Singapore Strikes Again: The city-state resumes its campaign against the Journal

29Nov08

The Wall Street Journal publishes its official response to the contempt of court fine — but only online and outside Asia.

In the second editorial, we reported on the International Bar Association’s critical study of the rule of law in Singapore. This is the same outfit that held its annual conference in Singapore last year, a meeting that Mr. Lee himself touted as a sign of confidence in Singapore’s courts. The Law Society of Singapore is a member of the IBA. If reporting on what such a body says is contemptuous of the judiciary, then Singapore is saying that its courts are above any public scrutiny.

Again, we published a letter from the Singapore government responding to the editorial. This one was from the Law Ministry, which blasted the IBA report and us for repeating its “vague allegations.” The IBA then weighed in, in a posting on its Web site, saying it wished “to correct some inaccurate comments” in Singapore’s letter. It invites readers to read the report and “see for themselves” that its views are “based on comprehensive examples and evidence.” The IBA homepage is www.ibanet.org. [LEEWATCH: Direct link]

We’ll pay the fine. We’ll also continue to express our views about politics, the courts and other subjects that we think our readers should know about. And we’ll let readers decide what to make of the judiciary in Singapore.

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