Singapore Brings Hammer Down on 'Net Cr…

Nearly two years after Singapore’s Media Development Agency pushed through regulations putting a tight leash on Internet journalism, the authority has shut down its first news site, called The Real Singapore. For good measure, the government charged the site’s editors, Singaporean Yang Kaiheng and his Australian girlfriend Ai Takagi, with seven counts of sedition and other charges for allegedly printing racially inflammatory and inaccurate stories. Local Singaporeans, however, told Asia Sentinel that the stories were hardly inflammatory enough to warrant the charges and potential fines up to S$200,000 [US$150,330] and speculated that the authorities were setting out to make an example of the website in the light of other incidents including a 16-year-old who insulted the memory of Lee Kuan Yew, the country’s founder, who died on March 22, and a blogger who insulted Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s integrity.

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