Singapore’s media landscape remains tightly restricted. All media outlets, newspapers as well as radio and television stations are owned by companies with close ties to the government. The Sedition Act, the Newspaper and Printing Presses Act and the Broadcasting Act, most of them in place since the colonial period, are banning any kind of seditious speech, publications or acts. In such a repressive environment, self-censorship is common. Public censorship also extends to pop culture, regulating references to sex, drugs or violence. Strict laws are also in place for foreign media, demanding legal representatives and high financial deposits to restrict coverage of domestic politics.
A critical public debate on politics mainly takes place online. In June 2013, the government introduced
a licensing scheme regulating website content. The scheme requires providers of news websites with high penetration rates to obtain a license from the government. The online community widely criticised the regulation as just another attempt to control government-critic voices.