The Singapore government’s propaganda website created to rival the rise of free journalism has bitten the dust. The Singapolitics website is now linked to the political page of the main Straits Times page and its articles have been sporadic in the past few months.
Propagating falsehoods, speculations and making the Singapore government look good was the site’s purpose. Most of the writers of Singapolitics who were also Straits Times reporters have since deserted the site, with it’s chief editor Tessa Wong, a pretty 31-year-old NUS graduate who covered political news for The Straits Times leaving for UK-based BBC. Another former political editor, Rachel Chang, who is also a political reporter for Straits Times has apparently also left the company with her last posting dated 4 months ago in November 2015.
Other Straits Times political writers like Jeremy Au Yong and Kor Kian Beng have been assigned to cover US and China news respectively. The 153rd-ranking in press accuracy and freedom government mouthpiece is now in desperate need for new political reporters as the old dogs like Chua Mui Hoong lost credibility in local political commenting over time. Even former reporters like Bertha Henson found it hard to survive without polishing the apples of the ruling party, her website was shut down due to the lack of income.
With a shortage of political reporters, the Singapore government is now turning to shut down non-government media websites which do not play by the government’s censorship rules and embarrasses the government. The Real Singapore was shut down in May 2015 and it’s two editors now face 3 years jail for each of the 7 sedition charges. TheOnlineCitizen is shutting down if it doesn’t pay S$5,000 by April 4. Facebook page Temasek Review was shut down and it’s anonymous page owner was allegedly arrested. Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam had also previously issued warning to commentators that they face contempt of court under the sub judice law even when they are commenting on Facebook.