30/03/2024

Diarrhoea Bank of Sinkapoor DBS

Without offence, this Viral Whatsapp message must surely be the most Hilarious Joke of all times. His Witty reply that before he could "Think, Blink or Turn on the light", it's already done. He definitely Outwits his 3 Opponents. Share it if you like it HaHaHa!

Singaporean bank DBS CEO Gupta's total pay dropped 27% to $8.3 mln in 2023
The logo of DBS pictured outside an office in S'pore 5 Jan 2016. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo Purchase Licensing Rights

Piyush Gupta, CEO of Singapore's biggest bank DBS Group (DBSM.SI), opens new tab and one of the highest paid CEOs in the city-state, saw his total compensation dropped 27.3% for 2023, according to the lender's annual report published on Wednesday.

Gupta's total compensation fell to S$11.2 million ($8.34 million) in 2023 from S$15.4 million in 2022, the annual report showed.

The lower total compensation followed a cut in variable pay to take accountability of last year's digital banking disruptions at DBS, even as the Southeast Asia's largest lender posted a record 2023 profit with return of equity of 18%.


Banks - Now you know who to employ as your CEO
$2,000 + $3,000 = $4,000

29/03/2024

Good Friday 2024


Good Friday is a Christian holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus and his death at Calvary. It is observed during Holy Week as part of the Paschal Triduum on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday, and may coincide with the Jewish observance of Passover. It is also known as Holy Friday, Great Friday, and Black Friday.

Members of many Christian denominations, including the Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox, Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, Methodist, and Reformed traditions, observe Good Friday with fasting and church services.

The date of Good Friday varies from one year to the next on both the Gregorian and Julian calendars. Eastern and Western Christianity disagree over the computation of the date of Easter and therefore of Good Friday. Good Friday is a widely instituted legal holiday around the world, including in most Western countries and 12 U.S. states. Some countries, such as Germany, have laws prohibiting certain acts, such as dancing and horse racing, that are seen as profaning the solemn nature of the day.

28/03/2024

Should fairy tales be cancelled?

Mum believes they create 'depression and anxiety'

A mum believes fairy tales negatively influence children's beliefs and even mental health due to things like "representation, women, [and] body image".

Speaking on Good Morning Britain today, commentator Bushra Shaikh said, "There's this element of airy-fairy, head in the clouds, romanticised idea, unrealistic expectations of adulthood..." to which presenter Ranvir Singh can be heard jumping in to ask – "Is that not what childhood's all about?"

"No it's not," Shaikh, who has three children, insisted. "It's about being real, what are we teaching our kids? We know that 90% of under 30s have this unrealistic idea of life. Yes we need to redefine the fairy tale [but] why call it a fairy tale?"

27/03/2024

Cases where POFMA has been invoked

Factually Cases of Corrections and Clarifications


How has the law been used to combat fake news?
The highest number of Pofma-related directives was issued in 2020

When a Facebook page made claims in April 2020 that the Singapore Government had covered up Covid-19 case numbers to reduce public panic, the authorities invoked the fake news law on the same day to rebut the falsehood.

It was one of the swiftest uses of the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (Pofma) in the five years since the law came into force on Oct 2, 2019. The Straits Times looked at every Pofma directive issued by the authorities since that date to understand what content might trigger a Pofma order, and how the Government might react to fake news from various sources – issues that saw robust debate ahead of the law’s passing. Of 163 orders issued so far under the Act, over a quarter were related to the Covid-19 pandemic. The most orders issued in a year – 65 – was in 2020, when the pandemic started.

Much was at stake then, and the law allowed the Government to nip falsehoods in the bud quickly, experts told ST. Pofma was passed in Parliament on May 8, 2019, and assented to by then President Halimah Yacob on June 3 that year. It had been a long road to get to that point.


Kenneth Jeyaretnam issued seventh POFMA order over comment on High Court judges' bonuses

Reform Party leader Kenneth Jeyaretnam was issued a correction direction under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) on Wednesday (May 29) after he alleged that the Prime Minister and Law Minister can influence the sizes of performance bonuses paid to specific High Court judges. Second Minister for Law Edwin Tong, who is also Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, instructed the POFMA Office to issue the order to Mr Jeyaretnam, the Ministry of Law said in a media release.

This is the seventh POFMA order that Mr Jeyaretnam has received, with the preceding six linked to his comments about the rental of black-and-white bungalows at Ridout Road by two ministers. The latest order is tied to the defamation claims filed by the two ministers – Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam and Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan – against Mr Lee Hsien Yang over comments he made about their rental of the state properties. Last week a High Court judge ordered Mr Lee, the brother of former Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, to pay S$200,000 (US$ 148,000) in damages to Mr Shanmugam and Dr Balakrishnan for defaming them.

In a Facebook post on May 25, Mr Jeyaretnam questioned the judge's decision to award damages to the ministers and alleged that Mr Shanmugam as Law Minister "may have some input, along with the Prime Minister, into the appointment and promotion of High Court judges and into the size of their performance bonuses". An article on the government's fact-checking website Factually said that this is untrue.


Goh Meng Seng issued POFMA order over Facebook posts linking Lum Kok Seng with Iswaran and LTA

A correction direction was issued to opposition politician Goh Meng Seng on Wednesday (Mar 27) over a false claim he made in two Facebook posts on links between Mr Lum Kok Seng, S Iswaran and the Land Transport Authority (LTA).

Transport Minister Chee Hong Tat instructed the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) Office to issue the order to Mr Goh, the Ministry of Transport (MOT) said in a media release. LTA is a statutory board under the ministry.

In the posts published on the Goh Meng Seng and Goh Meng Seng People's Power Party Facebook pages on Tuesday evening, Mr Goh alleged that a company belonging to Mr Lum was awarded a "huge contract" by LTA while Iswaran was the Minister for Transport. The two posts had the same wording. MOT said this claim was false.


SDP leader Chee Soon Juan issued POFMA order over social media posts on public housing policies

Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) leader Chee Soon Juan was on Thursday (Feb 22) issued a correction direction under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) over a recent video he shared on social media regarding public housing polices. The video was posted on Dr Chee's Facebook, Instagram and TikTok accounts on Feb 17. 

Minister for National Development Desmond Lee instructed the POFMA Office to issue a correction direction to Dr Chee and a targeted correction direction to TikTok in relation to the posts, the ministry said in a press release on Thursday. Dr Chee was required to carry correction notices on his Instagram and Facebook accounts and create a new TikTok post containing a correction notice. These notices must state that the video posted on Feb 17 contained a "false statement of fact". A link to the government’s clarification must also be provided. "This will allow viewers to consider both versions and draw their own conclusions," said the Ministry of National Development.

Dr Chee posted the notices as of 7am on Friday. However, he also said on Facebook that he "categorically reject(s) the government's interpretation/explanation on the matter", adding that he will explore the option of mounting  a legal challenge to the government's stance. TikTok is required to communicate a correction notice to all end-users in Singapore that had accessed the TikTok post, the ministry added.


Kenneth Jeyaretnam given sixth POFMA order over Ridout Road comments
The state bungalows at 26 and 31 Ridout Road were rented to ministers K Shanmugam and Vivian Balakrishnan

Reform Party leader Kenneth Jeyaretnam has been issued his sixth correction direction under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) over comments he made on Friday (Feb 16) about the rental of black-and-white bungalows at Ridout Road by two ministers.

Second Minister for Law Edwin Tong had instructed the POFMA order to be issued to Mr Jeyaretnam for his article on The Ricebowl Singapore website, as well as his posts on Facebook, X and LinkedIn. Correction directions were also issued to Gutzy Asia – for an article on its website and its Facebook post – as well as The Online Citizen Asia for its Facebook post.

Mr Jeyaretnam claimed that the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) had charged ministers K Shanmugam and Vivian Balakrishnan rent at below market value for 26 and 31 Ridout Road respectively, and had given them preferential tenancy terms. This claim was also republished by Gutzy Asia and The Online Citizen Asia. "This is untrue," said an article on the government's Factually website.


Leong Mun Wai issued Pofma correction order for false post on West Coast couple not getting aid
Mr Leong Mun Wai has been ordered to carry a correction notice alongside false claims he made in a Facebook post about a West Coast couple. ST FILE PHOTO

Progress Singapore Party (PSP) Non-Constituency MP Leong Mun Wai has been issued an order under Singapore’s fake news law to carry a correction to a Facebook post he made about a couple who purportedly needed financial assistance for their health problems but had been overlooked by government agencies.

The couple, who live in West Coast, have trouble getting around. The man, 60, lost his sight from glaucoma several years ago, and his wife, 55, broke her ankle in a fall in 2023. Mr Leong claimed in his post on Feb 12 that other than a Home Caregiving Grant – a monthly grant given to caregivers to help ease their financial burden – the couple were not receiving any financial assistance from public sector agencies for their daily expenses.

In a statement issued on Feb 15, the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) said these claims are false. MSF said the couple are receiving financial assistance from various agencies, including transport vouchers. It added that the woman still has more than $60,000 in her MediSave account and did not have to pay out of pocket for the physiotherapy sessions. The falsehoods in Mr Leong’s post were later republished by The Online Citizen on Facebook, as well as Gutzy Asia on Facebook, X and the Gutzy Asia website. Minister for Social and Family Development Masagos Zulkifli instructed the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (Pofma) Office to issue a correction direction to Mr Leong, Gutzy Asia, and The Online Citizen. All three were required to carry a correction notice alongside their posts.


Kenneth Jeyaretnam issued fifth POFMA order over comments on government spending, Ridout Road rentals

Reform Party leader Kenneth Jeyaretnam has been issued a correction direction under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) - his fifth this year - over claims he made about government spending, healthcare expenditure and the rental of black-and-white bungalows at Ridout Road by two ministers.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong instructed the POFMA office to issue the order to Mr Jeyaretnam, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) said on Thursday (Nov 2). 
Mr Jeyaretnam made the claims in an article published on his website The Ricebowl Singapore on Oct 22, as well as in subsequent posts on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and X, formerly Twitter.

He will be required to publish the correction notice on all these platforms. He had received similar orders earlier this year over comments he made about the National Day Rally package disbursements, the billion-dollar money laundering arrests and the Ridout Road rentals.


