Ex-Malaysian PAP MP Lee Bee Wah sobbed loudly in Parliament on Thursday (Jan 11) claiming that fake news almost killed her brother during the racial riots in her hometown in Malaysia Malacca in 1969. The PAP MP expressed her support for new censorship laws saying that fake news can be fatal:
“Those who are my age or older will remember the terror and bloodshed of those few days. My family were gathered at a neighbour’s house for the night. I remember my mother telling me, if the Malays come tonight, we will all have to flee quickly into the forest. We have to leave xiao didi (little brother) behind. Presumably, the baby’s cries would have exposed their whereabouts – risking more lives. I knew what my mother meant, and felt very helpless. All I could hope for was that the moment to leave didi behind would not come.”
Following a “green paper” motion by Law Minister K Shanmugam, a Select Committee of 10 MPs has been appointed by PAP Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan Jin. The PAP-led Select Committee will conduct fake public consultations in Singapore with the sole aim of banning independent news media. Members of the Select Committee are as follow:
PAP Deputy Speaker Charles Chong (Chairman)
PAP Law Minister K Shanmugam
PAP Senior Minister of State for propaganda Janil Puthucheary
PAP Social and Family Development Minister Desmond Lee
PAP MP Rahayu Mahzam
PAP MP Seah Kian Peng
PAP MP Sun Xue Ling
PAP MP Edwin Tong
PAP NMP Chai Yong Yong (*NMPs in Singapore are nominated by another PAP-led Special Select Committee)
WP MP Pritam Singh
Singapore has not been a victim of fake news like United States, nor has there been any investigation of serious incidents involving fake news. The single-party dictatorship effectively controls all news and information in Singapore through repressive media censorship laws like a S$50,000 bond for all websites. The mainstream media is ranked 154th in the world for credibility due to heavy interference from the propaganda ministry.
However in recent years, independent news site States Times Review have been gaining popularity with it’s uncensored articles criticising the ruling party regime. As Singapore media laws do not apply for the Australia-based website, the Singapore government decided to label STR a fake news outlet. The new laws that will be implemented are directed at STR and serve as a warning to everyone else who intends to provide a free media to Singapore.