In what appears to be a hysterical scramble to show that it’s been victimised following the arrest of its supposed owners, a Singaporean and a Japanese-Australian, local news website The Real Singapore has begun pushing out articles which seem to imply that the website has been victimised by the press, the Singapore justice system and the government.
This could potentially trap the website in another lawsuit for more false reporting.
Almost immediately after news of the arrests broke, a host of articles were splashed across the website which seem to be a cry against injustices over online media organisations like TRS.
Beginning, with probably the most similar of comparisons: sex bloggers who took to commenting on societal issues.
Next up, a letter (which appears to have been copied off a Facebook posting) alleging that a woman said to be the wife of one of the men arrested during Thaipusam by Channel NewsAsia has threatened legal action against Channel NewsAsia for false reporting.
Who’s left in TRS has probably forgotten that it published the same false facts in a similar report (Woman Pulled Down During Thaipusam Incident Lodges Complaint Against Police).
TRS also put up an article which implies that former NSP chief Goh Meng Seng is defending its cause. The article makes no reference to TRS, and is actually calling for new media outlets to band together ahead of the next Singapore General Election.
TRS has also accused The New Paper of publishing false information over the arrests, and has threatened to take legal action against the SPH-owned tabloid:
“Much of the information is false and several points are also defamatory. From what we understand, affected parties are seeking legal advice about whether it is appropriate to take action against TNP for these false and defamatory statements.
We understand that no formal charges have been made at this time and those involved in investigations, many of whom are not actually even involved in our website at all, are cooperating with Police to clear this up as soon as possible.
Only one editor is actually involved in investigations and all others who have been “dug up” by TNP, from unverified and untruthful internet sources, are actually innocent family and friends or witnesses.”
TRS has asked for the public to wait and see while it formulates a full response to the arrest.
This, besides implying that it is an innocent victim of a government bent on strangling new media, apparently forgetting that the long-standing stalwarts of Singapore’s “new media” such as TRE (Temasek Review Emeritus) and TOC (The Online Citizen) are still alive and kicking.