asked to register under Broadcasting Act asked to register under Broadcasting Act

The website has become the latest to be asked by the Media Development Authority (MDA) to register with the government agency and pledge to not receive foreign funding.

The site, which counts former foreign minister George Yeo as a contributor, is backed by Project Fisher-Men, a social enterprise chaired by civil service veteran Philip Yeo.

In a statement yesterday, MDA said it notified Project Fisher-Men on March 27 that the site has to register under the Broadcasting (Class Licence) Notification, which was enacted under Section 9 of the Broadcasting Act.

MDA said it had assessed that the site meets the registration criteria, and must apply for the licence by next Friday.

The reason is that it promotes or discusses political issues relating to Singapore, and is "structured as a corporate entity which is deemed to be more susceptible to coming under foreign influence through foreign funding".

MDA added that the registration would not in any way affect what Mothership could publish on the site.

Last year, two websites, The Independent Singapore and Breakfast Network, were asked to register with MDA. The former submitted forms for registration, while the latter eventually shut down.

In a post on Mothership's Facebook page yesterday, its administrators said: "Registering is not as scary as it sounds because The Independent Singapore and Breakfast Network were previously asked to do the same. The team is mulling over our next steps."

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