K Shanmugam; CNA

Singapore’s Law Minister K Shanmugam has gone to the local state media threatening that the articles published by States Times Review is “criminal defamation”. Several government agencies including the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and the Singapore police, had acted swiftly to defend the dictator Prime Minister after the news report went viral.

Criminal defamation, the dictatorship’s favourite legal weapon, warrants a 2 years jail term and a fine in Singapore.

The Singapore dictatorship denied that Lee Hsien Loong had held multiple meetings leading to Singapore grossly benefiting in two bilateral deals: the water price agreement where Singapore received a rate 15 times cheaper than a fellow Malaysian state Melaka is getting, and the extravagant High Speed Rail project that Malaysia was incapable of paying for. At the period from 2011 to 2015, Singapore banks saw S$3.7 billion from stolen Malaysian state funds 1MDB money-laundered through numerous Singapore accounts. The Singapore authorities stated that they were aware of “suspicious activities” of the now-defunct Swiss bank BSI, but only took actions in 2015 after the US Department of Justice uncovered evidence pointing to Singapore as one of the chief culprits laundering the 1MDB fund.

As Singapore has been a direct beneficiary during Najib Razak’s premiership, it is only natural that investigators are seeking Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s assistance for the case. However, the Singapore dictator refused to be interviewed by the Malaysian authorities, according to a source close with the Prime Minister.

At his media interview, Law Minister K Shanmugam said that the dictatorship is “taking the matter very seriously”:

“I think when you make allegations of corruption, money laundering against the Prime Minister and the Government of Singapore … of course, we take this very seriously.”

In an orchestrated move to intimidate the website, the Singapore High Commission in Malaysia first called the report “fake news”, and the central bank MAS shortly slammed it as “baseless and defamatory” content. The Singapore central bank even denied that the 1MDB investigation was ever closed, despite having concluded it in 2017.

The country’s propaganda and censorship ministry then used the Singapore Infcomm Media Development Authority to issue a direct warning, demanding the website to apologise and take down the article by 5pm Singapore time today.

STR has since rejected the dictatorship’s censorship order and directed the Singapore government to apply to the Australian authorities for any effective order.