Mainstream media publications like Singapore Press Holdings’ Straits Times and Mediacorp’s TODAY and Channel NewsAsia appear to have steered clear of reporting on Li Huanwu’s wedding, despite being the top mainstream sources of news.
Huanwu, who is the grandson of founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew and nephew of current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s nephew, revealed that he married his longtime boyfriend Heng Yirui in an intimate ceremony in South Africa, last Friday (24 May).
Yirui and Huanwu’s immediate families were present at the ceremony, including Huanwu’s father Lee Hsien Yang, mother Lee Suet Fern, elder brother Li Shengwu and younger brother Li Shaowu.
Huanwu’s marriage was newsworthy for two main reasons – one, because he is the grandson of the late Lee Kuan Yew; and two, because his marriage to a man occurred even as a law penalising acts of “gross indecency” between men continues to be retained in the Singapore penal code and carries a maximum penalty of a two-year jail term.
The Straits Times, Channel NewsAsia and TODAY have not reported on the wedding, or on the fact that the Lees were in attendance at the wedding, nor did they report on Lee Hsien Yang’s comment that he believes his father would have been thrilled to know of the marriage.
It has been nearly one week since news of the wedding broke but none of these publications have mentioned the wedding on their respective websites.
The only mainstream publication that covered the news of Huanwu’s wedding was AsiaOne – a joint digital platform venture between Singapore Press Holdings and MM2 Asia. But even then, AsiaOne’s reporters did not cover the story themselves and only syndicated an article on the marriage by Malaysian daily, The Star.
Interestingly, in an article published yesterday (29 May), Straits Times Chief Editor Warren Fernandez said that the national broadsheet has been transforming its newsroom to better serve readers.
He added that this “means giving them news they can rely on and trust. It also means striving to be fair and balanced in our coverage.” Given the publication’s goal to offer fair and balanced coverage, it is curious that the daily would steer clear from covering stories about Lee Hsien Yang’s family, like his son’s wedding.
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