Photo of Lee Hsien Loong from SPH

Speaking at a gala dinner event yesterday (Sep 6), dictator Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong called for Singaporeans to only read “credible” Singapore media from state propaganda publishers Singapore Press Holdings (SPH). The S$2.2 million-a-year politician said that fake news is getting widespread and Singaporeans can only rely on the local media:

“Actually, I hope all Singapore media, not just Zaobao, will retain their credibility and provide quality coverage for their readers. In this age where fake news is prevalent, this has become even more important.”

Also speaking at the dinner was former PAP Minister Lee Boon Yang, who now sits as the chairman of SPH. The loyal subordinate of Lee Hsien Loong openly lied that readership at SPH has gone up when statistics show otherwise:

“In order to meet the changing reading habits and Chinese proficiency of our readers, our journalists and editors have also adopted a more direct and digestible style, to report news with more graphics and visual content to convey the message. But despite these challenges, the paper’s readership grew to 471,000 last year. This represented a year-on-year growth of 5.4 per cent and was a significant achievement.”

Official data released by SPH stated that readership have been falling:

Screenshot from SPH 2016 report

For the mandarin papers Lianhe Zaobao, the daily print circulation is only 137,100 as of 2017, a fall of 4.3% from 143,300 in 2016. In the past year, SPH has also seen a significant reduction in headcounts as less Singaporeans are subscribing to government propaganda.

Along with state broadcaster Mediacorp, Singapore media collectively ranked 153rd in the world for credibility and press freedom. The two leading propaganda media have consistently published fake news and rumours to elevate the ruling party’s image and debase government critics.