The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) instructed the POFMA Office to issue a targeted correction direction to Twitter on 9 October, following Jolovan Wham’s non-compliance with the correction order issued to him last week. The targeted correction direction will require Twitter to alert users who had seen Wham’s tweet, that it contains false claims about home affairs and law minister K Shanmugam’s views on the rule of law mentioned on 4 October in parliament. MHA also said last week that it is aware of falsehoods circulated online by Wham on Twitter. Wham posted a correction notice on Twitter that very same day.
He was one of the nine entities to be issued a letter by MHA last week, asking them to correct false statements and apologise for misquoting what Shanmugam said in Parliament last week. The nine entities included Peoples Voice's Lim Tean, The Online Citizen ex-editor Andrew Loh, journalists Kirsten Han and Julie O’Connor, filmmakers Martyn See and Lynn Lee, researcher Kokila Annamalai and Facebook page Wake Up Singapore. MHA added that the misrepresentations were also published by Mothership in its article on 6 October. The website has since published an editor's note to clarify and correct the misrepresentation.
The posts in question had misstated what Shanmugam said in Parliament during the 10-hour debate on the Foreign Interference (Countermeasures) Act (FICA), reported CNA. While the minister had said that the rule of law is fundamental and basic for Singapore and its success and that the government has always been committed to the rule of law and continues to be committed to it, the nine entities had instead suggested that the minister had implied that the rule of law does not operate in Singapore, CNA said. All entities have since apologised and made corrections to their posts.
Singapore passed FICA last week, which aims to prevent, detect and disrupt foreign interference in its domestic politics conducted through hostile information campaigns and the use of local proxies. FICA will allow MHA to issue directions to various entities such as social media services, relevant electronic services, internet access services, as well as persons who own or run websites, blogs or social media pages, to help the authorities investigate and counter hostile communications activity that is of foreign origin. It bill was first introduced mid last month.
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