States Times Review POFMA correction (2019)

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The States Times Review published an article and Facebook post that contained falsehoods involving the Singapore government and the election system. Under the POFMA (Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act), Alex Tan had been ordered to correct these false statements. Tan has refused to upload a correction.[1] In 2019, there were four cases of POFMA corrections involving Brad Bowyer, States Times Review, Lim Tean and SDP.

Background context[edit | edit source]

The Rachel Ong flowchart in question. Retrieved from source.

NUSSU-NUS Student United flowchart (17 November 2019)[edit | edit source]

On 17 November 2019, NUSSU - NUS Student United published a Facebook post that called out PAP Activist, Rachel Ong Sin Yen. The account claimed that Ong was a “possible new candidate, MP or even political office holder”.[2]

The flowchart traced her affiliations to ROHEI Foundation, an organisation closely affiliated with Christianity. It stated that Ong was the Founder and Chief Executive of ROHEI Corporation - a consultancy firm listed under ROHEI Foundation. Their Call to Action was as such:

"If Ms Ong wishes to run for elections, she must resign ALL executive positions with ROHEI, an organisation with religious leanings."[3]

The flowchart also included out-of-context quotes by K Shanmugam (Law & Home Affairs Minister) and Lee Kuan Yew.

States Times Review's involvement (23 November 2019)[edit | edit source]

On 23 November 2019, States Times Review published an article and a Facebook post alleging that the "whistleblower" behind the Rachel Ong flowchart had been arrested.

Debunked allegations[edit | edit source]

The State's Times Review's false allegations have been debunked, as seen below:

Whistleblower "arrested"[edit | edit source]

Alex Tan's allegations POFMA Facts[4] Refs.
  • The whistleblower that exposed Rachel Ong's religious affiliations was arrested for "fabricating fake news".
  • Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam ordered the arrest.
  • No such arrest had been made.
[5]

NUSSU-NUS Student United take-down[edit | edit source]

Alex Tan's allegations POFMA Facts[4] Refs.
The Singapore government took down the Facebook page.
  • Facebook took down the page.
  • The page was marked as inauthentic by Facebook's community guidelines.
  • NUSSU-NUS Student United page is not affiliated to the NUS Student’s Union (NUSSU) or National University of Singapore (NUS).[6]
[7][8][9]

Singapore elections[edit | edit source]

Alex Tan's allegations POFMA Facts[10] Refs.
  • The Elections Department is controlled by "dictator" Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
  • Singapore Elections are rigged and corrupted.
  • PAP candidates "easily get voted in".
  • Parliamentary elections are governed by the Parliamentary Elections Act, not the Prime Minister.
  • The election process is transparent. (i) Candidates and counting agents witness the counting of votes. (ii) They can object on the validity of any vote.
  • All candidates receive equal opportunities during the elections.
[11][12]

References / Citations[edit | edit source]

  1. Ang, Prisca. "Facebook told to publish correction notice for States Times Review's post under fake news law after site's editor refuses to comply". The Straits Times. November 29, 2019. Accessed on 29 November 2019.
  2. States Times Review. “Whistleblow arrested for exposing PAP candidate Christian evangelist Rachel Ong Sin Yen”. Facebook. November 22, 2019. Accessed 29 November 2019.
  3. States Times Review. “Whistleblow arrested for exposing PAP candidate Christian evangelist Rachel Ong Sin Yen”. Facebook. November 22, 2019. Accessed 29 November 2019.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Corrections and clarifications regarding falsehoods posted by the States Times Review”. Factually. November 28, 2019. Accessed 29 November 2019. Retrieved from gov.sg.
  5. States Times Review. “Whistleblow arrested for exposing PAP candidate Christian evangelist Rachel Ong Sin Yen”. Facebook. November 22, 2019. Accessed 29 November 2019.
  6. NUS Students’ Union. November 24, 2014. Accessed 29 November 2019. Retrieved from Facebook.
  7. Facebook takes down fake NUS student group page accused of ‘sowing discord’ by Shanmugam’s press secretary”. Channel News Asia. November 24, 2019. Accessed 29 November 2019. Retrieved from channelnewsasia.com.
  8. Malavika Menon. “Facebook removes spoof NUS student group page accused of misquoting Shanmugam”. The Straits Times. November 23, 2019. Accessed 29 November 2019.
  9. Whistleblow arrested for exposing PAP candidate Christian evangelist Rachel Ong Sin Yen”. States Times Review. November 22, 2019. Accessed 29 November 2019. Retrieved from Facebook.
  10. Corrections and clarifications regarding falsehoods posted by the States Times Review”. Factually. November 28, 2019. Accessed 29 November 2019. Retrieved from gov.sg.
  11. Rachel Au-Yong. “Electoral boundaries committee convened in first formal step towards Singapore GE”. The Straits Times. September 4, 2019. Accessed 29 November 2019. Retrieved from straitstimes.com.
  12. Whistleblow arrested for exposing PAP candidate Christian evangelist Rachel Ong Sin Yen”. States Times Review. November 22, 2019. Accessed 29 November 2019. Retrieved from Facebook.