S’pore party ready to fight fake news notices in court

  • ASEAN+
  • Friday, 03 Jan 2020

SINGAPORE: A Singapore opposition party said it was prepared to legally challenge a government order to attach correction notices to its online posts, accusing the government of using a new fake news law to stymie political debate.

It marks the first time such a case could head to court since the law came into effect in October.

The Singapore Democratic Party, which has no current representation in parliament, was last month told to issue the notices on an article on its website and related Facebook posts that discussed white-collar jobs in the city-state.

It attached the notices, but yesterday said it stood by its content and asked for the correction notices to be retracted by the labour ministry.

“We call on the Minister to not only retract the Correction Directions but also issue an immediate, unambiguous and public apology to the SDP... failing which we will be obliged to pursue the matter in a court of law,” SDP said in a statement on its website.

The law requires recipients of correction orders to comply even if they intend to appeal.

The labour ministry had no comment on the SDP’s post.

The law empowers ministers to ask online media platforms and users to carry corrections or remove content the government deems false and harms public interest.

Rights groups fear the law may curb free speech and opposition politicians say it could give the government too much power as elections loom. — Reuters
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