[Media Lines] Singapore: FORUM-ASIA urges the end of harassment and intimidation of New Naratif; calls for protection of press freedom
5 March 2021 10:35 am
Ahead of New Naratif Managing Director Dr Thum Ping Tjin’s police questioning due 5 March 2021, FORUM-ASIA Executive Director Shamini Darshni Kaliemuthu said:
FORUM-ASIA calls on the government of Singapore to withdraw its police report, repeal repressive laws such as the Parliamentary Actions Act, and end its intimidation against independent media.
Attempts to silence critical media show erosion of press freedom. The long-standing campaign of intimidation and harassment against New Naratif demonstrates how the fundamental right to seek and disseminate information is under attack.
This continuing harassment against New Naratif highlights the government’s wider efforts to silence and intimidate its critics.
New Naratif has been accused of violating the Parliamentary Elections Act for ‘unauthorised election advertising’ by boosting Facebook posts containing election-related content during the recent 2020 General Elections. The summons follows police reports filed by the Singapore Elections Department in September 2020.
The law broadly defines election-related activity, and in this case, has been repeatedly misused to target the media outlet for being vocal and critical in its reporting on the ruling party. Other organisations including Singapore Press Holdings, which is partly owned by the government, also boosted posts with elections-related content but did not face any government action.
For further information, please contact Melissa Ananthraj, FORUM-ASIA Communication and Media Programme Manager at communication@forum-asia.