Breakfast Network network asked to register and not receive foreign funds

The Media Development Authority (MDA) has asked socio-political commentary website Breakfast Network to register with the media regulator and to undertake that it will not receive foreign funding.

The MDA said in a statement on Wednesday that it had notified the site owners of Breakfast Network about the need to register on Tuesday Nov 26.

"The registration will not in any way affect what Breakfast Network can publish on its site. However, the undertaking will prevent the site from being controlled by, or coming under the influence of, foreign entities or funding, thus ensuring that Singapore politics remain a matter for Singaporeans alone," said the MDA in its statement.

In a post on the website on Wednesday morning, its founder Bertha Henson said the MDA has asked for the website to be registered by Dec 10.

The move comes after another local news website, The Independent, was asked to register for a similar license in July after the Government received information which the MDA had said "gives it cause for concern over foreign interest to fund The Independent".

Under the Broadcasting (Class Licence) Notification websites "engaged in the propagation, promotion or discussion of political issues relating to Singapore" will need to register with the authority, it said.

Along with the registration, sites will also have to make a statutory declaration "not to receive foreign funding for its provision, management and/or operation".

Ms Henson said in her post that it would also have to provide a list of all advertisers contributing more than 5 per cent of revenue to the site.