Inducing a Constructive Press in Singapore: Responsibility over Freedom

Tey Tsun Hang
December 2008
Australian Journal of Asian Law (Federation Press Pty Limited);Dec2008, Vol. 10 Issue 2, p202
Academic Journal
The Singapore political leadership has moulded a sophisticated press control regime that befits its 'pragmatic' political ideology based on the primacy of executive leadership and limited freedom of expression. This article -- using Singapore's constitutional and legal framework and political system as a backdrop -- delves into a legal structure that has been constructed, fine-tuned and consolidated over decades of legislative amendments, to explore its essential features and strictures. It advances the view that the legal framework is reinforced by the ideological construction of a hegemonic culture and consensus politics achieved by strategic political co-optation. Litigation, used to vindicate the government's position, also seems to have produced a reinforcing effect. This article reflects on how Singapore's unique press control regime has turned its constrained Fourth Estate into an establishment political institution.


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