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The international press watchdog group, Reporters Sans Frontieres, has given Singapore Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong the Predator of Press Freedom award.
According to the organization, predators are those who order violations of press freedom and have others do the deed. They might be president, cabinet minister, army chief, Guide of the Revolution or leader of an armed group. The group added that these leaders have the power to deny press freedom and should therefore be denounced.
In this regard, Singapore is in bad company wth leaders like Fidel Castro, Moammar Gaddafi, Joseph Kabila, Robert Mugabe, Than Shwe, Ali Khamenei and Kim Jong-Il.
In giving him the award, the organization said of Mr Goh:
Mr Goh Chok Tong, who became the country’s Prime Minister in 1990, succeeded Lee Kuan Yew, creator of a concept of “Asian values” opposed to “Western democracy.” Mr Goh is also the leader of the People’s Action Party – Singapore’s ruling party for the past 43 years – which relies on the infallible support of both private and state-controlled press groups. “This ultra-sophisticated regime,” as one opponent puts it, allows its inhabitants to access foreign media, but the local press rarely prints news about the country’s situation. Some Internet sites, maintained by the few remaining independent journalists, are striving to freely inform the public at the risk of being sued for libel, or imprisonment.
SDPs note: The foreign media in Singapore has also been domesticated by the Singapore government through defamation suits. Asiaweek (now defunct), Far Eastern Economic Review, Time, Newsweek, International Herald Tribune, The Economist, and Bloomberg News have all been sued and/or had their circulation restricted in Singapore by the PAP regime. The foreign broadcast media have also been threatened with prosecution. As a result, the foreign media have admitted that they shy away from critical reporting on the political system in Singapore.
Below are some of the Predators of Press Freedom named by Reporters Sans Frontieres:
Armed Islamic Militants Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Kashmir, Pakistan, Philippines, etc.
Altaf Hossian Chowdhury, Bangladesh
Alexandre Lukashenka, Belarus
Francois Compaore, Burkina Faso
Than Shwe, Burma
Hu Jintao, China
Carlos Castono, Colombia
Fidel Castro, Cuba
Joseph Kabila, Democratic Republic of Congo
Issaias Afeworki, Eritrea
Meles Zenawi. Ethiopia
Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Haiti
Ali Khamenei, Iran
Ariel Sharon, Israel
Nursulatan Nazarbayev, Khazakstan
Khamtai Siphadon, Laos
Moammar Gaddafi, Libya
Kim Jong-Il, North Korea
Paul Kagame, Rwanda
Abdallah Al Saud, Saudi Arabia
Bashar el-Assad, Syria
Goh Chok Tong, Singapore
Gnassingbe Eyadema, Togo
Hilmi Ozkok, Turkey
Leonid Kuchma, Ukraine
Islam Karimov, Uzbekistan
Nong Duc Manh, Vietnam
Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe