Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Singapore bans FEER

The Far Eastern Economic Review (FEER) has been banned in Singapore. It all started when the Singapore government required all foreign publications distributed here to appoint a legal representative and pay a bond of about US$125,000. FEER refused and now it's banned. From FEER:
The Singaporean government today announced that it has banned the Far Eastern Economic Review from the country. It has explicitly warned that not only is the Review Publishing Company forbidden from importing or distributing the Hong Kong-based monthly, but Singaporeans will also commit a criminal offense if they import or reproduce the magazine for distribution.

In its September issue, the Review urged the Singaporean government to reconsider its decision to impose punitive regulations on the Review. These retroactive regulations furthered the interests of individual members of the government and harmed the magazine financially, but were never justified by the government under the applicable law. Today’s statement shows that the government has refused to reconsider its repressive approach toward the media.

We regret that this action infringes on the fundamental rights of our Singaporean subscribers and further restricts the already narrow scope of free expression in Singapore. The Review will publish a more complete response to the government’s actions in the next issue of the magazine to appear on October 6.
You can read the statement from the FEER blog as well. I think Expat@Large says it best: Looks like Singapore has nothing to fear but FEER itself.

(via Simon World)


jolie said...

why can't FEER just play it according to the rules and just appoint a legal rep and place a bond? it's not like they can't afford it... i hate these foreigners who are always criticising our rules and regulations. if you wanna play HERE with us, you play by OUR rules, instead of saying our ruls are crap and stirring up a whole load of shit. ENOUGH ALREADY!

Sir Thomas said...

Because this is simply Singapore's way of controlling free press.

Bravo for the FEER for standing up against the ridiculous regulations imposed on foreign media in Singapore.

JIM said...

Singapore = No free press!!!

pkchong said...

jolie: singapore has a right to implement its laws, rules and regulations but when the rules violates freedom of speech, expression, democracy, etc, then it is the right of everyone, not just foreigners to criticize the rules.

LIBERATI said...

Talking about banned publications in Singapore, do you guys know that the sale of Malaysian newspapers in Singapore is prohibited?

Anonymous said...

SDP's press release:

The ban on the Far Eastern Economic Review (FEER) is yet more evidence of the PAP's desperation to try to stem the mounting international criticism of its despotic ways.

It also exposes the extent of the regime's insecurity . A confident government need not resort to banning newspapers and magazines that are critical of it.

The Government says that foreign publications publish in Singapore as a matter of privilege, not right. It forgets that the free flow of information to Singaporeans is a matter of right, not privilege.

The ban is yet another naked attempt by the PAP to censor critical views. It may benefit the party and those who control it, but it will continue to harm the interests of Singapore.

Singapore has never enjoyed freedom of expression. This latest act exposes the lie of the new Prime Minister, Mr Lee Hsien Loong (Mr Lee Kuan Yew's elder son), that he wants to build an "open and inclusive society."

Coupled with the recent debacle over the crackdown on civil society organisations during the WB-IMF Meeting, investors must ask the hard question of whether the PAP's actions are consistent with a free-market economy that depends of free information flow.

If information can be blocked and manipulated by the Government, how can we develop a knowledge-driven economy, much less a knowledge-based society? How can Singaporeans hold the Government accountable and know that what our leaders say is the truth?

Singaporeans and the international community must view this latest clamp down on the media with alarm and urgency. The condemnation of such blatant repression must be unequivocal and universal. In addition, efforts to achieve democracy, transparency and a free flow of information in Singapore must be stepped up.

Johnny Q said...

liberati: sales of singapore papers are banned in m'sia too.