The Singapore diplomat for US, Ashok Kumar Mirpuri, denied criticisms levied against the ruling party government in an article to New York Times. The ambassador was responding to Singaporean journalist Kirsten Han’s article criticising the PAP government’s censorship laws.
Diplomat Ashok claimed that Singapore have a free media because “more than 60” media organisations are “accredited” in Singapore:
“Re “What Trump Is Learning From Singapore — and Vice Versa (Opinion, March 29):
Kirsten Han’s article paints Singapore as an authoritarian paradise, where critics of the government are squelched and drug traffickers are hanged.
However, more than 60 international media organizations are accredited in Singapore, and we debate issues vigorously, online and off.”
The hardcore PAP supporter omitted the fact that the Singapore government actively sue critics for defamation, and in some cases, jail them for charges under the Sedition Act which warrants a maximum 21 years’ imprisonment sentence.
Ambassador Ashok then referenced to the US government-published “World Factbook”, claiming that Singapore is a corrupt-free and that he “couldn’t recognise the Singapore” described by the criticism:
“The World Economic Forum describes Singapore’s public institutions as transparent and efficient. The United States government’s own “World Factbook” characterizes Singapore as remarkably open and corruption free.”
However, the World Factbook is itself inaccurate and provided no context on legalised corruptions, income inequality and the single-party Parliament:
“Singapore has a highly developed and successful free-market economy. It enjoys a remarkably open and corruption-free environment, stable prices, and a per capita GDP higher than that of most developed countries. Unemployment is very low. The economy depends heavily on exports, particularly of electronics, petroleum products, chemicals, medical and optical devices, pharmaceuticals, and on Singapore’s vibrant transportation, business, and financial services sectors. I cannot recognize the country Ms. Han describes.”