The Singapore Press Holdings publications also provide "coverage and analysis of political issues". So one plausible reason why it is not gazetted is because it does not have the equivalent "potential to influence the opinions of their readership and shape political outcomes in Singapore". Ouch! Looks like quite a few editors manning political desks will be dragged to the woodshed for a bollocking by their management. Reporting on the development, Reuters reminded the world that Reporters Without Borders ranked Singapore 133rd among 175 countries in its 2009 World Press Freedom Index.
Of course the issue is not about funding by foreign elements or sources. Do you actually think the foreigners who have been welcomed ashore with open arms, and a S$10 million party, will contribute a cent to a maverick website? Can you imagine any of the foreigners who scored straight A's for their O Levels writing a single negative word about the system in their essays?
A prescient Garry Rodan of the Asia Research Centre penned this years ago:
"Political competition in Singapore operates within tight strictures. Periodic refinements are meant to keep it that way and take the risk out of elections for the ruling People's Action Party. Adjustments include fine-tunings controls over electronic media. The PAP is accustomed to conducting election campaigns with media that promotes rather than question or scrutinise its message. That is not about to dramatically change." ("Singapore Tightens Grip", The West Australian, 30 June 2001)
In July 2001, similar notice was served on Sintercom.com to register the website as a political entity. Founder Tan Chong Kee shut it down instead as he felt the arbitrariness of political terms within the Class License could entrap him in liability for civil and/or criminal action, regardless if comments at his website are not made by him. ("Sintercom founder fades out of cybespace", ST Interactive, 22 Aug 2001). Need we be reminded that we are living in a country where "piss on your grave" can be interpreted by legal academics as a death threat?