3 news websites issued Pofma correction directions for false claims about death of woman in Yishun
The three outlets are Gutzy Asia, The Online Citizen Asia and Singapore Eye

Three news portals falsely claimed that a woman who had fallen off a building in Yishun and died was a Filipino maid or a Filipino worker.

The outlets – Gutzy Asia, The Online Citizen Asia and Singapore Eye – have been ordered under Singapore’s Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (Pofma) to publish a correction notice on their website and online platforms. They must also include a link to the Government’s clarification.

The notices will apply to Gutzy Asia’s article last Thursday, Singapore Eye’s report last Friday, and relevant social media posts by all three news portals last Thursday and Friday.


Singapore invokes fake news law for Australia-based academic website article on 'spate of scandals'

Australia-based academic website East Asia Forum was on Wednesday (Sep 12) issued a correction direction by Singapore's Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) Office.

The order relates to claims made in an article titled "A spate of scandals strikes Singapore", written by Dr Ying-Kit Chan from the National University of Singapore. The piece contains false statements in relation to matters including the independence of the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's approach in addressing extramarital affairs among parliamentarians, said the Prime Minister's Office.

East Asia Forum will be required to carry a correction notice at the top of the article and the main page of their website, as well as at the top of the corresponding Facebook post and on their Facebook page. The Forum is based out of the Australian National University and content it publishes is peer reviewed and "checked for factual accuracy", according to its About page. 


Pofma order issued over ex-inmate’s false claims about prison treatment in podcasts
Mr James Raj Arokiasamy had made several false claims in three podcast episodes uploaded to Spotify on Sept 6. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM DZARISMAIL/INSTAGRAM

Former inmate James Raj Arokiasamy made several false claims in three podcast episodes uploaded to Spotify on Sept 6, dealing with his treatment in prison, among other things, said the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

In a statement late on Wednesday, MHA said the false claims made by Mr James Raj, who goes by the pseudonym Messiah, were reproduced on Sept 7 on Instagram posts by Plan B – a local current affairs podcast show. It added that Plan B’s Spotify and Instagram accounts will also be required to put up the correction notices that have been issued.

A correction direction was issued by the Minister for Home Affairs and the Minister for Law under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (Pofma), with Plan B having to put up a notice against each of its posts, with a link to the Government’s clarifications.


Kenneth Jeyaretnam issued fourth POFMA order over comments on National Day Rally, Ridout Road rentals and money laundering

Reform Party leader Kenneth Jeyaretnam has been handed a fourth correction order in just over a month, over comments he made about the National Day Rally package disbursements, manpower statistics and the Ridout Road rentals, among other issues.

Second Minister for Law Edwin Tong instructed that the correction direction be issued to Mr Jeyaretnam under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA), the Ministry of Law said on Wednesday (Aug 30).

In his comments posted on Facebook, X (formally known as Twitter) and LinkedIn, dated Aug 21, Mr Jeyaretnam said that the government does not expect to fully disburse to the intended beneficiaries the money set aside for funds to support the Majulah Package, Pioneer Generation Package, and Merdeka Generation Package disbursements. A statement on the government's fact-checking website Factually said that this was untrue.


TikTok user issued another POFMA order, this time over claims about public housing policies
A screengrab of a TikTok post discussing public housing policies by user dr.ishhaq.jay

A man who had received two correction directions this month was issued with another one on Thursday (Aug 24), this time for making false claims about public housing policies in two TikTok videos, said the Ministry of National Development and Ministry of Law in a press release.

The man, who goes by the username "dr.ishhaq.jay", falsely claimed in a TikTok post on Aug 17 that the Housing and Development Board (HDB) prices and sells BTO flats to make a profit. He also falsely claimed in a TikTok post on Aug 18 that HDB makes a profit from selling BTO flats, and also falsely stated that the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) charges a premium when selling land used for HDB flats, and that SLA makes profits from land sold to HDB.

Minister for National Development Desmond Lee instructed the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) Office to issue the correction direction to the man, and a targeted correction direction to TikTok over the two posts.


Reform Party leader Kenneth Jeyaretnam was issued his third POFMA order in just over a month

Foreign pressure was not behind the arrests of 10 foreign nationals for forgery and money laundering offences, and the corruption probe against Transport Minister S Iswaran, the Ministry of Law (MinLaw) said on Tuesday (Aug 22). On the arrests, the ministry said the police identified the suspects “through intelligence probes and extensive investigations including the analysis of suspicious transaction reports”.

Ten foreign nationals were charged in court on Aug 16 in one of Singapore’s largest money laundering probes. About S$1 billion (US$736 million) in assets, including properties, vehicles, luxury goods and gold bars, have also been seized or frozen. “These operations and the planning of the arrests had been in the works over many months,” MinLaw said “They were not at the behest or because of any foreign party.” It added no foreign parties had been informed of the cases before the arrests. MinLaw also denied that the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau’s (CPIB) probe into Mr Iswaran was a result of foreign pressure.“ CPIB was investigating a separate matter, and came across some information concerning Minister Iswaran,” it said. “It then looked into the matter.”

The clarifications were made by MinLaw in response to posts by Reform Party leader Kenneth Jeyaretnam on Facebook and X, formerly known as Twitter. Mr Jeyaretnam claimed that the arrests of the 10 foreign nationals were a result of China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi and China’s pressure on Singapore. He also claimed the probe into Mr Iswaran and property tycoon Mr Ong Beng Seng was a result of foreign pressure. Additionally, the opposition politician claimed in a Facebook post that the rental rates paid by Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam and Foreign Affairs minister Vivian Balakrishnan for the Ridout Road properties are "locked in over nine years”.


TikTok user issued POFMA correction order again for making false claims about CPF

Minster for Manpower Tan See Leng has instructed the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) Office to issue a Correction Direction to TikTok user @dr.ishhaq.jay and a Targeted Correction Direction to TikTok in relation to a TikTok video posted on Aug. 12 by the said user.

Just two days prior, the same TikTok user was issued with a POFMA order for a TikTok video posted on Jul. 17.

In @dr.ishhaq.jay's TikTok video, he falsely claimed that no one among low and middle income CPF members who utilised their CPF monies to repay their HDB loan has met either the Basic Retirement Sum (BRS) or Full Retirement Sum in their CPF accounts.


Pofma order issued to TikToker over false claims Govt can trace votes to voters

A TikTok user has been issued a correction notice under the law against fake news, for a post on the social media platform that contained false claims regarding vote secrecy.

In a statement on Friday, the Elections Department (ELD), which falls under the Prime Minister’s Office, said TikTok user dr.ishhaq.jay had in a post on July 17 falsely claimed that the Government is able to trace votes back to the voter in order to penalise them.

The correction order was issued by the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (Pofma) office under the instruction of Minister-in-Charge of the Public Service and Education Minister Chan Chun Sing.


Kenneth Jeyaretnam issued second POFMA order over comments on Ridout Road rentals
A composite photo showing Reform Party chief Kenneth Jeyaretnam and an aerial view of the Ridout Road estate. (Image: Facebook/Kenneth Jeyaretnam, Screengrab)

Reform Party leader Kenneth Jeyaretnam has been issued a second correction direction over comments he made about the rental of black-and-white bungalows at Ridout Road by two ministers. 

His latest comments, posted on Facebook and LinkedIn on Jul 27, alleged that the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) had charged Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam and Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan rent at below market value for the Ridout Road properties. This is an untrue statement, the Ministry of Law said in a media release on Wednesday (Aug 2). Under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA), Mr Jeyaretnam will be required to carry a correction notice on his Facebook and LinkedIn posts, stating that it contains a false statement of fact, and include a link to the government's clarification.

"As established in the review conducted by Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean, the rental paid by both Ministers were at fair market value and not below market valuation," said MinLaw. "There was no evidence that the Ministers were given favourable rental rates due to their positions." The ministry added that the rental paid by the ministers for both properties was not less than the respective guide rents.



Lee Hsien Yang issued Pofma correction direction for Facebook post on Ridout Road, SPH Media
Mr Lee Hsien Yang will be required to carry a correction notice on a Facebook post that had three untrue statements, according to the Law Ministry. PHOTO: ST FILE

Mr Lee Hsien Yang has been asked to carry a correction notice on a Facebook post he made on Sunday that commented on the Ridout Road saga.

Mr Lee, the younger son of Singapore’s first prime minister Lee Kuan Yew and the brother of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, was issued the correction direction under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (Pofma), Singapore’s fake news law.

The direction to do so was issued by Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Second Minister for Law Edwin Tong. A press release from the Law Ministry said on Tuesday that Mr Lee’s Facebook post on July 23 had made three untrue statements:
  • That the state had paid for the renovations to No. 26 and 31 Ridout Road because the properties were leased by Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam and Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan.
  • That trees at the two properties were allowed to be felled because the properties were leased by the two ministers.
  • That SPH Media Trust had fraudulently inflated its circulation numbers.


POFMA orders issued over online posts falsely stating that Committee of Privileges was convened to look into Pritam Singh
Screengrab of the Facebook post which contained a false statement of fact that a Committee of Privileges was convened to look into Workers' Party (WP) secretary-general Pritam Singh’s alleged non-disclosure of his knowledge of former party member Raeesah Khan’s lies. (Image: Facebook/Andrew Loh)

Correction directions have been issued over social media posts that stated a Committee of Privileges was convened to look into Workers' Party (WP) chief Pritam Singh’s alleged non-disclosure of former party member Raeesah Khan’s lies.

This assertion is false, according to the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Indranee Rajah, who on Friday (Jul 21) said she had instructed the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) Office to hand out correction directions to one Facebook user Andrew Loh, as well as TikTok.

In his Facebook post, dated Jul 18, Mr Loh asked why a Committee of Privileges had not been convened to look into Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's non-disclosure of former Speaker Tan Chuan-Jin's extramarital affair, when one - Mr Loh asserted - had been convened for Mr Singh's alleged non-disclosure in the Raeesah Khan case. A statement on the government fact-checking website Factually said this assertion is false. While a Committee of Privileges had been convened over the conduct of Ms Khan - a former Member of Parliament - Mr Singh himself was not the subject of the Committee of Privileges.


The Prime Minister's Office said this as it issued POFMA correction orders to the blog Political Sophistry.

In their respective comments on the anti-graft probe involving Transport Minister S Iswaran, both Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong did not want to deviate from what the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) had announced in its initial statement on the investigation as it was "related to operational matters", the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said on Thursday (Jul 20).

