Man apologises for faking news headline on City Harvest case

A man who posted a fake news headline on the City Harvest case has apologised for his action. Photo: Screen shots of the original Lianhe Wanbao news article (left) and the fake news headline (right)

A man who faked a news headline on the City Harvest Church (CHC) case and posted it on Facebook apologised for his action on Tuesday (6 February).

The original headline of the report by Chinese newspaper Lianhe Wanbao said an archaic law saved the CHC founder Kong Hee and five other ex-church leaders from stiffer jail terms but the doctored headline said a People’s Action Party lawyer saved them.

In his apology posted on Facebook, the man Neo Aikchau said in Chinese, “I was wrong! I am sorry! It was unintentional!”. Without making reference to the CHC case, he added that he was thinking of “fairness”, and “swear not to post anything on this issue again”. He also asked for forgiveness.

His apology came after the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) wrote to him about the fake headline on Monday.

On the same day, Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam said in Parliament that the AGC was investigating a piece of “fake news” in relation to the CHC saga as a case of contempt of court.

Singapore’s highest court last Thursday (1 February) maintained the reduced jail terms of the six CHC leaders in the long-running case, less than a year after the High Court slashed their sentences.

The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal by the prosecution to reinstate the original longer jail terms for the six CHC leaders. With the decision, the six were to serve jail terms ranging from seven months to three years six months.

They were originally found guilty of criminal breach of trust as agents and falsifying accounts and given jail terms of between 21 months and eight years by a lower court in November 2015.

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Shanmugam on City Harvest case: Parliament to soon amend law on criminal breach of trust