Not everyone fighting “fake news” is doing it for the right reasons.
Mr. Trump constantly proclaims that his “America First” policy will prevent the United States from being taken for a ride by other countries, while Singapore denounces foreign interference in its domestic politics. Yet when the occasion suits, both are more than happy to borrow ideas from elsewhere to control their populations. Such opportunism is the hallmark of authoritarians constantly on the lookout for ways to consolidate or expand their power.
The piece was written by Brook Larmer; I contributed reporting from Forest City in Johor.
While President Trump liberally applies the label “fake news” to any reporting he wants to discredit, other authoritarian governments have weaponized the term as an opportunity to suppress civil society.
Singapore's constant construction boosts the economy, and relies on a large foreign labor force. As of June 2017, Singapore had about 296,700 migrant workers in the construction industry, from countries like Bangladesh, India, Myanmar and China, according to the Ministry of Manpower.
Working in a city without a minimum wage, they earn a fraction of the salaries of white collar employees who toil in offices the migrant workers construct. Despite the city state's reputation for technocratic efficiency, for some it's a huge struggle to get paid.
A Singapore court has agreed to review the decision to delete a Singaporean couple’s marriage from the city-state’s marriage registry after one partner underwent gender-affirming surgery, according to lawyers for the couple.
Some noted that the People’s Action Party (PAP) resoundingly won re-election soon after the feel-good SG50 celebrations and wonder if snap polls could follow in the colonial bicentennial’s celebratory wake. But the announcement also triggered a more critical discussion of Singapore’s relationship with its British colonial past.
Layoffs, restructurings and pivots to digital were the hallmarks of Singapore’s media in 2017. And 2018 isn’t much better.
2018 is setting up to be the toughest year for Singapore’s news industry as long-awaited restructurings take hold.
After months of investigations, Singapore police finally dropped a bombshell at the end of November: social worker and activist Jolovan Wham would be charged for organizing public assemblies without a permit, vandalism and refusing to sign police statements.
Kirsten Hans spells out the innocuity of Jolovan Wham's allegedly illegal activities and the risk a creeping crackdown on freedoms poses to the future of Singapore.