This was revealed as part of a correction direction issued to Political Sophistry, a blog on Singapore politics, under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA). In its press release, PMO said an article published on Jul 16 -  “Upfront and transparent? A timeline of the CPIB investigation into Transport Minister Iswaran” - had falsely conveyed that Mr Lee and Mr Wong did not want to disclose that Mr Iswaran had been arrested because it was "politically embarrassing".

The article, according to PMO, also suggested that Mr Wong had “deliberately withheld information” as he wanted to "conceal the truth". These statements are false, said PMO.


ISSUANCE OF CORRECTION DIRECTION UNDER THE PROTECTION FROM ONLINE 
FALSEHOODS AND MANIPULATION ACT (POFMA) TO POLITICAL SOPHISTRY

The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Ms Indranee Rajah, has instructed the
POFMA Office to issue a Correction Direction to Political Sophistry for their article “Upfront
and transparent? A timeline of the CPIB investigation into Transport Minister Iswaran”
published on 16 July 2023 (“Article”).

The Article falsely conveyed that:
  • On 12 July 2023, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (“PM”) and Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong (“DPM Wong”) did not want to disclose the fact of Mr Iswaran’s arrest because it was politically embarrassing.
  • In his doorstop interview on 12 July 2023, DPM Wong deliberately withheld information that two arrests had been made in connection with the case because he wanted to conceal the truth.

These statements are false.


Pofma order issued to online blog Political Sophistry over article on CPIB Iswaran probe

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong did not disclose Transport Minister S. Iswaran’s arrest when they spoke about the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau’s (CPIB) probe on July 12 as revealing such information is CPIB’s decision to make.

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said on Thursday that it is usually CPIB, and not ministers, that releases information on people that have been arrested in connection with its investigations.

PMO revealed this in its statement that online blog Political Sophistry has been asked to put up a correction notice, under the law against fake news, on its article about CPIB’s investigation into Mr Iswaran.


Pofma orders issued to Kenneth Jeyaretnam, FB user and online site over Ridout Road rentals
The Pofma correction orders were issued over false statements regarding the rentals of 26 Ridout Road (left) and 31 Ridout Road. PHOTOS: ST FILE

An opposition politician, a Facebook user and the website Jom have been asked to put up corrections under the law against fake news over articles and social media posts that contain false statements about the Ridout Road saga.

The Ministry of Law (MinLaw) on Sunday said Second Minister for Law Edwin Tong had issued the instructions to Reform Party leader Kenneth Jeyaretnam and Facebook user Thamil Selvan.

The orders are in relation to an article published by Mr Jeyaretnam titled “Will SLA issue a statement denying the rumours that they have awarded any contracts to Shanmugam’s son’s company?” on July 2 on his website The Ricebowl Singapore, as well as Mr Thamil’s Facebook post on July 1. Mr Tong also issued a correction direction to online publication Jom, said MinLaw and the Ministry of Communications and Information in a joint statement on Sunday.


Singapore to block Asia Sentinel website for not complying with POFMA correction direction

Internet access service providers in Singapore have been ordered to block the online publication Asia Sentinel after its non-compliance with a correction direction under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA), the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) said on Friday (Jun 2). The California-registered publication was required to carry a correction notice alongside its May 24 article, which the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said contained several falsehoods.

The Infocomm Media Development Authority has been directed to issue access blocking orders following Asia Sentinel’s non-compliance with the correction direction, MCI said in its press release on Friday. MCI said that the correction direction issued to Asia Sentinel required the facts to be juxtaposed against the falsehoods, so that end-users in Singapore can read both versions and draw their own conclusions. "While Asia Sentinel carried the correction notices, this was not done in compliance with the requirements of the correction direction for the respective correction notices to be situated at the top of the article and at the top of the main page of the website,” MCI added.

The access blocking orders require internet access service providers to disable access for end-users in Singapore to the online location where the falsehoods were communicated, it said. The access blocking orders will be cancelled should Asia Sentinel subsequently comply with the "full requirements" of the correction direction.



Pofma correction order issued to Asia Sentinel over false claims

Online publication Asia Sentinel has been asked to put up a correction notice, under the law against fake news, on one of its articles published on Wednesday containing several false statements.

These statements were related to a Nikkei Asia article, suspended lawyer M. Ravi, and Mr Lee Hsien Yang and his wife, Mrs Lee Suet Fern, who are under police investigation for possible offences of giving false evidence in judicial proceedings.

The article, titled “Singapore kills a chicken to scare the monkeys”, was written by the publication’s editor John Berthelsen.



Correction of falsehood regarding woman who claimed to need urgent financial help but had no one to turn to

On 24 April 2022, Gilbert Goh published a Facebook post featuring an appeal he purportedly received from “A”, who claimed that there was “no one [she] can turn to” for help and that she needed urgent financial assistance for herself and her partner, as well as adult diapers, transportation, and food. Goh’s post gave the impression that “A” and her partner have not received any assistance from the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) and other agencies. This is false.

“A” is known to MSF as Mdm A:
  • Mdm A has been receiving ComCare assistance from MSF since June 2015 without any pause in monthly assistance. Mdm A’s last ComCare assistance period was from December 2021 to April 2022, before the current renewal from May 2022 to August 2022. Also, her monthly assistance sum was increased from May 2022 onwards.
  • Her partner has been receiving ComCare assistance for various periods since June 2015. His last assistance period was from October 2021 to March 2022. It was renewed from April to September 2022.
Besides MSF, Mdm A and her partner also receive financial and non-financial help from other agencies and community partners, including the Agency for Integrated Care, MUIS (Islamic Religious Council of Singapore), Tan Tock Seng Hospital, THK Family Service Centre @ MacPherson and Home Nursing Foundation. Together, Mdm A and her partner are currently receiving more than $2,000 in financial assistance from MSF and other agencies each month. This includes cash, rental assistance, assistance for service and conservancy charges, utility assistance and Public Healthcare Assistance.


Corrections regarding article about Minister for Law and Home Affairs K Shanmugam’s video interview with Vanakkam Malaysia

On 21 April 2022, “The Independent Singapore” (“TISG”) published an article on its website, Facebook page and Twitter account, containing a false statement. The author of the article, Mr Toh Han Shih (“Mr Toh”), also shared TISG’s article on his Twitter account on 21 April 2022.

The article had the headline “K Shanmugam says he may step down as Singapore’s Minister of Law and Home Affairs”. The headline was clickbait, giving the false impression that the Minister for Law and Home Affairs said he may be stepping down from his ministerial positions.

The first paragraph of the article further stated that the Minister had “revealed” in a video interview with Vanakkam Malaysia that “he may step down as a minister, but gave no specific time as to when he might do so”. This again gave the false impression that the Minister said he may be stepping down from his ministerial positions.


Corrections regarding patient who allegedly suffered miscarriage after four-hour wait at KKH

The Ministry of Health (MOH) is aware that “Wake Up, Singapore” (WUSG) had posted allegations across its website, Facebook, and Instagram pages on 23 March 2022, which claimed that a COVID-positive patient who was 20 weeks pregnant had suffered a miscarriage after waiting four hours to see a doctor at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) A&E department in February 2022. These allegations are false.

Facts of the case:
  • KKH had identified the patient in question based on a screenshot of a hospital bill accompanying WUSG’s posts, which contained discrepancies with the patient’s account of events.
  • Subsequent investigations by KKH have confirmed that the patient had been seen by a doctor within an hour of her arrival at KKH in February 2022, and did not suffer any miscarriage.
  • On 25 March 2022, WUSG published further posts on its Facebook and Instagram pages, stating that they have been informed by the patient that her recollection was false, and that WUSG “may have been fed lies at every turn”. WUSG has also apologised to KKH for publishing these allegations.
The allegations are serious and have been circulated to various other platforms. This could lead to the erosion of public trust in the credibility and professionalism of our healthcare system and institutions. Accordingly, the Minister for Health has instructed the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) Office to issue a Correction Direction to “Wake Up, Singapore” in respect of the falsehoods, to ensure that the public is provided with the full facts. “Wake Up, Singapore” is required to publish the correction notices as specified by the POFMA Office for each webpage and social media post containing the falsehoods.


ISSUANCE OF CORRECTION DIRECTION UNDER THE PROTECTION FROM ONLINE FALSEHOODS AND MANIPULATION ACT 2019 ON FALSEHOODS REGARDING PATIENT WHO ALLEGEDLY SUFFERED MISCARRIAGE AFTER FOUR HOUR WAIT AT KKH

The Ministry of Health (MOH) is aware that “Wake Up, Singapore” (WUSG) had posted allegations across its website, Facebook, and Instagram pages on 23 March 2022, which claimed that a COVID-positive patient who was 20 weeks pregnant had suffered a miscarriage after waiting four hours to see a doctor at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) A&E department in February 2022. These allegations are false.

KKH had identified the patient in question based on a screenshot of a hospital bill accompanying WUSG’s posts, which contained discrepancies with the patient’s account of events. Subsequent investigations by KKH have confirmed that the patient had been seen by a doctor within an hour of her arrival at KKH in February 2022, and did not suffer any miscarriage.

On 25 March 2022, WUSG published further posts on its Facebook and Instagram pages, stating that they have been informed by the patient that her recollection was false, and that WUSG “may have been fed lies at every turn”. WUSG has also apologised to KKH for publishing these allegations.


POFMA correction order issued to Wake Up Singapore over KKH falsehoods

Wake Up Singapore is required to publish the correction notices as specified by the POFMA Office for all its posts containing the falsehoods. Alternative news site Wake up Singapore (WUS) has been issued a correction direction under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) for publishing a woman’s claims that she bled and lost a baby during a four-hour wait at the accident and emergency department at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH).

In a media release on Sunday (27 March), the Ministry of Health (MOH) announced that it has instructed the POFMA Office to issue a Correction Direction to WUS in respect of the falsehoods. MOH said that despite the apology from WUS, the allegations are serious and have been circulated to various other platforms. “This could lead to the erosion of public trust in the credibility and professionalism of our healthcare system and institutions,” the ministry added.

Hence, to ensure that the public is provided with the full facts, WUS is required to publish the correction notices as specified by the POFMA Office for each webpage and social media post containing the falsehoods. It added that the Government takes a serious view of these falsehoods and that the matter has been referred to the relevant authorities for investigation.


