Sarawak Report’s Rewcastle-Brown briefly detained in Singapore

Sarawak Report’s editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown at the Singapore immigration checkpoint where she was briefly detained at 1am two nights ago. (Facebook pic)

PETALING JAYA: Sarawak Report founder and investigative journalist Clare Rewcastle-Brown was briefly detained in Singapore two nights ago after her book launch.

The brief detention had taken place at 1am, according to a Facebook post by Sarawak Report. It follows a “mystery blacklisting” from two years ago, which prevents her from entering or leaving the city-state.

“Turns out ‘someone’ put her on the blacklist in 2016 but the Singapore authorities were baffled about why she had been placed on the list.

“After clarifying her involvement in the 1MDB expose they shook her hand and she was free to go. They suggested she raise the problem of the ‘mystery blacklisting’ with the authorities,” Sarawak Report said in the Facebook post.

Rewcastle-Brown had been in Singapore to launch her 528-page book, “The Sarawak Report: The Inside Story of the 1MDB Expose”, which chronicles the probe into the sovereign wealth fund scandal. The book launch was held two days ago at The Agora.

The “mystery blacklisting” follows a series of travel bans imposed against the editor, who made several exposes on the scandal. In July 2013, Rewcastle-Brown had been barred from entering the Kuching International Airport, and was put on a plane for Singapore after being detained at the airport.

An arrest warrant was issued by a court here in August 2015, over her alleged involvement in “activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy” and the “dissemination of false reports”.

However, after Pakatan Harapan (PH) won the May 9 general election, the arrest warrant for Rewcastle-Brown was revoked by the authorities and she was able to enter the country with no trouble on May 18.