Today (May 8th) is exactly a year since States Times Review (STR) was established, but it’s birth is nothing worth celebrating about. It was the beginning of the dark age that continued today: blogger Roy Ngerng was sued by Lee Hsien Loong, Amos Yee was arrested for “disrespect”, Alex Au was fined for contempt of court, Ai Takagi and her husband were arrested for sedition and their website The Real Singapore was taken down by the government censorship board. Like it is born out of a wedlock, the birth of STR was synthetic, “it was a spur of moment” as the founder put it.
Founding editor Alex Tan left the website in February this year, as it was “economically unproductive and a waste of time” as his parting words when he last handed over the controls to me. The eccentrically-wise man didn’t even want the access passwords to the site and Facebook, and said such power spell only trouble to him. Nonetheless, I share his ideals for a free media in Singapore because the country is deeply corrupted.
Legalised corruption is Singapore’s biggest hurdle in its road for both economic and democratic progress. The PAP regime has upped their game against critics, openly abusing laws and crafting new ones, increasing oppression and terror on the people. From the civil service to the press, not one single machinery under their control is nonpartisan. This is also the key reason why Singaporeans need a free media like STR to create the awareness keeping the government in check.
STR is Australia-based and currently remains out of Singapore’s corrupted jurisdiction. However, even Australia is not a safe haven. It will only be a matter of time their claws reach the site somehow someday.
One year on, this “birthday” is regretfully marked by the loss of Bukit Batok SMC to the ruling party. Still, the editor has but hopes for Singapore as the country is at a milestone. The corrupted powers are all in their late 50s and 60s, and with a lack of leadership renewal, their generation is dying out. It is only a matter of foreseeable years the dictator Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong die given his worsening health conditions. The clock is with us. What exciting times we live in.
Thank you readers.