Singapore Bans April Fool's Jokes??

This article titled "Singapore Bans April Fool's Jokes" is really interesting. Even more interesting to note the fine print of the website the article originated: "CBS Breaking News is not affiliated with the Copenhagen Business School of Denmark, nor the Canterbury Building Society of New Zealand, nor CBS Corp of the USA.". Yes. This "CBS Breaking News" website has nothing to do with CBS TV Network!! Another thing interests me is about this so-called "veteran Singaporean newspapaer [sic] journalist Tok Chee Ming". Does he really exist?!

SINGAPORE (CBSBN) - The Singaporean authorities have announced a ban on April fool's jokes in the media.

In a memorandum circulated to television broadcasting stations, radio stations, and newspaper publications by the Media Development Authority (MDA), the authorities warned media outlets against running fake stories for the purposes of entertainment.

"The integrity of the media comes into question when quality standards are abandoned recklessly in favor of inappropriate jocularity. False reporting undermines the trustworthiness of news itself and leads to the decay of the social fabric," the statement circulated by the MDA read.

Media outlets were told to stick to business as usual on April Fool's Day.

"No media center in Singapore shall under any circumstances disseminate fabricated or otherwise baseless news items on April 1, or any other day."

News organizations in Western countries have a tradition of including humorous satirical pieces on April Fool's Day.

Veteran Singaporean newspapaer journalist Tok Chee Ming expressed carefully worded frustration with the ban.

"It's a pity, in my personal opinion. It's not as if we were even planning to run stories about LHL or MM," he said, referring to Prime Minister Lee Hsieng Loong and Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew. "We were actually planning to run a story about a jellyfish invasion."

"Which, of course, never happened," he added.

The MDA warned of legal consequences for any media outlets which ignored the ban. "Publishers and broadcasters intentionally disseminating false or falsified information on April 1 or any other day will be held accountable in the courts of law," the memorandum warned.

The People's Action Party, Singapore's ruling party since 1963, has often been castigated by the international community and human rights organizations for using strict libel laws to silence critics, including opposition politicians.

From CBS Breaking News, "Singapore Bans April Fool's Jokes".


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