been lifted days after the website was geo-blocked by the authorities, over a contentious article linking Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to the 1MDB scandal.
Last Friday, the Infocommunications Media Development Authority (IMDA) appeared to have made good on its promise to block the website after its editor, Alex Tan, refused to take down the disputed article. The website was down in Singapore hours after Tan revealed on Facebook that the IMDA sent him a notice to remove the article:
The website is now live again – barely three days after IMDA blocked the website.
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.
After the IMDA blocked his website and a mere two hours after defiantly refusing to take down the disputed article, Tan said that he will cease all website operations.
In a statement on Facebook and on the website, Tan wrote: “Hereon, I will also announce that I have decided to stop writing and continue my life in Australia.
“This Facebook page will shut down in 2 weeks from now but the website will remain until the General Elections is over. Do take note that this shut down notice is of my own volition, and not pressure from anyone or the dictatorship. I have no intention to impugn my integrity bending forward for a scum government.”