Corrections and Clarifications on falsehoods by Wake Up, Singapore regarding the recommendations of the Committee of Privileges

On 10 February 2022, Wake Up Singapore published posts on its Instagram and Facebook accounts (“the posts”) which contain a false statement of fact.

Falsehood:
  • The posts falsely convey that the Committee of Privileges (“the Committee”) recommended that Mr Pritam Singh (“Mr Singh”) and Mr Muhamad Faisal Bin Abdul Manap (“Mr Faisal”) be referred for criminal proceedings, even though there was no finding by the Committee that they lied.
  • This is false in various respects.
  • The Committee expressly found that Mr Singh, Ms Lim and Mr Faisal had lied in their evidence before the Committee.
  • The Committee’s recommendation that Mr Singh be referred to the Public Prosecutor was based on this finding which it made, that Mr Singh had lied on oath (which is a possible offence of perjury).
  • The Committee did not recommend referring Mr Faisal Manap to the Public Prosecutor for lying to the Committee. The Committee recommended referring Mr Faisal for repeatedly refusing to answer relevant questions put to him by the Committee.


Corrections and Clarifications on falsehoods regarding content about COVID-19 and the Omicron variant in Facebook posts by Goh Meng Seng
Misleading information about COVID-19 and the Omicron variant

A video posted by Goh Meng Seng on 27 November 2021 on various online locations on Facebook contained false and egregious claims about the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus. In particular, there is currently no basis to conclude that:
  • (i) The COVID-19 and HIV viruses could combine and become another air-borne virus; and
  • (ii) Omicron is vaccine-resistant, and vaccines are totally useless against it.
Here are the facts:
  • Fact #1: The COVID-19 and HIV viruses cannot combine and become another virus which has the characteristics of the HIV and COVID-19 viruses.
  • Fact #2: The COVID-19 and HIV viruses cannot combine in a fully vaccinated patient to become an airborne HIV virus which is vaccine resistant.
  • Fact #3: The Omicron variant is not a combination of the HIV and COVID-19 viruses.
  • Fact #4: There is no evidence to suggest that the currently available COVID-19 vaccines are totally useless against the Omicron variant.


Goh Meng Seng Served with 3rd POFMA Correction Direction This Year for Claims About Omicron

On 27 Nov, People’s Power Party chief, Goh Meng Seng posted a 44-minute video on Facebook containing false claims about the Omicron variant.

Some of the false claims that he mentioned in the videos are:
  • The Omicron variant is vaccine-resistant and vaccines are useless against it
  • COVID-19 and HIV could combine and become another air-borne virus
The Ministry of Health (MOH) was not having any of his shenanigans and decided to release the facts so that the public do not get misled.


Two issued Pofma correction direction after sharing vaccine misinformation
MOH said that Covid-19 vaccines approved for use here have been assessed to be safe and effective by reputable health and scientific agencies worldwide. PHOTO: ST FILE

Two men have been issued correction directions under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (Pofma) for sharing misinformation about Covid-19 vaccines.

They are local author Cheah Kit Sun - who wrote a blog post in October titled Do Not Participate In A Society That Rejects You - and opposition party chief Goh Meng Seng, who shared the post.

Each will have to publish correction notices at the top of each webpage or social media post containing the false statements.


POFMA correction directions issued to Cheah Kit Sun, Goh Meng Seng over COVID-19 vaccine falsehoods
The COVID-19 vaccine being administered at Kolam Ayer Community Club, Singapore, on Apr 21, 2021. (Photo: Marcus Mark Ramos)

Correction directions have been issued to author Cheah Kit Sun and opposition politician Goh Meng Seng over a blog post that "falsely" exaggerates the dangers of COVID-19 vaccines and discourages people from taking them, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Monday (Nov 29). 
"It is important to correct these falsehoods, especially given the ongoing vaccine booster exercise," said the ministry.

Mr Cheah's blog post, titled Do Not Participate in a Society that Rejects You, was published on Oct 20 on various online locations.  It was also shared on the Facebook page of Mr Goh, the founder of People's Power Party, on the same day.

The directions, issued under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA), require them to carry a correction notice alongside their blog post and social media post.


POFMA Office instructed to issue correction direction to Truth Warriors website for falsehoods on COVID-19 vaccines

The Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) Office has been instructed to issue a correction direction to local website Truth Warriors over falsehoods relating to the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines and for promoting ivermectin to treat the coronavirus.

"Many of the materials published on the Truth Warriors website mislead people into thinking that COVID-19 vaccines are not effective in reducing transmission rates of COVID-19, and promote the safety and efficacy of ivermectin in preventing viral infections and treating COVID-19," said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Sunday (Oct 24). MOH added that these materials are from unverified and dubious sources, and individuals who heed the advice on the website can endanger themselves and the people around them.

Health Minister Ong Ye Kung has instructed the POFMA Office to issue the correction direction to Truth Warriors, MOH said. The website is required to publish the correction notice at the top of each webpage containing the falsehoods.



The so-called “Truth Warriors” are really snake oil salesmen and saleswomen with dubious motivations.

Some are downright wicked. Others are gullible.

Many live in their own world of imagined conspiracy and hollywood constructs.

A few want to be heroes the easy way.

While others carry chips on their shoulders, or are blinded by hate or unhappiness.


POFMA correction direction issued to Facebook for post falsely claiming 3-year-old died from COVID-19
A prompt on Facebook's news feed seen on Aug 15, 2021, visible only to Singapore users

A correction direction has been issued to Facebook over a post that falsely claimed a three-year-old girl had died from COVID-19 at KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH) and that the death was not reported.

Health Minister Ong Ye Kung has instructed the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) Office to issue the correction direction to Facebook, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Sunday (Aug 15).

Facebook is required to carry the correction notice to all end-users in Singapore who use the platform. "The Government takes a serious view of the deliberate communication of these false statements, and criminal investigations under POFMA will be conducted," said MOH.


POFMA directive to be issued to Twitter over Jolovan Wham’s post about Shanmugam's remarks on rule of law
Jolovan Wham arrives at the State Court in Singapore on Feb 21, 2019. (Photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)

The Minister for Home Affairs has instructed the POFMA (Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act) Office to issue a targeted correction direction to Twitter, following Mr Jolovan Wham’s non-compliance with a correction order issued to him on Friday (Oct 8), said the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Saturday.

Under the targeted correction direction, Twitter is required to alert users who have seen Mr Wham’s tweet that it contains false claims about Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam's views on the rule of law.

Mr Wham’s tweet on Oct 6 "communicated the falsehood that the Minister for Home Affairs adopts the view that the rule of law does not operate anywhere in the real world, including in Singapore", said MHA. The latest directive comes after MHA said on Friday that it was aware of "falsehoods" circulated online by Mr Wham, which "misrepresented" what Mr Shanmugam had said in Parliament on Oct 4.


Pofma Office to issue targeted correction direction to Twitter after activist Jolovan Wham's non-compliance with order over Shanmugam tweet
Mr Jolovan Wham had previously been instructed to publish a correction notice on his online platform. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

Minister for Home Affairs K. Shanmugam has instructed the Pofma Office to issue a targeted correction direction to Twitter, said the ministry on Saturday (Oct 9).

This comes after activist Jolovan Wham's non-compliance with the correction order issued to him on Friday (Oct 8).

Mr Wham had made comments on social media network Twitter that misrepresented what Mr Shanmugam had said on the rule of law in Parliament on Monday (Oct 4).


Court of Appeal partially allows SDP's POFMA appeal in landmark judgment; other correction directions upheld
SDP secretary-general Chee Soon Juan and chairman Paul Tambyah speaking at a press conference on Sep 2, 2015. (File photo: Sarah Yang)

The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) has secured a partial win in its court battle against correction directions issued under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA).

In a first, the Court of Appeal overturned part of a correction direction issued by the Ministry of Manpower against the SDP for statements it had made about unemployment in Singapore. However, the court upheld two other correction directions against SDP, as well as the other part of the third correction direction.

A 156-page landmark judgment released on Friday (Oct 8) by Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon and Appeal Judges Andrew Phang, Judith Prakash, Tay Yong Kwang and Steven Chong laid out, for the first time, a five-step framework for a court to determine whether or not to overturn a correction direction under POFMA.


Manpower Minister issues new, narrower Pofma direction to SDP
The High Court had upheld correction orders, ruling that the SDP's statements were false, based on MOM's statistics. PHOTO: ST FILE

The Minister for Manpower on Friday night (Oct 8) issued a new correction direction to the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) under the fake news law.

This came after the Court of Appeal set aside part of an original direction given to the opposition party for a falsehood that had to do with the employment situation in Singapore.

The SDP had been issued three such directions on Dec 14, 2019, under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (Pofma) for false statements in its Facebook posts and in an article on its website titled SDP Population Policy: Hire S'poreans First, Retrench S'poreans Last.


Health Minister orders POFMA correction directions to States Times Review, Facebook over COVID-19 post
People were seen wearing masks at Orchard Road, Singapore on Feb 3. (Photo: Gaya Chandramohan)

Health Minister Gan Kim Yong has instructed that a correction direction be issued to Mr Alex Tan, the owner of the States Times Review (STR) Facebook page, said the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) Office on Friday (Feb 14). 

He also ordered that a targeted correction direction be issued to Facebook, which hosted the Feb 13 post by STR that is said to contain "multiple false statements" about the COVID-19 situation. STR's correction direction requires it to carry a correction notice alongside the article, while Facebook's targeted correction direction requires it to publish a correction notice on the relevant STR Facebook post.

Facebook had issued a correction notice last year for another STR post, in a first for the platform. According to a Factually article on the Gov.sg website, the COVID-19 post claimed five points that were "entirely false". 


MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION DIRECTS POFMA OFFICE TO ISSUE DISABLING ORDER

The Minister for Communications and Information has directed the POFMA Office to order Facebook to disable access for Singapore users to States Times Review (STR)
Facebook page, under Section 34 of the Protection against Online Falsehoods and
Manipulation Act.

2. The STR Facebook page has repeatedly conveyed falsehoods and not complied with any of the POFMA Directions that it has been served with. After being served a Declaration on 15 Feb 2020 notifying that it was declared a Declared Online Location (DOL), the STR Facebook page has not carried the required notice stating that it has been declared a DOL, which serves to warn visitors of the previous falsehoods that this page communicated.

