States Times Review refuses to take down article linking PM Lee with 1MDB
SINGAPORE: Alternative news site States Times Review has refused to take down an article linking Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to the 1MBD corruption scandal.
“States Times Review will refuse to remove the alleged offending article,” it said in a Facebook post at about 6pm on Friday (Nov 9).
In the post, it invited Mr Lee and Singapore government agencies to “file a case with the Australian authorities”.
The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) had issued a notice on Friday asking the alternative news website to take down the article by 5pm on Friday. Otherwise, the media authority said that it would block access to the site. It also asked Facebook to remove a post linking to the article.
An email letter from IMDA was reproduced by the States Times Review.
IMDA said in the notice that publication of the letter would be an “aggravating factor” that would warrant further regulatory action from the authority.
READ: IMDA orders States Times Review to take down ‘objectionable’ article
The article in question, titled “Lee Hsien Loong becomes 1MDB’s key investigation target”, was posted on Monday on the States Times Review.
It alleged that Malaysia had signed several unfair agreements with Singapore in exchange for Singapore banks’ assistance in laundering the funds of Malaysian state fund 1MDB.
IMDA had also asked Facebook to take down a post sharing the article, which is still available publicly on the social media platform as of 6pm on Friday.
READ: MAS files police report against author of ‘baseless’ States Times Review article
Earlier, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said that it had filed a police report over the article, which it said was false, defamatory and “impugned its integrity”.
“Accordingly, IMDA has assessed that the article undermined public confidence in the integrity of the Singapore Government and is objectionable on grounds of public interest, and would therefore constitute prohibited content under IMDA’s Internet Code of Practice,” the media authority said.
READ: Shanmugam says States Times Review article has ‘absurd allegations’, questions how Malaysian media picked up story
Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam said that the article added a “nasty and malicious twist” to bilateral issues that had been made public and contained “absurd allegations”.
He said the Government is taking the incident very seriously and that the police would take action against all involved based on investigations and advice from the Attorney-General’s Chambers.