States Times Review founder says will 'shut down' website

States Times Review founder says will 'shut down' website

States Times Review Facebook image
(Image: Facebook/States Times Review)

SINGAPORE: States Times Review founder Alex Tan said on Friday (Nov 9) that he intends to shut down the alternative news site.

According to Mr Tan, the States Times Review Facebook page will be shut down "two weeks from now" while the website will remain until the end of the next General Elections. 

"Do take note that this shutdown notice is of my own volition and not pressure from anyone or the dictatorship," he said in a Facebook post.  

He announced this less than four hours after a defiant Facebook post in which he "refused" to remove an article said to be defamatory by Singapore authorities.

READ: MAS files police report against author of "baseless" States Times Review article

READ: Shanmugam says States Times Review article has "absurd allegations", questions how Malaysian media picked up story

Earlier on Friday, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) had ordered the site to take down an article linking Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong with 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) investigations, which the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said was baseless and defamatory.

Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam also called the allegations in the article, which was picked up by mainstream media in Malaysia, "absurd".

The States Times Review article remained online after 5pm, the deadline given by IMDA, and by 9pm, the website was inaccessible, bearing only the message: "The website that you are trying to access is unavailable as it contains prohibited material."

READ: States Times Review refuses to remove article linking PM Lee with 1MDB

Mr Tan said that the site had been "blocked under false charges of 'fake news' and 'criminal defamation' laid by the Singapore dictatorship" and that it would "cease and desist considering that it lost a channel to reach Singaporeans".

Mr Tan also said that he would "stop writing and continue (his) life in Australia". "The sacrificial (sic) of my Singaporean passport is my last gift to my beloved Singapore and Singaporeans," he said.

Source: CNA/hs(hm)