Singapore - A regular column by a well-known blogger known as 'mr brown' was suspended on Friday after the Singapore government criticized his piece about the high cost of living, said editor-in- chief Mano Sabnani.
'It is the decision of the editors of Today,' he said, five days after the free tabloid published the government's blast.
The columnist, whose real name is Lee Kin Mun, a 36-year-old writer, said in his June 30 column that increases in taxi fares and electricity tariffs had come after the polls and at a time when a government survey showed a widening income gap.
'Singaporeans are fed up with progress,' was the title.
In a response which Today published on Monday, K Bhavani, press secretary to the Minister of Information, Communications and the Arts, said the views 'distort the truth' and offered no solutions.
Opinions widely circulated in a regular column in a serious newspaper should meet higher standards, Bhavani said. 'It is not the role of journalists or newspapers in Singapore to champion issues, or campaign for or against the government.'
The suspension triggered hundreds of responses to Lee's own blog, predominantly critical of the suspension of the column.
Singapore's restrictions on press freedom in the past have evoked criticism from abroad.
Within the restrictive city-state, political observer Tan Tarn How said he did not support Today's decision.
'If you believe that pluralism is good, this is an unfortunate case of mass media censorship, or self-censorship,' The Straits Times quoted him as saying.
7 Jul 2006