News website will register with Singapore's Media Development Authority

SINGAPORE - The company behind news website said that it will register with the Media Development Authority (MDA), which will prohibit it from receiving foreign funding.

"The concern that foreign funding or any form of foreign influence impinging on our site's activities, integrity or operations has never been an issue," the Mothership team said in a statement on Friday.

"The core team behind are Singaporeans who care deeply about issues that affect our country and Singaporeans. It is also our policy to post the identities of our editors and writers on our website."

The statement added that after having spoken to stakeholders, Mothership would clarify its position "regarding our registration with MDA as soon as possible".

"We will accede to MDA's request to register under Section 9 of the Broadcasting Act, and to comply with all laws, rules, regulations and codes of practice that have been put in place to regulate broadcasting in Singapore," it said.

"We also hope that this move will bring us a step closer to obtaining full accreditation as a media in Singapore and help in our effort to become a viable and sustainable enterprise."

Launched in August last year, Mothership has a team of four full-time staff, counts former foreign minister George Yeo among its contributors, and is backed by a social enterprise known as Project Fisher-Men, which is chaired by veteran civil servant Philip Yeo.

MDA notified Project Fisher-Men on March 27 that it would need to register by April 11 under the Broadcasting (Class Licence) Notification, which comes under Section 9 of the Broadcasting Act.

It has to do so because it is deemed to be engaging "in the propagation, promotion or discussion of political issues relating to Singapore" and is also "structured as a corporate entity which is deemed to be more susceptible to coming under foreign influence through foreign funding", the MDA said.

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