“States Times Review” dangerously close to breaching Sedition Act

Because of its small footprint, you might not know of the existence of the site “The States Times Review”. This fake news site is run by failed opposition politician Alex Tan, whom deliberately named it to sound very much like “The Straits Times”.

Of all the articles he invented, the recent one titled “Some Muslims have to give their Friday prayers in the open air due to the insufficient number of mosques in Singapore” comes very closeto breaching (or may have already) the Sedition Act.
The Sedition Act was enacted to preserve peace and political stability in a fragile religious, racial and linguistically diverse Singapore. Although it criminalises reckless speech, it also protects the freedom of speech by allowing legitimate acts. These will be explored later.
Without being technically legal, a seditious publication or words include (amongst other things) words that are designed to:
  • Bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against the Government;
  • Excite the citizens of Singapore or the residents in Singapore to do unlawful things;
  • Raise discontent or disaffection amongst the citizens of Singapore or the residents in Singapore;
  • Promote feelings of ill-will and hostility between different races or classes of the population of Singapore
What has “The States Times Review” (TSR) written that are in breach of the law?
Here are the offending words:

“Some Muslims have to give their Friday prayers in the open air due to the insufficient number of mosques in Singapore.”

How has TSR quantified that there are insufficient mosques in Singapore? Beyond mere opinion, how does he substantiate this?

What does he mean when he says there are insufficient mosques? What are the messages it is implying? There are just too many things to unpack from this and all of them, without clarification lead to ill-will and even hostility amongst religions.

“The shabby treatment faced by Muslims in Singapore however contrast to the words of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who claimed that Singapore needs a Malay representative to be the Singapore President, in the name of “guaranteeing minority rights”.

How does he substantiate “shabby treatment”? On what observable or published circumstances has the Prime Minister been observed to have treated Muslims “shabbily”? This is a direct act of defamation against the Prime Minster.

In the article, The States Times also left out important points:

The article insinuates that the Singapore government is curbing the right of Muslims for prayer space. That is incorrect. While there was reservations initially by the Office of the Mufti in determining the legality of breaking the connection which is required for the congregants to be in continuous rows when praying, it was subsequently found to be acceptable as it was no more than 150 metres apart from the mosque.

Above the written words of this article, the existence of the entire site, when read collectively is understood to be divisive and promote disharmony between Singaporeans. In this case, it has used religion to foster ill will under the guise of religion.

Just like the now defunct TheRealSingapore, the website uses advertising services by Google, which display advertisements alongside articles. Each time an article is viewed on the site, an advertisement is displayed and The States Times would be paid for it.

 

Alex Tan, editor of The States Times, boasts about writing under the banner of the freedom of speech. However, in an act that is both moronic and ironic, he bans individuals from commenting on the site when they are “PAP supporters”, or “disruptive comments”.

If you are against reckless writings likes The States Times Review, here’s what you can do:

  1.  Report the fake news site to Facebook
  2. Report the site to the Media Development Authority at [email protected]
  3. In the event of seditious material, report them to the local police
  4. Write to the companies advertised on his site and get them to request Google to take their ads off the site. Don’t let him profit off Singaporeans

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