Temasek Review Emeritus to continue operations

Socio-political website Temasek Review Emeritus says it will not be closing down in the near future. (Screencap of TRE website)Socio-political website Temasek Review Emeritus says it will not be closing down in the near future. (Screencap …

Financial pledges and support from its readers have convinced the team behind socio-political website Temasek Review Emeritus (TRE), formerly known as Temasek Review, to keep the site running for at least five more years.

During this time, the team would like to provide more balanced articles to cater to "readers from all camps", said acting managing editor Amanda Tan in an email response to Yahoo! Singapore.

The website is known for its articles critical of the ruling People's Action Party. In April, Yahoo! Singapore first reported TRE's intention to shut down after July this year.

"The main reason for us wanting to shut down back then was uncertainty over finance and the lack of contributors. (Since then) we have had emails pledging financial support and spare time to help us moderate the blog," said Tan.

"There were also emails lambasting us for leaving our readers high and dry," she added.

With a recent donation drive raising more than US$30,000, together with the sale of souvenirs on its eStore, Tan said that, notwithstanding unforeseen circumstances, TRE should be able to stay open until 2016 and beyond if necessary.

Stressing that there are no terms attached to the donations, Tan said the team aims to provide a platform for readers to interact and share information and experiences.

"TRE has been accused of being anti-PAP and taking sides. On that, we would like to improve and try to balance the articles on our site to cater to readers from all camps," she noted, pointing out that TRE seeks to be "by Singaporeans for Singaporeans".

She added that the site has always welcomed contributions from anyone but "we don't get many from those supporting the ruling party".

The team also plans to approach Singapore's state investment company, Temasek Holdings, directly after the Presidential Election, due by 31 August this year, to work out the "name tussle".

Last October, Temasek Holdings asked the website to change its name, claiming TRE was trying to capitalise on the goodwill and reputation linked to the name "Temasek Review".

The TRE team has since published reports on its site claiming that Temasek Holdings has artificially inflated its presence in major search engines and registered the name "Temasek Review" as a trademark in some countries.

When contacted, Temasek Holdings declined comment. The company has said previously it will continue to use the names "Temasek Review" and "Temasek Report" for its annual publication.

In the long run, Tan said the team would like to adopt the "passive role" of moderating the site and overseeing its daily operations while readers and contributors provide content.

While Tan earlier said the team felt it was time to get back to their lives and family after helping cultivate political awareness among Singaporeans, she said the team has now worked out plans to juggle the workload.

"Leave eventually, we will, but we would like to do it the right way," she said. For instance, after helping other blogs raise their online presence through exposure on the TRE site, she said.

Last month, TRE had over 2.1 million page views and  74,536 unique visitors, according to statistics posted on the site.

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