In an exclusive video conference interview last evening, States Times Review’s editor Alex Tan uncovered his actual intent behind the shutting down of STR.
Singapore Herald (SH): The Singapore government is notably shaken by your article linking Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and the former Malaysian PM. This is the first time in 3 years they ordered a direct ban on a news website – interestingly the ban 3 years ago involved The Real Singapore which you were also an editor for. Were you expecting such a strong response i.e. a ban, from the government?
STR Alex Tan (AT): I wouldn’t say I am surprised (about the ban) considering that the General Elections is coming. As you rightfully pointed out, the ban 3 years ago coincided with the GE in 2015 – it is hence obvious taking down independent news media is a set up for the election. You could be next you know.
SH: Yes perhaps. I would be more careful. So you are saying that the ban is an election move?
AT: No doubt. 2021 is GST year, so they will move the election away as far as possible. I am pretty sure the next GE is coming in 2019.
SH: Do you think your offending article, “Lee Hsien Loong becomes 1MDB’s investigation target” on Nov 5, is accurate?
AT: Of course it is. I merely linked the events that happened at the four-years – 2011 to 2015 – and delivered a reasonable theory explaining to people “look its all linked, Singapore getting 1500% discount is not a coincidence, the High Speed Rail is not a coincidence, and the stolen funds from Malaysia 1MDB funds flowing into eight Singapore banks is definitely not a coincidence.”
Let’s think the other way: if the events are unrelated, could anyone reasonably explain each event by itself? Why did Najib Razak agree to give Singapore a huge discount, and Lee Hsien Loong who was privy to the water treaty discussion did not raise an issue? Somebody just did you a huge favour and you don’t ask “what’s the catch? what do you want me to do for you in return?”
Why did Najib Razak agree to the High Speed Rail with Singapore, knowing he could not afford it? And the most important question of all: how did the billions of stolen 1MDB funds get into Singapore, considering that the banking system is now fully digitalised?
Everything is recorded, every transaction has a time stamp, and how did over S$3 billion get transferred without the government knowing is just a huge mystery. They knew about it, they kept quiet until they got called out in 2015.
SH: And the Singapore government refused to contest the points you raised.
AT: This is exactly right. If any part is wrong or unfounded, contest it. Prove that I am wrong, but they can’t. Simple as that.
SH: Several international news media have carried your article and faced similar threats from the Singapore government. The interesting part is that none of them agree to comply with the Singapore government either. And Facebook, even openly declined the government’s request. What do you think of this?
AT: It goes to show that the Singapore government has not delivered a reasonable explanation to the public. Everyone rather believes Alex Tan than the Singapore government is what is happening. The dictatorship has lost its credibility, nobody actually blindly takes in every word they say anymore. This is the Internet age, a platform where ideas are openly debated, not a place where the old order of censorship and propaganda would have control over.
Source : Singapore Herald
Goh Meng Seng questions PM Lee Hsien Loong for not defending himself after the States Times Review article, then says “he should abide by his own advice, get out of politics”
Following the defamatory article of the States Time Review and Coverage Malaysia, secretary-general of the People’s Power Party (PPP), Goh Meng Seng, took to Facebook to call out Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for not defending himself against the allegations. He asked on social media, “Where is the iron in you, Mr Prime Minister?”
In a Facebook post on Tuesday, November 13, Mr Goh wrote, “Almost a week has passed since States Time Review and Coverage Malaysia have posted a very potent defamatory article again against our Prime Minister Lee”.
He added, “Not only had the article criminally defamed PM Lee but it also affects our status as a Global and Regional Financial Center”.
He said that while PM Lee may have “utilized Government machinery to deal with the editor of STR and Coverage Malaysia”, he did not make an attempt to defend himself.
Mr Goh also continued, “The Monetary Authority of Singapore, which wasn’t even mentioned in the ofending article, was called upon to report police, which has no jurisdiction over editor of Coverage Malaysia or Alex TAN, who is residing in Australia and most probably obtained Australian citizenship, or at least Permanent Residency”.
While the Media Authority was utilized to send a “warning letter” and block the sites STR and Coverage Malaysia, the latter continued to put up the defamatory article against PM Lee even after it was banned by the Media Development Authority.
Mr Goh then wrote, “I hope PM Lee isn’t trying to play ostrich and pretend that nothing has happened and continue to “outsource” the fight to the administration.
PM Lee should realize that he can’t possibly outsource his own reputation or his own responsibility to defend himself to others. He needs to have iron in him else, he should abide by his own advice, get out of politics”.