3. For facts of the case, please refer to the Factually article, “Corrections And
Clarifications Regarding Falsehoods Published By States Times Review on the COVID-19 
Situation”
(https://www.gov.sg/article/factually-clarifications-on-falsehoods-posted-by-stron-covid-19-situation).


Singapore introduced tough laws against fake news
A man checks his phone outside an empty Apple store in Singapore on Sunday. The city-state is using fake-news laws to target what it deems to be false assertions about its response to the coronavirus outbreak. (Ore Huiying/AFP/Getty Images)

At their sprawling Asia headquarters last month, Facebook executives considered the latest order from Singapore's authorities: Disable local access to a page that the city-state's government said contained false statements about its response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Legal analysis gave the company little choice, Facebook concluded. If it did not comply, the company would be found guilty of an offense and fined up to $14,400 a day under the law.

Within a day Facebook had blocked local access to the page, States Times Review. But in an unusually strong statement, the social media giant said it was “deeply concerned about the precedent this sets for the stifling of freedom of expression in Singapore.”


The Online Citizen taken offline, ahead of deadline set by IMDA after failure to declare funding

Socio-political website The Online Citizen (TOC) and its various social media channels were taken offline on Thursday morning (Sept 16), ahead of a 3pm deadline set by the Infocomm and Media Development Authority (IMDA).

Attempts to access the TOC website returned an "access denied" error. The website was also not accessible from outside Singapore.

TOC’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram profiles were deactivated, while all video content on its YouTube channel was delisted.


Pofma issues correction directions to NUSS, CNA, TOC and New Naratif over Tambyah's statements on Covid-19 testing of migrant workers
Professor Paul Tambyah speaking at the NUSS Pre-General Election Forum 2020 on July 3, 2020.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

Five correction directions have been issued to the National University of Singapore Society (NUSS), Channel News Asia (CNA), The Online Citizen Asia (TOC) and New Naratif, the Ministry of Health (MOH) and Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said in a joint statement on Sunday (July 5).

The Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (Pofma) Office was directed to issue these correction directions by the alternate authority for the Minister for Manpower. It is the first time that a mainstream media outlet has been issued a correction direction by the Pofma Office.

The directions were issued for the following:
  • A video titled "NUSS Pre-General Election Forum 2020", published by NUSS on July 3 on YouTube
  • A Facebook post and video titled "Dr Paul Tambyah reveals MOM's role in outbreak of Covid-19 within dormitories", published by TOC on July 4
  • A video titled "TOC GE2020 Livestream - Afternoon session 2 July 2020", published by TOC on July 2
  • An online article titled "GE2020: Focus on public health could have been lost in March amid talk of early election, suggests SDP's Paul Tambyah", published by CNA on July 4
  • An audio recording titled "An Interview with Dr Paul Tambyah", published by New Naratif on July 5

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Clarification regarding falsehood published by the National University of Singapore Society (NUSS), The Online Citizen Asia (TOC), CNA and New Naratif on MOM’s advisory on testing of migrant workers

False statements were made in a video, “NUSS Pre-General Election Forum 2020”, published by NUSS on 3 July 2020 on YouTube; a Facebook post and videos titled “Dr Paul Tambyah reveals MOM’s role in outbreak of COVID-19 within dormitories”, published by TOC on 4 July 2020; a video titled “TOC GE2020 Livestream – Afternoon session 2 July 2020”, published by TOC on 2 July 2020 on Facebook; an online article “GE2020: Focus on public health could have been lost in March amid talk of early election, suggests SDP’s Paul Tambyah”, published by CNA on 4 July 2020; and an audio recording titled “An Interview with Dr Paul Tambyah”, published by New Naratif on 5 July 2020.

Falsehoods
The NUSS forum video, TOC’s Facebook post and videos, CNA online article and New Naratif audio recording featured the following claims by Dr Paul Tambyah:
  • MOM issued a statement to all the employers that if they brought their foreign workers for COVID-19 testing, they would lose their work pass privileges.
  • MOM actively discouraged the testing of workers.
  • MOM made these decisions without consulting public health medical professionals or MOH.

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Facebook pages of Peoples Voice and SDP among those issued Pofma directions
Correction directions have been issued to the Facebook pages of two political parties contesting the general election, two other Facebook pages and a website.PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM POFMAOFFICE.GOV.SG

The Facebook pages of two political parties contesting the general election have received correction directions under Singapore's fake news law, along with two other Facebook pages and a website.

The pages belong to Peoples Voice and the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP), as well as The Online Citizen Asia's website and Facebook page, and the "Sin Rak Sin Party" Facebook page.

The Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (Pofma) Office issued the correction notice over claims that Dr Cheong Koon Hean, chief executive of the Housing Development Board, had suggested at the IPS-Nathan Lectures in 2018 that Singapore's population would increase to 10 million by 2030.

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Correction and clarifications regarding falsehoods on population target and HDB CEO’s remarks on living density

Falsehoods:
Several Facebook posts – Singapore Democratic Party, The Online Citizen Asia, Sin Rak Sin Party, Lim Tean of Peoples Voice (Facebook Live video), Louis Chng, and a website article (The Online Citizen Asia) have claimed that Dr Cheong Koon Hean, Chief Executive Officer of the Housing & Development Board, had confirmed that our population would go up to about 10 million by 2030. They cite a lecture by Dr Cheong at the IPS-Nathan Lectures in April 2018.

The Facebook Live video by Lim Tean of Peoples Voice also claims that the Government was planning, or had intentions, to move towards 10 million population by 2030, referencing the same lecture by Dr Cheong.

These allegations are false. Dr Cheong made no statement suggesting that our population would increase to 10 million by 2030. This is a continuation of falsehoods alleging that the Government has a population target of 10 million, which the Government has clarified.

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POFMA order issued to Facebook pages of SDP, PV and TOC over false 10m population statement

The POFMA Office has issued correction orders to the Facebook pages of the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) and Peoples Voice (PV) for a false statement that the CEO of the Housing & Development Board had suggested Singapore’s population will increase to 10 million by 2030.

The orders, on the instruction by the Alternate Authority for the Minister for National Development, were also issued to The Online Citizen Asia with respect to an article on its website and Facebook page, as well as the Facebook page of Sin Rak Sin Party.

“This is with regard to false statements of fact claiming that a statement made by Dr Cheong Koon Hean at the IPS-Nathan Lectures in 2018 suggested that our population would increase to 10 million by 2030. Dr Cheong made no statement suggesting that our population would increase to 10 million by 2030,” said the POFMA (Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act) Office.

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Correction directions issued to three people, Facebook page for posting screenshot

The Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (Pofma) Office has been instructed to issue correction directions to several Facebook users and a Facebook page for communicating a falsehood related to a purported “10 million population” plan.

The Facebook users were identified as “Ryann Smith”, “Jafri Basron” and “Denise Fletcher”, while the Facebook page was identified to be the “Sin Rak Sin Party”.

They had posted screenshots of, or linked to, an article first published by The Online Citizen which contained a false statement that the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has released a plan “to build underground infrastructure ready for 10 million population”.

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Corrections and clarifications regarding posts of falsehoods from an article by The Online Citizen

Falsehoods
Several Facebook users – “Denise Fletcher”, “Jafri Basron”, and “Ryann Smith” – as well as a Facebook page “Sin Rak Sin Party” have recently posted screenshots of, or links to, an article first published by The Online Citizen (TOC) on 4 April 2019, which contained a false statement that the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has released a “plan to build underground infrastructure ready for 10 million population”.

This is false for the following reasons:
  • The Government has not proposed, planned nor targeted for Singapore to increase its population to 10 million;
  • The Government does not have any population target;
  • URA’s underground plans are not meant to serve any population target.

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Pofma correction directions issued to Peoples Voice party's Facebook page and Lim Tean's YouTube channel

A correction direction was issued on Thursday (July 2) by the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (Pofma) Office to the Facebook page of the Peoples Voice (PV) party over a video containing a false statement about government spending on foreign students.

The Pofma Office also issued another correction direction to the YouTube channel Tean Lim of the party's leader, Mr Lim Tean, where the video was also posted.

Mr Lim and PV are respectively the first candidate and political party contesting this year's elections to receive a Pofma correction direction.

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Correction and clarifications regarding a falsehood and misleading statement in Peoples Voice Political Party’s Facebook Video on 1 July 2020

The Facebook video by Peoples Voice Political Party on 1 July 2020 contains a false and misleading statement.

Falsehood
  • Mr Lim Tean states that “We spend a quarter of a billion dollars providing free education for foreigners every year.”
  • This is false and misleading. MOE does not spend a quarter of a billion dollars to provide free education for foreigners every year.
  • While MOE spends about $238 million on foreign students a year as stated in a parliamentary reply on 5 August 2019[1], the significant majority of these students are still required to pay fees higher than those of local students and/or fulfil a bond obligation after graduation.

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POFMA Office instructed to issue correction directions to Facebook pages of State News Singapore, Alex Tan

The alternate authority for the Minister for Foreign Affairs has instructed the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) Office to issue a correction direction each to the Facebook pages belonging to State News Singapore and Mr Alex Tan. The alternate authority also issued Facebook a targeted correction direction, the Office said in a media release on Monday (Jun 29).

This is the first instance of an alternate authority issuing correction directions under POFMA, which states that during an election period, ministers may appoint public officers to issue orders under POFMA. The Act defines an election period as the period between the day a writ of election is issued and the close of Polling Day.

“The ‘State News Singapore’ Facebook page made false statements of fact about cross-border travel arrangements between Singapore and Malaysia in a post published on 27 June 2020,” the POFMA Office said. “This false statement of fact was shared by Mr Tan’s Facebook page.”

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Corrections and clarifications regarding falsehood on cross-border travel arrangements between Singapore and Malaysia

There is a false statement of fact contained in a Facebook post by State News Singapore (SNS) on the cross-border travel arrangements between Singapore and Malaysia.

Falsehood
On 27 June 2020, SNS published a Facebook post stating that “[d]espite Lee Hsien Loong personally calling Malaysia Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin requesting Malaysia to open up daily commute, the Malaysian authorities refused to accede to his request”. This is false.

Facts
We wish to clarify that the telephone call between the two Prime Ministers was initiated at the request of Prime Minister Muhyiddin. As Prime Minister Muhyiddin has publicly stated, he proposed that the Singapore Government consider a daily cross-border commuting arrangement.

