Singapore: Farewell to Sintercom?

Sintercom, a Singapore Web site that looks at issues like politics, is in danger of being shut down unless someone can be found to maintain it.

SINGAPORE--Sintercom, a local Web site that looks at issues like politics on the island, is in danger of being shut down, unless someone can be found to maintain it.

Sintercom founder Tan Chong Kee posted a notice headed "Sintercom to be closed down" on the site yesterday.

"It has been a very difficult decision but I realised that it is time I move on since my heart is no longer in it anymore," it said. Tan also thanked readers for their support in the brief message.

Tan asked interested parties to email him about taking over the site. As of this morning, there was some discussion among Sintercom's members to take over the running themselves.

The move comes a month after the Singapore Broadcasting Authority had written to the site, which hosts lively political debates, requiring it to register with the regulatory body as a site that "engages in the propagation, promotion and discussion of political issues relating to Singapore".

At that time, Tan posted a statement which hinted that his days with Sintercom might be ending. "I have been running Sintercom since 1994 and am about ready to move on. The only thing holding me back is our belief (maybe people who are more wise might perhaps say our naiveté) that it is still possible, even when election is near, to speak frankly for the good of the country."

The registration form was duly sent to SBA, but after a discussion with the eight editors of the site, the decision has been made to pull out.

"All of them agreed that it is better to shut it down now," Tan told The Straits Times. "It seems to be the right time."

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