IF you think your media are not free, read journo-blogger Op-Ed's article Media - Ethiopia, Sudan, Haiti then Singapore.
Excerpts:These are the main points if you want to write about Singapore.If you are not against media freedom, read the rest of the article, H E R E.
1) The government allows to write anything. But if it sees you straying into rumours and syiok sendiri political stories, it will not stand still.
It will be very vigorous in trying to get its response across.
Don't lose in court, baby. Don't.
If, to take a Malaysian example, you put out a story about the government being corrupt, or PM Najib Razak being involved with some murder (as some websites and blogs did), then expect a strong response. Unless you have court prove-able proof.
(And don't run and hide away like a royal coward after making scurrilous allegations about murder against the PM! Unless of course, they don't have any proof in the first place, just syiok sendiri writings).
The reason for staying true is simple: Singapore does not want some untrue stuff, or some things presented as 'facts' which it thinks are unfairly inaccurate, to be spread in the public domain forever and ever.
It will sue if necessary.
Be prepared to defend yourself vigorously.
As Minister Shanmugam says:
"Our approach on press reporting is simple: The press can criticise us, our policies. We do not seek to proscribe that.
"But we demand the right of response, to be published in the journal that published the original article. We do not accept that they can decide whether to publish our response. That irks the press no end."
In Malaysia, taking the example further, if a politician were to sue over some nonsense article, then a rumour will be accepted as fact, instead of the opposite.
When Anwar Ibrahim sued the writer of the book '50 Dalil' (50 Reasons Why Anwar Cannot Become PM), people actually started to say: 'There you are, the book contains truths, so he wants to shut up the publisher and writer. Otherwise, why sue?'
If PM Najib or Dr Mahathir Mohamad were to sue some website or newspaper over something, people will cry about 'media freedom being restricted'.
'They are scared of the truth lah! Vote them out!'
Lim Kit Siang will ask for a commission of inquiry.