Alternative news website, States Times Review (STR), has been banned by internet service providers (ISPs) in Singapore, Observer+ confirms.
The website is inaccessible as of 9pm (SGT) for all Singapore-based IP addresses.
The directive came from the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), after STR failed to abide by a takedown order which required the website to remove an article deemed ‘baseless and defamatory’ by 5pm on Friday (Nov 9).
The article, titled “Lee Hsien Loong becomes 1MDB’s key investigation target”, alleged that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had a hand in several “unfair agreements” between Malaysia and Singapore in “exchange for Singapore banks’ assistance” in laundering funds of Malaysian state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
The article published on Monday (Nov 5), much to the chagrin of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, which said it had filed a police report for a case of alleged criminal defamation over the article as it “impugned its integrity”.
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.