Alas, there's one list where we're not #1.

France-based international NGO Reporters Without Borders released its 2016 World Press Freedom Index on Apr 20, rating freedom of information and the press in 180 countries. Singapore, alas, continued its tumble, coming in at 154 this year, proudly sandwiched between Swaziland (#153) and Brunei (#155). In 2015, Singapore was ranked #153, and #150 in 2014.

If that seems like a poor show, it is. To give you some context, here are some countries that did better than us: Burma (#143), Bangladesh (#144), Russia (#148), to name just three from 153 who ranked above us. To explain the drop in ranking, Reporters Without Borders cited the following: the MDA's censorship of media content (including online content), the shutdown of The Real Singapore and the prosecution of its editors and PM Lee's lawsuit against bloggers.

Regional context: Brunei took the sharpest downturn, falling a whopping 34 places to #155. Thailand fell two places to #134, while Malaysia and Burma both rose by one place to #143 and #146, respectively. Indonesia rose 8 places to #130. Still, all in the bottom quarter of the list.

The index is compiled based on an 87-item questionnaire translated into 20 languages, covering the areas of "pluralism, media independence, media environment and self-censorship, legislative framework, transparency, and the quality of the infrastructure that supports the production of news and information".

While it's too early for a response statement, in 2014, Law Minister Shanmugam had called Singapore's low rankings "quite absurd and divorced from reality".