On 4 March 2016, the Media Development Authority or MDA ordered that The Online Citizen website return advertising revenue received from a foreign company. On 10 April 2015, an overseas company Monsoons Book Club paid TOC S$5,000 for advertisement services.
As TOC is registered under the Broadcasting (Class License) Notification which is engaged in the “propagation, promotion or discussion of political issues relating to Singapore”, TOC is not allowed to receive monetary funding from foreign sources unless it is for bona fide commercial purposes. MDA claims that MBC is a non-commercial foreign entity, thus breaches TOC’s license conditions.
TOC has 30 days to return the advertising money to MBC.
More information on the Monsoons Book Club from their website here:
“Monsoons Book Club (herein referred to as MBC) is a non-profit making association of concerned individuals interested in books and ideas relevant to the social, political and economic progress in the South East Asian region.
To promote the reading of books which offer challenging ideas for social change
To encourage discussions and critical thinking about the social, political and economic progress in the region.”