Despite not coming in at first place (which is what Tiger Moms and the Singapore government are accustomed to, or else the rotan for all underlings), this is an achievement for the little city state that typically gets bullied by her abang up north.
The latest ranking comes as a slap in the face for socio-political activists like TOC editor Terry Xu, human rights activists like Jolovan Wham, and chapalang activists like Kirsten Han, who have persistently decried what they perceive is draconian government control over the nation’s mainstream news agencies.
These activists have constantly badgered the Lee Hsien Loong government over Singapore’s previous lacklustre 151 ranking in press freedom, in addition to minor little inconveniences which Singaporeans in general don’t give 2 hoots about such as the government’s lack of accountability and transparency. And alleged nepotism. And alleged ownself check ownself. And alleged ownself appoint ownself. And the list goes on.
International human rights observer Ann Neehow says that the 3rd place ranking is a sign that the Singapore government is doing the right thing.
“People speak of human rights as though it is something sacred which every individual deserves. Clearly, such rights should be reserved exclusively for a natural aristocracy, which is what I believe the Singapore government is doing its best to secure. Most people can afford to be oppressed.”
The new measures to tackle the spread of fake news are part of the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Bill, of which a key measure is the mandating of online news sites to publish corrections or warnings on fake news, or even remove such articles when deemed necessary.
Some human rights observers expect that with these tougher laws in place to curb freedom of speech, Singapore might make it to first place in the 2020 press freedom index.
And, from the Redwire team, Happy April Fools’, readers.
Oh yes, and…
Naturally, this is fake news. Because cows can’t fly.