20 June 2018
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Trump-Kim summit: Foreign journalists expected to abide by Singapore laws, says Iswaran

Straits Times
10 Jun 2018
Tham Yuen-C

Work has been going on around the clock the past fortnight to ensure that all will be smooth for the journalists expected here for the summit. But they are also expected to abide by Singapore's laws, said Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran yesterday.

The over 2,500 journalists - 80 per cent of them from overseas - will be the largest media contingent Singapore has ever had to host.

Since it was confirmed as the venue for the June 12 summit, journalists have arrived on recce trips.

On Thursday, two of them, from South Korea's Korean Broadcasting System, were arrested for trespassing on the North Korean ambassador's home in Joo Chiat Lane.

Asked about this during a visit to the media centre, which has been set up at the F1 Pit Building, Mr Iswaran said of foreign journalists: "We want them to be able to do their job seamlessly and effectively while they're here in Singapore."

However, he said, Singapore's primary obligation was to ensure the summit proceeds smoothly and securely, and those involved in the meetings can focus on their tasks without distractions.

The minister added that laws here are transparent and people know what is to be expected.

The three-storey, 23,000 sq m F1 Pit Building has been transformed into a media centre complete with broadcast centre, workstations and media briefing rooms, among other facilities. It will be open round the clock from today at 10am until Wednesday at 10pm.

Of the foreign journalists, the Japanese, South Korean and American contingents are the largest.

Some 300 public officers will staff the centre during this period.

They include Ms Lam Zhi Xin, a senior manager at MCI's media division, who is fluent in Mandarin and volunteered to be a media liaison officer for press from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

"It will be very exciting... and it is also a good opportunity to reach out to foreign media," she said.

MCI is also working with private-sector partners, including some that have volunteered to sponsor the food.

They include Sats, Ya Kun Kaya Toast, The Common Good Company and Paris Baguette.

"This is really Singapore Inc at its best, working between the private sector and public sector in a very seamless manner in order to achieve the kind of outcomes that we're known for," he said.

Mr Iswaran also acknowledged "inevitable" inconveniences, such as road closures. But he said: "I hope that Singaporeans can understand the need for this and will be able to rise to the occasion so that we can all be gracious hosts."

Source: Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Permission required for reproduction.