1. 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.

     

  2. 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.

     

  3. 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.

     

    Facts

     

  4. The Minister did not say during the video interview with Vanakkam Malaysia that he may be stepping down from his ministerial positions or that he is contemplating doing so.

     

  5. Instead, in reply to the interviewer’s question, “Have you ever felt politics is not allowing you to be true to yourself and regretted about it?”, the Minister had reaffirmed his willingness and desire to serve Singapore.

     

  6. In his response, the Minister stated:

     

    “… I consider serving people as a privilege. Not everyone will get the chance. … I am here as a minister because of people’s support and love. The moment when there is no support, I must be ready to leave. … When there are capable leaders to replace me then I should be ready to move on too. Only then will the country progress. … I have maintained transparency in both my words and actions. I clearly tell the public what are the challenges and what do we need to do to overcome them. I will continue to do that. The moment when I feel I can’t keep to that anymore, I will leave my ministerial posts.”

     

  7. It is quite false to state that the Minister had said that he may be stepping down from his Ministerial posts. In addition, viewing the whole video will show that the Minister, when he spoke about his own views, also intended his comments to be of general application, for persons holding Ministerial appointments (when seen in the context of past comments of the PAP leadership, and history of the PAP).

     

  8. The Minister for Law has instructed the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) Office to issue Correction Directions to TISG and Mr Toh in respect of the falsehoods. The Correction Directions require recipients to insert a notice against the original post, with a link to the Government’s clarification.

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