Fri, Mar 26, 2010 - Page 4 News List

NY Times Co settles claim by Singapore government


The New York Times Co has settled a claim by leaders of Singapore’s government that they were smeared by an op-ed piece in the International Herald Tribune, publishing an apology in the Herald Tribune on Wednesday and paying about US$114,000 to the leaders.

Last month, the Herald Tribune, wholly owned by the Times Co, published a column by Philip Bowring that referred to “dynastic politics” and listed the leaders of many countries, including Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (李顯龍) and his father, Lee Kuan Yew (李光耀), a former prime minister.

The case stems from a similar one in 1994, when Bowring, a former editor of the Far Eastern Economic Review, wrote a column in the Herald Tribune that also referred to “dynastic politics” in East Asian countries, including Singapore.

In that case, three of the country’s leaders threatened legal action: The elder Lee, who was prime minister from 1959 to 1990; his son, who was a deputy prime minister at the time; and Goh Chok Tong (吳作棟), the prime minister at the time.

The Herald Tribune, then co-owned by the Times Co and the Washington Post Co, published an apology saying that it had implied that the younger Lee owed his job to nepotism, and the paper and Bowring promised not to do so again.

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