Photo of Foo Chi Hsia from Ministry of Foreign Affairs

In an open lie to US media The Economist, Singapore’s High Commissioner for United Kingdom Foo Chi Hsia wrote that the Singapore government does not stifle criticism.

Using the conviction of protestors who legally held their protests at Hong Lim Park in 2014, the Singapore government representative defended the government’s innocence claiming that they were charged for interrupting another event organised by the government where special-needs children were performing:

“They were not charged for criticising the government, but for loutishly barging into a performance by a group of special-education-needs children, frightening them and denying them the right to be heard. In no country is the right to free speech absolute. When this right is extended to fake news, defamation or hate speech, society pays a price. Witness the Brexit campaign, and elections in America and Europe.”

High Commissioner for UK Foo Chi Hsia then continued to lie:

“While authorities do not stifle criticism of the government, we will not allow our judiciary to be denigrated under the cover of free speech, nor will we protect hate or libellous speech. People can go to court to defend their integrity and correct falsehoods purveyed against them. Opposition politicians have done this, successfully.”

The ruling party government is infamous for legalising corruption and cooking new laws to curtail the freedom of Singaporeans. Many critics have been jailed or fined, and most are usually intellectuals like university professors, doctors, writers and film makers. The Singapore government abuse defamation lawsuits and sedition laws to silence critics, forcing writers to flee overseas. States Times Review editor Alex Tan fled Singapore in March 2015 because the government wanted to arrest him for his involvement with The Real Singapore, where two other editors were jailed 8 and 10 months. Film makerAmos Yee is currently seeking asylum in United States, while writer Roy Ngerng was made to pay S$150,000 to the Prime Minister in defamation.