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IMDA declares States Times Review article “baseless and defamatory”; orders a takedown

The Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA) has declared that the controversial article published on Monday (5 Nov) on States Times Review (STR) is "baseless and defamatory," and has subsequently ordered a takedown of the article by 5pm on today (9 Nov).

In its press release, IMDA justified the order on the grounds that the article has "undermined public confidence in the integrity of the Singapore Government," and is thus deemed to be "objectionable on grounds of public interest," adding that the allegations present in the article would "constitute prohibited content under IMDA’s Internet Code of Practice."

Should STR fail to remove the offending article from its website, IMDA warned that it will "direct Internet Service Providers to restrict access to the site."

IMDA added that it "has also asked Facebook to deny access to the post" linked to the article.

As of 5.25pm, the site has not removed the mentioned article and still accessible from Singapore.

Separately, Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has announced earlier that it has lodged a police report against the author of the STR article for alleged criminal defamation, on the grounds that the article has tarred the credibility and integrity of MAS as a financial regulator.

Sarawak Report "has not given any such interview and has not written on this subject": Editor-in-chief

The STR article, among other allegations, claimed that editor-in-chief of investigative journalism platform Sarawak Report (SR) Ms Clare Rewcastle had mentioned Singapore as "one of the key investigation targets, alongside Switzerland and United States" in the 1MDB scandal during an interview with Malaysian media.

SR rebutted the claim via Facebook on Thursday (8 Nov), calling it "misleading" and "erroneous," and made a request for STR to "correct the false claim."

"SR has not given any such interview and has not written on this subject," added SR.

"The article moreover is unclear in its direction and meaning."