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National Times Singapore issued correction direction over false POFMA statements in Facebook post

Law Minister K Shanmugam has instructed that a correction direction be issued to the National Times Singapore Facebook page about statements made on the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA).

A targeted correction direction has also been issued to Facebook, which requires the social media platform to communicate a correction notice to all users in Singapore who access the falsehood through its service, said the Ministry of Law on Wednesday (May 27).

The Government website Factually listed the following as "false and misleading statements" in the National Times Singapore Facebook post, which was published on May 15: 
  • “Every criticism has been outlawed by the Singapore government through its new POFMA legislation, where the politicians in power get to decide what is truth.”
  • The Minister for Law had issued a POFMA direction to ban a video.

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Corrections and clarifications regarding Facebook post by National Times Singapore (“NTS”)

A post on the NTS Facebook page contains several false and misleading statements. The NTS page is run by Mr Alex Tan, who lives in Australia, and claims to be an Australian citizen.

Falsehoods
On 15 May 2020, NTS published a post, claiming, amongst other things, the following:

  • “Every criticism has been outlawed by the Singapore government through its new POFMA1 legislation, where the politicians in power get to decide what is truth.”
  • The Minister for Law had issued a POFMA direction to ban a video.
The above are false, for the following reasons:
  • It is false that “politicians in power get to decide what is truth” under POFMA. This had previously been explained when an earlier POFMA direction was issued. POFMA applies only to factual statements that are false (Section 2(2) of POFMA). It does not apply to opinions. If there is a dispute as to whether the statement is false, or whether it is a statement of fact, the dispute can be determined by the Courts. The Courts have, over centuries, developed criteria for assessing falsehoods, and will be the final arbiters of whether there is a falsehood under POFMA.
  • For the reasons above, it is therefore also untrue to say that POFMA outlaws every criticism of the Government. Before and after POFMA came into force, the Government has been regularly criticised on various matters. These criticisms have not been subject to POFMA.
  • The Minister for Law has not issued a POFMA direction to ban any video. The video subject to an earlier POFMA direction remains accessible to the public.

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Historian Thum Ping Tjin complies with Pofma order but says he will challenge it
The Pofma Office issued correction directions to historian Thum Ping Tjin as well as the New Naratif website.PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM GOV.SG

Historian Thum Ping Tjin has put up a correction notice on his Facebook page alongside his online video on Singapore’s fake news laws, complying with correction directions he received on Wednesday, but only after receiving a warning.

While he had put up a notice on the New Naratif website he founded, he had not done so on his Facebook page by the deadline set by the Pofma (Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act) office until he received a warning from the office.

Yesterday, he said he intends to challenge the directive. He also reiterated his criticisms of Pofma, saying that with the extremely broad definitions of falsehoods and public interest in the legislation, any criticism of the Government could fall foul of the law.

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Thum Ping Tjin and New Naratif to be issued correction orders over POFMA video
Screenshot of Thum Ping Tjin's video uploaded on 8 May. (Photo: YouTube screengrab)

Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam on Wednesday (13 May) instructed the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) office to issue correction orders to online site New Naratif and its managing director Thum Ping Tjin over a video about POFMA uploaded on several platforms.

In a press release, the POFMA office said that the video contained “false statements about the scope of POFMA, when and how it can be used, and the role of the courts”. The video, entitled “The Show with PJ Thum - Ep 8 - How bad laws are created and abused in Singapore (A POFMA case study)”, was posted on New Naratif’s YouTube page, Facebook page and webpage, and Dr Thum’s Facebook page on 8 May. The video, which is still available on New Naratif’s YouTube channel, has garnered more than 8,000 views as of Wednesday afternoon.

Government website Factually clarified the statements made by Dr Thum on its page on Wednesday, rebutting the allegations that he had made in his video.

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Corrections and clarifications regarding falsehoods and misleading statements by Mr Thum Ping Tjin
False and misleading statements made in a YouTube video by Mr Thum Ping Tjin

A YouTube video by Mr Thum Ping Tjin contains several false and misleading statements.

Falsehoods
On 8 May 2020, Mr Thum published a YouTube video episode of The Show by PJ Thum on the New Naratif YouTube channel, claiming, amongst other things, the following:
  • Under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA), the definition of “false” means that “even if one bit is found to be wrong or misleading, the whole statement can be considered false. The definition is so broad that the omission of a fact, accidentally or otherwise, is sufficient for something to be considered misleading. The problem is, it’s impossible to include every single fact about anything in the statement. You can’t! And even if you could, anyone could selectively quote it, so that what they quote is misleading. So under this law, every statement can be considered false in some way”.
  • POFMA makes all criticisms of the Government illegal.
  • There is no recourse in law for the Court to overturn a POFMA direction if it is an abuse of the powers under POFMA.
  • POFMA “means that the truth will be whatever the party says it is”.

The above are false.

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Corrections and clarifications regarding a falsehood published by Singapore States Times on COVID-19 cases in schools
False statement made in a Facebook post by Singapore States Times

There is a false statement of fact contained in a Facebook post by Singapore States Times (SST) on COVID-19 cases in schools.

Falsehood
On 4 May 2020, SST published a Facebook post stating that “Education Minister Ong Ye Kung is responsible for numerous infections in schools after he refused to close down the schools. The schools were only closed on April 3rd, but at least 50 students and teachers were already infected.” These statements imply that at least 50 students and teachers had become infected with COVID-19 by 3 April 2020 as a result of transmission in schools, which is false.

As of 3 April 2020, 69 students and staff in MOE schools, including the Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs), were reported to have been infected with COVID-19. Based on contact tracing and investigations by MOH, all the cases (except for 3 which are still unlinked) were attributed to transmission via overseas travel, within households, social settings, and a non-school workplace (for a part-time student). In short, none of the 69 infections were traced back to MOE schools, including the IHLs.

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POFMA: Man charged in court instead of being POFMAed

Mr Shanmugam was also asked why a Singaporean man was charged in court on Monday, instead of being served a correction direction under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (Pofma), for allegedly posting false claims that supermarkets would only open two days a week as part of enhanced measures.

The man was charged with communicating a false message under the Miscellaneous Offences (Public Order and Nuisance) Act. If convicted, he can be jailed for up to three years and fined up to $10,000.

Mr Shanmugam said the facts of the case fit with the charge, which was brought on the man on the advice of the Attorney-General’s Chambers. “You look at the previous cases where Pofma was used... in the vast majority, probably, there was no other criminal offence,” he added. “When it’s a criminal offence, we will take action along those lines... but if it crosses the threshold for Pofma, we will use Pofma.”

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High Court to decide if minister’s POFMA order should be upheld in case related to Temasek CEO's salary

The High Court will decide if a Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) order should be upheld, in a case relating to Temasek Holdings' CEO Ho Ching's salary.

Sociopolitical website The Online Citizen (TOC) was one of four parties to be issued correction directions on Apr 19 under the falsehoods act in relation to statements about Mdm Ho's salary.

"On Apr 29, 2020, The Online Citizen filed an application to the High Court seeking judicial review of the decision to issue the correction direction," Second Minister of Finance Indranee Rajah told Parliament on Tuesday (May 5).

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Parliament: TOC applies for judicial review of Pofma direction on Ho Ching's pay
Four parties have been asked to correct their false claims on the annual salary of Temasek's chief executive Ho Ching.PHOTO: ST FILE

The Online Citizen (TOC) has applied for a judicial review of the Government's decision to flag as fake news several online posts about the pay of Temasek's chief executive and executive director Ho Ching.

This was disclosed in Parliament on Tuesday (May 5) by Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Indranee Rajah in her reply to Non-Constituency MP Leon Perera.

The website was among four parties which were asked to correct their false claims that the annual salary of Ms Ho, who is Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's wife, is "NT$2.1 billion", "about 100 million SGD" or "S$99 million a year"

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4 correction directions issued over claims about Ho Ching’s Temasek Holdings salary

The Minister of Finance has instructed that four correction directions be issued over claims that Temasek Holdings’ chief executive Ms Ho Ching's annual salary is "around S$100 million".

“Several online posts carried a false statement regarding the remuneration of Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd's Executive Director & Chief Executive Officer, Ms Ho Ching,” the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) office said in a news release on Sunday (Apr 19).

The correction directions will be issued to HardwareZone user “darksiedluv”, The Temasek Review’s Facebook page, and The Online Citizen’s Facebook page and website. It will also be issued to Singaporean lawyer Mr Lim Tean for “sharing the falsehood on his Facebook page”.

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Corrections Regarding Falsehoods on the Annual Salary of Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd's Executive Director and CEO Ms Ho Ching and Additional Clarifications

There were false statements of fact contained in a number of social media posts on Facebook and HardwareZone Forum, as well as an article on The Online Citizen website (collectively, the “Authors”) concerning the annual salary of Temasek Holdings (Private) Limited’s Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer (“Temasek CEO”).

Falsehoods
The Authors made various claims that the annual salary of Temasek CEO Ms Ho Ching is “NT$ 2.1 billion”, “about 100 million SGD” or “S$99 million a year”. 

All of the above claims are false. Please refer to https://www.temasek.com.sg/en/news-and-views/news-room/statements/2020/temasek-compensation-framework.

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Singapore Fact Checking Website Refutes Ho Ching Salary Claim Without Giving Facts

Some Singapore watchers might be forgiven for thinking that Heng Swee Keat is Ho Ching’s house elf.

Somehow yesterday this civil servant got the Finance Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister to issue 4 Protection from Online Falsehood and Manipulation Act (POFMA) notices against various individuals and bloggers.

Apparently, a post by the Taiwan News report that Ho Ching is paid $100 million a year is not true.


Minister of Finance orders 4 POFMA correction directions over posts about Temasek CEO Ho Ching’s salary
The Minister of Finance has instructed the POFMA Office to issue four correction directions under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) relating to posts made about the salary of Temasek Holding’s CEO Ho Ching, who is also the wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong

In a statement on Sunday (19 April), the POFMA office said that the instructions from the Minister of Finance were to issue correction directions to HardwareZone user ‘darkseidluv’, The Temasek Review’s Facebook page, The Online Citizen’s Facebook page and website and Mr Lim Tean for sharing this falsehood on his Facebook page.

The correction order noted that is the opinion of the Finance Minister that it is in the public interest to issue these directions.

