SINGAPORE — Correction notices have been issued over several Facebook posts claiming that the People’s Association (PA) and/or Residents’ Committees (RCs) were involved in the organisation of the February dinner event at SAFRA Jurong that resulted in a COVID-19 cluster.
According to a press release by the Protection against Online Falsehoods and Manipulations Act (POFMA) office on Tuesday (17 March), false statements were posted and shared by Facebook users ‘Henryace Ace’, Sebastian Ying, and opposition politician Lim Tean between 8 March and 17 March. Calling the claims “entirely false”, an article on the government’s Factually website stressed that the PA and the RCs were not involved in the organisation of the dinner event at Joy Garden Restaurant, 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,” it added.
In this regard, Minister in charge of PA Chan Chun Sing has instructed the POFMA Office to issue correction directions against the trio. This means that they are required to place a correction notice at the top of the posts, as well as a link to Factually, the government fact-checking website.
The COVID-19 cluster linked to the SAFRA Jurong event is currently the country’s largest, with 47 confirmed cases.
This is the second time that Lim has been issued a correction direction. Last December, the Ministry of Education invoked the controversial anti-fake news law against the People’s Voice chief over several “false and misleading” posts about Singapore’s expenditure on foreign students vis-a-vis local ones.