Singapore

Shanmugam to make police report against States Times Review for 'completely false' article

Shanmugam to make police report against States Times Review for 'completely false' article
Minister for Law and Home Affairs K Shanmugam speaking at the forum on The Reforms to the Elected Presidency System on Oct 21, 2016. Photo: Wee Teck Hian/TODAY
Published: 7:44 PM, October 22, 2016
Updated: 11:07 AM, October 23, 2016

SINGAPORE — Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam has slammed website States Times Review for an Oct 21 article that attributed false comments to him, and he added that he would be making a police report about the matter. 

The Government is also reviewing the article and looking into whether to take further action against the website, a separate post on government website Factually said. 

The anonymous article on States Times Review stated that Mr Shanmugam had made comments about the Eurasian community at a forum on Friday on changes to the Elected Presidency. The website claimed that Mr Shanmugam had said Eurasians are considered Indians under the "presidential candidacy law", and that Indians outnumbered Eurasians which made it difficult for there to be a Eurasian President. 

The website claimed that these remarks were made to Mr Benett Theseira, who is president of the Eurasian Association of Singapore.

Writing on his Facebook page on Saturday, Mr Shanmugam said "all of this is completely false".

“During my session which lasted 90 minutes, I said nothing of the sort attributed to me, about Eurasians. In fact, I wasn’t asked about Eurasians at all, either by Mr Theseira or anyone else. And I made no comments at all about Eurasians. There was no question posed to me, relating to Eurasians, and there was no discussion on Eurasians," added the minister.

Mr Shanmugam also wrote: "Am quite shocked at such outright falsehoods. The allegations are a complete fabrication, and I will be making a police report."

He added: “The article also mentions a number of other things that were supposedly discussed – most of them are either completely untrue, or half truths, and misleading.”

The States Times Review article titled “Law Minister K Shanmugam: Eurasian Singaporeans are Indians” was shared on Facebook at 5.16am on Saturday. According to the website’s tracker, the page has been viewed more than 10,000 times. It was shared more than 100 times on Facebook.

TODAY understands that no report has been lodged yet. 

On the Singapore government’s website, Gov.sg, a post in Factually titled “Did Minister Shanmugam really say that?” used strong words against the States Times Review, calling the site “malicious” in spreading “vicious falsehoods, calculated to sow discord among our different ethnic groups”.

TODAY had on Friday reported that the quote that the website attributed to Mr Shanmugam was in fact made by Mr Theseira. 

The day’s proceedings, organised by the Institute of Policy Studies, were separated into two sessions. 

The first involved discussions on the proposed reforms, where Mr Theseira was one of the four panelists presenting their views. Mr Theseira had pointed out that Eurasians were lumped into the “Indians and others” category in the reserved election idea, and said that would make it difficult for Eurasians to stand a chance in any “hiatus-triggered” election, citing that Indians outnumber Eurasians 20 to 1.

Later in the afternoon, Mr Shanmugam arrived to address the workings of the elected presidency in a session that was moderated by Professor Kishore Mahbubani, dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. What Mr Theseira had presented was not mentioned in the session Mr Shanmugam was speaking in, nor was it raised in the question and answer session that followed.