However, while the correction notice made references to social media posts made on the subject on Facebook and HardwareZone Forum, it did not identify the Taiwan news outlet that made the initial claim as the source of the alleged false claim. Media query to the POFMA office has not been responded.

related: Netizens call for transparency over Ho Ching’s salary; dissatisfied by Temasek’s statement on the matter

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Singapore States Times issued correction direction over Facebook post about MOH's reporting of Covid-19 cases

Health Minister Gan Kim Yong has instructed that a correction direction be issued to Singapore States Times over a Facebook post about his ministry's reporting of Covid-19 cases, said the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (Pofma) Office on Saturday (April 18).

The Facebook post, published on Saturday, contained "multiple false statements", said the Pofma Office.

It alleged that the number of new Covid-19 cases in Singapore on Friday was 1,146, and that the total number of confirmed cases was 5,573.

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Corrections and Clarifications Regarding Falsehoods Published by Singapore States Times on the Reporting of COVID-19 Cases in Singapore

There are false statements contained in a Facebook post on the COVID-19 situation in Singapore.

Falsehoods
On 18 April 2020, Singapore States Times published a Facebook post on the COVID-19 situation in Singapore claiming that:
  • The number of new confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection on 17 April was 1,146, and the total number of confirmed cases was 5,573;
  • Health Minister Mr Gan Kim Yong ordered the reported numbers to be halved to minimise public panic, by reporting numbers in the afternoon instead of later at night;
  • The Singapore Government earlier covered up the number of uncontactable suspect cases, then covered up the flight information and profiles of imported cases, and subsequently tried to cover up the total number of cases by reporting only the number of discharged cases and daily increases; and
  • The States Times Review (STR) had called out the Government and Ministry of Health (MOH) on the cover up and MOH had to comply with STR’s post.

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Minister for Home Affairs instructs Pofma Office to issue correction direction to The Temasek Review Facebook page
Minister for Home Affairs K. Shanmugam has instructed the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (Pofma) Office to issue a correction direction to The Temasek Review (TTR) Facebook page

Minister for Home Affairs K. Shanmugam has instructed the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (Pofma) Office to issue a correction direction to The Temasek Review (TTR) Facebook page over a post alleging that police officers fined a food delivery rider for wearing a piece of cloth as a mask or for illegal parking.

The Pofma office said in a statement on Friday (April 17) that TTR posted a picture of a GrabFood delivery rider standing next to a police officer on its Facebook page on Wednesday.

Accompanying the picture, which showed the police officer writing something down, was the caption: “Grabfood delivery rider issued summon by SPF officers of fine of S$300 for alleged wearing cloth as mask or illegal parking?”

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Clarification on falsehood posted by TTR on food delivery rider

A false statement was made on The Temasek Review’s ("TTR") Facebook page on 15 April 2020, alleging that a GrabFood delivery rider was fined $300 by Police officers for wearing a cloth as a mask or for illegal parking.

Falsehood
TTR said in their post: "Grabfood delivery rider issued summon by SPF officers of fine of $300 for alleged wearing cloth as mask or illegal parking?"

This is false. The police officers were in fact rendering assistance to the delivery rider who had approached them for help. The GrabFood delivery rider had thought that items were stolen from his motorcycle and approached the Police officers for help. The Police officer in the photo of TTR’s Facebook post was actually taking a statement from the delivery rider. No summons was issued to the delivery rider, and the event had nothing to do with the circuit breaker measures or illegal parking.

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Manpower Minister orders correction directions to Facebook post about quarantined foreign workers' pay: POFMA Office

Manpower Minister Josephine Teo on Monday (Apr 6) ordered correction directions to be made to Mr Alex Tan and the Singapore States Times Facebook page for falsely claiming that quarantined foreign workers would not be paid their salaries.

A post by Mr Tan containing the falsehood was published on the Singapore States Times Facebook page on Sunday at 8.43pm, said the POFMA Office, which enforces the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act.

Mr Tan and the Singapore States Times Facebook page would be required to publish a correction notice on their post, while Facebook has also been issued a targeted correction direction, requiring the Internet intermediary to put up a correction notice on the offending post, said the office. The post was made after authorities announced that two foreign worker dormitories which have seen a “significant” climb in new COVID-19 infections had been gazetted as isolation areas.

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Clarification regarding falsehood published by Singapore States Times on quarantine of foreign workers

A false statement was made on the “Singapore States Times” Facebook page on 5 Apr 2020, concerning the quarantine of two foreign worker dormitories due to COVID-19.

Falsehood - The post claimed that the foreign workers in t hese two dormitories would not be paid their salaries while under quarantine – “they are not getting a single cent from 14 days of quarantine”.

This is completely false. The workers will continue to be paid their salaries for the duration of their quarantine. Their period of absence from work is treated as paid hospitalisation leave, as part of the worker’s leave eligibility. The facts above were published before the post on “Singapore States Times”, and could have easily been verified. To find out more, please read the official statement here.

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Facebook user issued Pofma notice for false claims on Resilience Budget
The user must now display a correction notice and providing access to the correct facts.PHOTO: GOV.SG

The $48 billion Resilience Budget will not go specifically to Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Temasek Holdings, said the Government on Wednesday (April 1) as it invoked Singapore's law against fake news against a Facebook user.

Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat has instructed the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (Pofma) Office to issue a correction direction to Facebook user tifinnytara, the Pofma Office said in a statement on Wednesday.

On March 29, the user posted on her Facebook page that almost one third of the support provided by the Resilience Budget would go to SIA.

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Corrections and clarifications regarding falsehoods about the Resilience Budget

There were false statements of fact contained in a Facebook post by user ‘超静’ (‘tifinnytara’) dated 29 Mar 2020, concerning Singapore's Resilience Budget (Supplementary Budget 2020) ("Resilience Budget").

Falsehoods
I. Source of funding for Singapore Airlines' S$15 billion capital raising exercise
In the Facebook post, the author stated, "Don't be too happy that you have $48b. The bulk of almost 1/3 goes to SIA, 55% TEMASEK OWNED (how did our national carrier became temasek own at 55%???). Cash n immediate release to SIA!” The author has claimed that almost one third of the support provided under the Resilience Budget will be provided to Singapore Airlines ("SIA"). This is false.

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Pofma office orders opposition politician Lim Tean, 2 Facebook users to correct posts alleging PA event led to S'pore's largest coronavirus cluster
All three posted or shared links saying the People's Association and residents' committees were responsible for the infections linked to an event held at Safra Jurong.PHOTOS: JASON QUAH, GOV.SG

Three Facebook users, including opposition politician and lawyer Lim Tean, have been issued correction directions by the Government for alleging that the People's Association (PA) and residents' committees (RCs) were involved in the organisation of an event that has emerged as Singapore's largest coronavirus cluster.

The Protection from Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (Pofma) office said in a statement on Wednesday (March 18) that the deputy chairman of PA, Mr Chan Chun Sing, has initiated the latest correction order on posts about the Feb 15 Safra Jurong Chinese New Year function that has so far surfaced 47 cases of confirmed Covid-19 infections here.

All three - Mr Lim, "Henryace Ace" and Mr Sebastian Ying - posted or shared links saying the PA and RCs were responsible for the infections linked to the event.

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Corrections and clarifications regarding falsehoods that dinner event at SAFRA Jurong was organised by People’s Association

False statements were made in several Facebook posts about the dinner event at SAFRA Jurong on 15 February 2020, which a COVID-19 cluster has been traced to.

Falsehoods:
  • Between 8 March 2020 and 17 March 2020, there were posts by several Facebook users claiming that the People’s Association (“PA”) and/or the Residents’ Committees (“RCs”) were involved in the organisation of the dinner event at SAFRA Jurong on 15 February 2020 which a COVID-19 cluster was later traced to.
  • This is entirely false. PA and the RCs were not involved in the organisation of the dinner event at SAFRA Jurong on 15 February 2020, and were not in a position to cancel it. PA and the RCs also did not fund nor publicise the dinner event. The event was a private dinner function organised by a singing instructor for members of her singing groups.

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Corrections and clarifications regarding falsehoods by Gilbert Goh and The Independent Singapore

The Facebook post by Gilbert Goh (Goh) and article by The Independent Singapore (TISG), contain false statements on the housing situation of a single mother with six children.


Falsehoods:

  • On 19 February 2020, Goh published a Facebook post alleging that a single mother ‘Lina’ and her six children had been evicted from their rental flat due to rental default, and that they have been staying at her sister’s house.
  • On 21 February 2020, TISG published an article and Facebook post on ‘Lina’ reiterating the same claims, after it approached Goh to obtain more details.
The claims listed in both articles are entirely false, for the following reasons:
  • First, HDB did not evict ‘Lina’ from her rental flat. ‘Lina’ was previously living in a HDB rental flat with her husband and children. The family did not have any overdue rent throughout the period of the last tenancy. ‘Lina’’s husband terminated the tenancy for the rental flat and returned the keys to HDB in early February 2020.
  • Second, ‘Lina’ and her husband have bought a new flat from HDB, which has been paid for in full. ‘Lina’ and her family have since moved into their new HDB flat.

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Govt directs political activist, The Independent Singapore to correct posts on alleged HDB flat eviction
Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong has told the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act Office to issue a correction notice against political activist Gilbert Goh, and alternative news site The Independent Singapore.PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM GOV.SG

An online account of a woman who was allegedly evicted from her Housing Board rental flat is not true, said the Ministry of National Development (MND) on Wednesday (Feb 26) as Singapore’s law against fake news was invoked on the matter.

Earlier this month, political activist Gilbert Goh put up a Facebook post on the eviction issue, while alternative news site The Independent Singapore (TISG) posted an article on its website and put up a post on Facebook about it.

On Wednesday, MND said that National Development Minister Lawrence Wong has told the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (Pofma) Office to issue a correction notice against Mr Goh and TISG over this.

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MND issues correction directions to Gilbert Goh and The Independent Singapore over online posts on 'evicted' mother

National Development Minister Lawrence Wong has instructed that correction directions be issued to local activist Gilbert Goh and socio-political website The Independent Singapore (TISG) over their online posts on the plight of a single mother.

The Facebook posts published by both parties as well as an article on the TISG website said that a single mother had supposedly been evicted from her flat after defaulting on rent.

The correction directions issued under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) require Mr Goh and TISG to carry a correction notice alongside their posts.

