Asian Wall Street Journal

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Date: 1990

Region: Asia

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Print Journalism


Artist: South-East Asia Correspondent, The Economist, Nov. 17, 1990, pg. 41, Dow Jones

Confronting Bodies: Singaporean Govt.

Dates of Action: August,1990

Location: Singapore

Description of Artwork: An editorial that appeared in The Asian Wall Street Journal in July 1990 which criticized Singapore for its "heavy handed efforts to stifle local dissent and criticism." Government officials believed the editors "... poked their noses unduly into the city-states affairs... (and furthermore) ... impunged the independence of Singapore's judiciary."

The Incident: "On July 30th Dow Jones bought an advertising page in the Straits Times, a government-controlled news paper in Singapore, to reprint (the) editorial it had carried in the American, European and Asian editions of the Journal the week before." The Prime Minister was bothered greatly by the article."The government's formal position is that it will accept criticism from foreign publications so long as it is factually correct, the government is given the right of reply, and the criticism does not constitute interference in Singapore's domestic politics." In a letter to an executive at Dow Jones, the parent company of Asia Wall Street Journal, a Singoporean government official quoted a court ruling clarifying the definition of "domestic politics": "... In the context of Singapore, domestic politics would in our view, include the political system of Singapore and the political ideology underpinning it, the public institutions that are a manifestation of the system and the policies of the government of the day that give life to the political system..." (The Economist, August 11, 1990, pg.42)

Results of Incident: Dow Jones has brought the matter to the Singapore appeal courts, in hopes of challenging the governments the broad definition of domestic politics.

Source: The Economist, August 11, 1990, pg.42