SINGAPORE — Indranee Rajah, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, has instructed the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) Office on Friday (21 July) to issue a correction direction to a Facebook post by former The Online Citizen editor Andrew Loh.
In addition, a targeted correction direction was also issued to TikTok in relation to a TikTok post by user "jansenng1" which reproduced Loh's Facebook post.
According to the POFMA office, the Facebook post contained a false statement of fact that a Committee of Privileges was convened to look into Workers' Party chief Pritam Singh’s alleged non-disclosure of his knowledge of the lies made by former Member of Parliament Raeesah Khan’s in the House.
This statement is untrue for the following reasons:
On 1 November 2021, Indranee - who is the Leader of the House - made a complaint against Khan for breaches of privilege, and Khan was referred to the Committee of Privileges (COP). The complaint was in relation to Khan’s conduct, for speaking various untruths in Parliament, and for failing to substantiate an allegation she had made in Parliament on 3 August 2021.
The complaint was not in respect of Singh, and did not refer to any aspect of Singh’s conduct. The WP chief did appear as a witness before the COP, and the committee said in its report that it found that Singh had wanted to suppress the fact that he had known about Khan’s untruth in Parliament.
The COP also found that Singh had told untruths to the committee, and recommended that Parliament refer Singh’s conduct to the public prosecutor. On 15 February 2022, Parliament resolved to accept the recommendation.
Loh will be required to insert a correction notice on top of his post, stating that the post contains a false statement of fact with a link to the government’s clarification, so that readers can read both the original post and the facts.
Meanwhile, TikTok will also be required to place a similar correction notice to the post by “jansenng1”.
The Online Citizen Asia banned from receiving benefits from website
The Ministry of Communication and Information (MCI) has also banned the operator of The Online Citizen Asia (TOCA) from receiving any benefits, including financial ones, from operating its website, Facebook page, Twitter account page and LinkedIn page.
The restriction is a result of the aforementioned TOCA sites being marked as declared online locations (DOL) under POFMA, following “multiple falsehoods” communicated on the online locations, said the ministry.
An online location such as a website or webpage is declared as a DOL if it has carried three or more different false statements of fact that are the subject of active POFMA direction, with at least three of them occurring in the six-month period prior to the DOL declaration.
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