More focus on Singapore’s media

Free Expression in Singapore: A Briefer for Media and NGOs Covering the IMF-WB Meetings in the Lion City this September

Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA)

The Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA) and Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) invite the public to attend a panel discussion on Free Expression in Singapore on September 6, 2006, 20.00-22.00 hrs at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand (FCCT), Maneeya Center Building on Ploenchit Rd, Bangkok.

SEAPA and FORUM-ASIA are holding the forum a week in advance of the IMF-World Bank meeting in the Lion City in September.

Given Singapore’s recent assertion of its rules for foreign media, online commentators and the international civil society movement, as well as guidelines for their proper behavior during the IMF-WB meetings, SEAPA and FORUM-ASIA believe it would be timely to talk about the Singaporean atmosphere for media and free expression—or lack thereof.

At the same time, the forum is envisaged to provide insights into how new or alternative media in Singapore are trying to push the boundaries of free expression in ways that mainstream Singaporean journalists have never done.

Will the present legal and political realities allow the new media to thrive and make significant impacts as the only viable medium of change to bring a more open society to Singapore?

Finally, SEAPA and FORUM-ASIA hope to provide NGOs’ representatives to the IMF-WB meeting information that may be crucial to navigating the event and the rules surrounding it.

Panelists expected for the September 6 discussion are headlined by Mr Alex Au, a prominent gay rights activist who in 1996 started a website because the Singapore government would not give him a permit to publish a magazine for the gay and lesbian community; and Ms Gayle Goh, one of Singapore’s most popular bloggers.

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