Singapore: Singapore on Monday invoked
its controversial law against fake news for the first time to order
correction of a Facebook post by Progress Singapore Party (PSP) member
The Facebook post refers to an investment in the
Amaravati city project in Andhra Pradesh and Singtel's investment in
"In a recent Facebook post, Mr Brad Bowyer implied
that the Government was involved in individual investment decisions of
GIC and Temasek. He was issued with a Correction Direction under the
Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation (Pofma) Act on 25
November 2019," the Ministry of Finance, Singapore said in a statement
November 13 Facebook "contains clearly false statements of fact, and
undermines public trust in the Government", the statement said.
invoked the new law as Bowyer's Facebook post implied that the
government controls Temasek and GIC's commercial decisions, which is
"GIC and Temasek operate on a commercial basis, and the
Government is not involved in their individual investment decisions,"
the statement added.
In his Facebook post, Bowyer said "we also
saw the recent canning of the Amaravati city project part of the S$4
billion already dumped into Andhra Pradesh by GLCs and related parties
so India has not been so good an investment choice after all…"
its fact-checking website Factually, the government said that the post
contains implicit factual assertions that a substantial part of S$4
billion invested in Andhra Pradesh was put into the Amaravati project;
and S$4 billion has been poorly invested ("dumped") by Government-linked
companies ("GLCs") and related parties in Andhra Pradesh.
"These are false," it added.
had put up a correction note at the top of his Facebook post saying
that the post "contains false statements of fact", along with a link to
an article providing the correct facts, The Straits Times reported.
The Singapore Parliament passed Pofma in May and it took effect on October 2.
legislation allows the government to decide what information is listed
as false based on two criteria: when a false statement or announcement
is issued, and when this action is considered to be of public interest.
The legislation was passed amid criticism from opponents and activists who consider it an attack on freedom of expression.