Update @ 1445:
A message on TR's Facebook page now reads:
"TR is in maintenance mode at present due to upgrading of its wordpress platform from 2.8 to 3.0. It will be up and running soon".
Update 12 October @ 1300:
The error message on TR's main page remains unchanged since 12 hours ago: "THE TEMASEK REVIEW is currently undergoing scheduled maintenance.
Please try back in 1 hours 18 minutes."
Posted @ 0030 hrs
Just two days after local tabloid The New Paper (TNP) supposedly exposed the founder of online news website Temasek Review and its’ predecessor, The Wayang Party, the website is no longer viewable by the public. Readers have notified TOC about the unavailability of Temasek Review for a few hours this evening. At the time of this posting, the website is still unavailable.
No explanation for the site’s unavailability have been provided on Temasek Review's Facebook page.
Attempts by TOC to contact Dr Ong at his clinic have so far been unsuccessful.
The TNP article
The TNP article in question was published on Saturday, and claimed that Dr Joseph Ong, a medical doctor practicing as a GP for Healthway Medical Group in Sengkang, is the man behind the Temasek Review.
The TNP report quoted Dr Ong as having admitted to having asked Bangladeshi cleaners to put up posters in May 2009 calling for Member of Parliament Mdm Lee Bee Wah’s resignation as the president of the Singapore Table Tennis Association.
In June that year, the Temasek Review (then known as The Wayang Party Club) paid freelancers to organize a petition drive at the Speaker’s Corner to call for the resignation of Mdm Lee Bee Wah. The website called it the event their “first outreach event organized by this blog and its auxiliaries”.
The TNP report also relied on an unattributed quote to state that Dr Ong “identified himself to police as being the founder of the Wayang Party, and later, Temasek Review”.
Dr Ong was alleged to have been investigated and given a stern warning for putting up the posters, but not for organizing the petition drive.
Temasek Review fights back
The current editors of the Temasek Review are, according to comments by the editorial team, all based overseas. The team is led by Panama based “Molina Han” and four other editors.
Prior to the shut-down, editorial team of Temasek Review vigorously rebutted the TNP report, stating that they have no knowledge of Dr Joseph Ong, and have never worked with Dr Ong.
Just one day before Temasek Review was shut down, the editorial team published an editorial by a self-identified “pioneer contributor” to The Wayang Party called “BK”, denying all knowledge or correspondence with Dr Ong. He wrote:
“I don’t know the doctor in question and never once came across his name in my correspondence with TR and I was writing for TR when it was still Singapore Enquirer and Wayang Party”.
Temasek Review had also been hinting that the TNP article was a sign of a broader crackdown to come. In an article posted on the website just yesterday, a contributor to the Temasek Review called “Atobe” wrote that:
“The TNP article about TR yesterday is an ominous sign that reveal the intent is to generate controversy and to ultimately target Temasek Review for being a subversive site – which will lead to the beginning of official efforts towards the demise of TR.”
Temasek Review has also gone on the offensive to query the leak of information about Dr Ong’s anti-Lee Bee Wah postering and his alleged involvement with the website. Two days before the TNP report, Temasek Review published an article stating that “A formal complaint has been lodged with Mr Benny Lim, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs” regarding a complaint by one Mr Ong.
The possible leak of confidential information was also queried by social worker and TOC contributor Mr Ravi Philemon in a letter written to the Singapore Police Force. The Singapore Democratic Party has also raised the issue on their website.
After the story broke, Temasek Review also highlighted the personal phone number of the TNP journalist who wrote the article in question, a move that some interpret as a veiled threat to the mainstream media to stop the smear campaign.
Update @ 0120hrs:
The update on the TR page states that the page is down for scheduled maintennance. We thank our readers for bringing this to our attention.
Until the time of this article's authourship, the error message for the Temasek Review page read as follows:
Fatal error: Call to undefined function is_multisite() in /home/wayangpa/public_html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 505