In the 2020 edition of Reporters without Borders’ Press Freedom Index, Singapore’s colour on the World Press Freedom Index map changed to ‘black’, meaning that the situation in Singapore is now classified as “very bad.” This puts Singapore in the same category as China, Iran, Cuba, and North Korea.
Despite the “Switzerland of the East” label often used in Singapore government propaganda, the city-state does not fall far short of China when it comes to suppressing media freedom.-Reporters Without Borders
Singapore also fell 7 spots in the Press Freedom ranking compared to 2019 and now ranks below every Southeast Asian country except communist Laos and Vietnam.
Reporters Without Borders cited POFMA as the main reason for Singapore’s drastic decline in press freedom. The organization described the fake news law as “Orwellian”, allowing the government to “act as a combination of Ministry of Truth and censorship office for the social media era, ordering both media outlets and digital platforms to post ‘corrections’ to any content deemed ‘incorrect.’ “
In contrast, Malaysia has seen a significant improvement in its press freedom ranking, rising 22 spots to 101.
To view Reporters Without Borders’ full report, click here.