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The Independent Singapore, activist to be directed to ‘set facts straight’ on single mum eviction claims
Activist Gilbert Goh and The Independent Singapore website published material claiming that a single mother of six had been evicted from her government-built rental flat because she could not pay the rent

A sociopolitical website and an activist are to be directed to carry correction notices alongside two Facebook posts and an article on a single mother of six children who, they claimed, were evicted from her government-built rental flat because she could not pay her rent.

The Ministry of National Development (MND) said in a statement on Wednesday (Feb 26) that it had directed the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (Pofma) Office to issue these correction directions to The Independent Singapore website and Mr Gilbert Goh. “They will be required to carry a correction notice alongside their posts,” it said.

On Feb 19, Mr Goh had published a post on his personal Facebook page alleging that a single mother named Lina and her six children had been evicted from their Housing and Development Board (HDB) rental flat due to a rental default, and that they have been living at her sister’s house. This post was later republished by The Independent Singapore on its website on Feb 21 with the headline: “Single mum with six kids evicted for failing to pay rent”, after it approached Mr Goh for more details. The same allegations were made in a Facebook post by the website on Feb 21.

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Health Minister orders POFMA correction directions to States Times Review, Facebook over COVID-19 post

Health Minister Gan Kim Yong has instructed that a correction direction be issued to Mr Alex Tan, the owner of the States Times Review (STR) Facebook page, said the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) Office on Friday (Feb 14).

He also ordered that a targeted correction direction be issued to Facebook, which hosted the Feb 13 post by STR that is said to contain "multiple false statements" about the COVID-19 situation.

STR's correction direction requires it to carry a correction notice alongside the article, while Facebook's targeted correction direction requires it to publish a correction notice on the relevant STR Facebook post.

related: Govt orders Facebook to disable Spore users' access to States Times Review page

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Pofma invoked against two fake posts on masks, Singaporean cases
The latest correction orders came after the Government invoked the law twice earlier in relation to the virus.PHOTO: GOV.SG

In a separate case, Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing yesterday instructed the Pofma Office to issue a correction direction against Mr Alex Tan and a targeted correction direction to Facebook over a post that Mr Tan made on his States Times Review Facebook page which falsely claimed that Singapore had run out of face masks.

Mr Tan, the founder and editor of States Times Review, was an opposition party member and is now an Australian citizen.

Yesterday's correction direction was the second to be issued against the States Times Review. In November last year, Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam issued a correction direction against Mr Tan over a Nov 23 post on the States Times Review Facebook page about People's Action Party member Rachel Ong and a Nussu-NUS Students United Facebook post.

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Correction directions issued over claims of Singaporeans contracting Wuhan coronavirus, shortage of masks

Several correction directions have been issued over false claims to do with the Wuhan coronavirus situation in Singapore, the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) Office said.

One article, posted by a website called AB-TC City News on Thursday (Jan 30), claimed that five Singaporeans had contracted the virus without travelling to China.

Minister for Health Gan Kim Yong has instructed the POFMA Office, which is responsible for the administration of the law, to issue a correction direction against AB-TC City News.

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Govt debunks fake news linking closure of Woodlands MRT station to Wuhan virus
Two Facebook posts, put up by different accounts, falsely claimed the Woodlands MRT station was closed for disinfection.PHOTO: GOV.SG

The Woodlands MRT station was not closed because of a suspected case of the Wuhan coronavirus, as claimed by several Facebook posts, said the Government on Tuesday (Jan 28) as it invoked Singapore's law against fake news for the second time in relation to the virus.

As misinformation swirled online about the virus, two posts circulating on Facebook told people to avoid the Woodlands MRT station, claiming a suspected case was discovered there.

The posts, put up by different accounts, also falsely claimed the station was closed for disinfection.

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POFMA Office issues correction notice to SPH Magazines over HardwareZone Forum post on Wuhan virus
The office overseeing the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) has been instructed to issue a general correction notice to SPH Magazines over a post on HardwareZone Forum. (Photo: Factually)

The office overseeing the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) has been instructed to issue a general correction notice to SPH Magazines over a post on HardwareZone Forum.

This came at the instruction of Health Minister Gan Kim Yong, the POFMA Office said in a media release on Monday (Jan 27).

“A false statement was made in a HardwareZone forum post, claiming that a man has died from the Wuhan coronavirus infection in Singapore. HardwareZone is required to carry the Correction Notice to all end-users in Singapore who use HardwareZone.com,” said the POFMA Office.

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MHA refutes Malaysia NGO's claims against S'pore's execution method, issues Pofma correction orders against parties
The Malaysia-based LFL said in a statement that the Singapore Government approved of the "unlawful methods" that are used to cover up an execution if the rope breaks during the execution.PHOTO: GOV.SG

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has slammed Malaysia-based non-governmental organisation Lawyers for Liberty's (LFL) allegations about Singapore's execution method as "untrue, baseless and preposterous".

It has also invoked the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (Pofma) and ordered the LFL and three parties that have shared the allegations - Singaporean activist Kirsten Han, The Online Citizen website and Yahoo Singapore - to correct the false statements.

This is the fifth case where Pofma has been invoked since it came into effect on Oct 2 last year.

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Govt directs opposition member Lim Tean to correct falsehoods on education spending

In his posts, opposition member Lim Tean had said that the MOE spends more on foreign students than local ones

In a statement on Monday (Dec 16), the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (Pofma) Office said that Education Minister Ong Ye Kung had instructed it to issue a correction directive to Mr Lim in relation to the posts he made last Thursday. In his posts, Mr Lim had said that the MOE spends more on foreign students than local ones. The correction direction would require Mr Lim to carry the full correction notice at the top of both Facebook posts.

This is the fourth such direction the Government has issued since the fake news law kicked in two months ago. On Saturday, the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) was directed to correct two Facebook posts and an article on its website that related to manpower issues. Directions have also been issued to Progress Singapore Party member Brad Bowyer and the States Times Review.

In a post on Facebook, Mr Lim said he is considering his legal options regarding the notice. Calling the correction direction "absurd", he added: "Anyone who read my post and the series of posts I made on this subject last week would have been under no mistaken impression that I was discussing the amount of money spent on grants and scholarships and not the overall spending on all Singaporean students."

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SDP directed to correct Facebook posts and article under online falsehoods law
A screenshot of the Factually post citing the corrections and clarifications regarding falsehoods posted by the Singapore Democratic Party. (Image: www.gov.sg)

The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) has been directed to correct two Facebook posts and an article on its website that are related to manpower issues, the authorities said on Saturday (Dec 14).

“The Minister for Manpower (MOM) has instructed the POFMA Office to issue three Correction Directions (CD) to the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP), on the false statements made in two Facebook posts and a website article by SDP,” said the POFMA Office in a news release on Saturday (Dec 14).

“The Correction Directions require SDP to carry in full, the correction notice at the top of both the Facebook posts, as well as the website article,” it said.

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Fake news law invoked for 2nd time in 4 days
A screenshot of the corrections and clarifications regarding falsehoods posted by States Times Review on Facebook. GOV.SG

The person who runs the Facebook page of alternative news site States Times Review was directed on Thursday (Nov 28) under the Republic's fake news law to correct false statements in a post on the page.

This is the second time the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (Pofma) has been invoked after it was used on Monday in relation to a separate Facebook post by opposition party member Brad Bowyer.

The Pofma Office said on Thursday that it was instructed by Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam to issue a correction direction to Mr Alex Tan Zhi Xiang over a post on the States Times Review Facebook page on Nov 23.

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Fake news law used for 1st time over PSP member's FB post
The correction direction was issued on the instruction of Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat and relates to a Facebook post made by Progress Singapore Party Member Brad Bowyer. (IMAGE: Factually microsite)

The government has invoked the Protection against Online Falsehoods and Manipulations Act (POMFA) for the first time, as the POFMA Office issued a correction notice to opposition party member Brad Bowyer.

The notice was issued on the instruction of Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat and relates to a Facebook post made by Bowyer, a Progress Singapore Party (PSP) member, on 13 November, said the POFMA Office in a statement on Tuesday (26 November).

“The Correction Direction requires Mr Bowyer to carry in full, the correction notice at the top of his Facebook post,” the statement added.

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Clarifications on misleading TOC article on POFMA

The website The Online Citizen published an article and Facebook post on 5 Oct 2019 titled “Has anyone thought about this one way top down enforcement of so called ‘fake news’?”. The article makes false allegations that Ministers can exercise POFMA powers during the election period in order to influence election outcomes, and use POFMA to silence critics.

Update: 7 Oct 2019 - Terry Xu/The Online Citizen made a statement falsely alleging that there was a “Hep C cover up prior to the GE2015”. Below is MOH’s clarification:
Terry Xu’s/The Online Citizen’s statement that there was a “Hep C cover up prior to the GE2015” is false. An Independent Review Committee conducted an objective and critical review of the incident and found no evidence of deliberate delays by SGH or MOH in escalating the Hepatitis C outbreak, let alone a cover up. Public healthcare professionals and MOH officers carry out their duties professionally with patients’ best interests in mind. The timeline of key events was disclosed by MOH. Questions on the incident were raised in Parliament, to which the Minister for Health provided full responses.
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Related:
Cases where POFMA has been invoked
Man charged in court instead of being POFMAed
First challenge against POFMA fake news law
Singapore rebuts Foreign Media on fake news law
5th case where Pofma has been invoked
Tis the season to be #POFMA-ed
3 Instances Of POFMA Invoked
Facebook gives way to Singapore’s ‘fake news’ law
POFMA fake news law invoked for first time
PM Lee: “POFMA would catch you!”
K Shanmugam to ‘Ah Lian’: POFMA is like a Torchlight
Singapore's fake news law passed
Singapore introduces anti-fake news law
Singapore PM sues online editor
Singapore PM threatens online editor with libel
PM Lee sues Blogger for sharing article
MDA tells The Online Citizen to register under Broadcasting Act
Mothership.sg To Register Under Broadcasting Act
Blogger asked to remove defamatory post about PM Lee
Why is Facebook in trouble?
"Can we love our Country and fear at the same time?”
The 'Dr Mahathir-Activists KL Meeting' Saga
States Times Review to shut down
Thumping of PJ Thum over ‘fake news’ hearing
Parliamentary committee on Fake News
Law to combat fake news to be introduced next year
Combating fake news in Singapore

Fakes and Frauds
Singapore public servants' computers no Internet from May 2017