S’pore Foreign Minister slams M’sian media for ‘failure to conduct basic checks’

SINGAPORE: A few Malaysian media outlets have been singled out for criticism by Singapore's Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam (pix), for what he termed a “failure to conduct basic checks” on an article that sought to damage, the island nation's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

While he did not name the media outlets involved, the minister reportedly said that when allegations “appear in mainstream media, you would expect them to check the facts before publishing”.

“Basic checks would have shown the allegations to be false,” he was quoted as saying.

Shanmugam said the allegations were “absurd”.

He noted that the arguments made — that the HSR agreement had favoured Singapore, and that water prices too low – were “not new”.

“This article repeats those points and adds a very nasty and malicious twist. It brings in 1MDB, it brings in (former Malaysian PM) Najib Razak, and says that our PM and the Singapore government were corrupt and complicit in the (1MDB) money laundering,” he said.

The minister called such articles “a classic example” with intention to “damage confidence in Singapore and its reputation internationally, (and) damage confidence in the Prime Minister”.

“We have debunked it immediately, and a lot of media have carried that, and we can go further,” Shanmugam said, adding that “Police will take action against all involved, based on investigations, and of course, based in AGC's advice.”

Yesterday, Bernama reported that the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) had filed a report with the Singapore Police Force against the author of an article published on www.statestimesreview.com on Nov 5, 2018, which made statements claimed to be false and malicious, and impugned the integrity of MAS as a financial regulator.

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The article titled Lee Hsien Loong becomes 1MDB's key investigation target alleged that Malaysia had signed several unfair agreements with Singapore, in exchange for Singapore banks' assistance in laundering 1MDB's funds.

The central bank said the article is “baseless and defamatory”. — Bernama