IMDA blocks Singapore Herald website for not removing articles on Singapore-Malaysia maritime dispute
SINGAPORE: Access to the Singapore Herald socio-political website has been blocked after its editors failed to take down "objectionable" articles, the Infocomm and Media Development Authority (IMDA) said on Sunday (Dec 16).
The website published eight articles between Dec 6 and Dec 12 that "blatantly misrepresent" Singapore's position in the ongoing situation with Malaysia, the authority said in an email response to media queries.
"Such false statements, especially the use of emotionally charged phrases like “threaten” and “provoke”, might stoke feelings of ill will against Singapore, and undermine both sides’ efforts to resolve the situation peacefully," IMDA said.
The articles, which included one with the headline Minister Khaw Boon Wan threaten Malaysia with armed forces over Johor Straits, were found to be "objectionable on grounds of public interest" and deemed prohibited material under the Internet Code of Practice, IMDA added.
The editor of Singapore Herald was required to take down the articles by 1600hrs on Dec 14, which was not done, according to IMDA.
The authority then instructed Internet service providers to restrict access to the site.
"As Singapore Herald has not complied by the stipulated time, IMDA directed Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to restrict access to the site. All ISPs have effected the restriction," IMDA said.
Articles from the Singapore Herald website have been shared on the Facebook page of the States Times Review (STR), another alternative news site.
STR was blocked after its editor Alex Tan refused to take down an article deemed baseless and defamatory by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. He subsequently said the STR would be shut down.