Perhaps this doesn’t come as a huge surprise: Singtel has officially dropped news channel Al Jazeera English (AJE) from its selection of MioTV options from 1st April. I just got word of this from a friend of mine back home.
According to my friend, she had received a letter from Singtel in March informing subscribers of the removal of AJE and replacement with other “newer adequate choices”. No word or reason had been given by Singtel on why they have pulled AJE from the airwaves. A check with the MioTV site does indicate that the dropped Middle East news channel has been replaced with “newer adequate choices” such as Russia Today, CCTV 9 (China) as well as Euronews. I don’t really need to explain possibly how uninspiring the first two options are as respected news channels, given the state of politics and press freedom in bothRussia and China.
Perhaps Al Jazeera has rattled the nerves of the ruling elite with a host of programs scrutinizing the socio-economic problems in Singapore, more so than any other news channel (including the venerable BBC World News). You can be sure CCTV 9, Russia Today and Euronews would almost have minimal, if not tame coverage on anything to do with Singapore.