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MHA asks 9 people to apologise and correct false statements on what Shanmugam said on rule of law

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued letters to nine people requiring them to apologise and correct their false statements that misrepresented what Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam recently said regarding the rule of law.

In its article published on Oct 6, 2021, Mothership website misrepresented what Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam (pictured) had said in Parliament, the Ministry of Home Affairs said.

In its article published on Oct 6, 2021, Mothership website misrepresented what Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam (pictured) had said in Parliament, the Ministry of Home Affairs said.

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SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued letters to nine people requiring them to apologise and correct their false statements that misrepresented what Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam recently said regarding the rule of law.  

In their online activities, several of them had re-published or referred to an article from the Mothership website, which took what the minister said in Parliament earlier this week out of context. The article has since been corrected.

Those who received the letters are:

  • Lawyer and opposition party leader Lim Tean

  • Film-makers Martyn See and Lynn Lee

  • Mr Andrew Loh, former editor of The Online Citizen

  • Journalist Kirsten Han

  • Writer Julie O’Connor

  • Activists Jolovan Wham and Kokila Annamalai

MHA said in a statement late on Thursday (Oct 7) that it also issued a ninth letter to Wake Up, Singapore — a group that described itself as a “community of young activists” who are active on Facebook — but it did not state to whom specifically the letter was addressed. 

In its article published on Wednesday, Mothership “misrepresented” what Mr Shanmugam had said, MHA added.

The rest did the same when they put up posts online that were the “very opposite” of what he had said in Parliament on Tuesday, during a marathon debate on the Foreign Interference (Countermeasures) Act, which is a new law to counter foreign interference in Singapore’s political activities.

At least four of the individuals, including Mr Wham, Ms Lee, Ms Kokila and Ms O’Connor, had shared Mothership’s original article on either their Facebook or Twitter accounts, while Mr See and Wake Up, Singapore appear to have deleted their original posts on Facebook. 

What Mr Shanmugam said in Parliament was that the rule of law is fundamental for Singapore and its success, and that the Government has always been committed to the rule of law and continues to be committed to it. 

He also said that there are some countries around the world “where rule of law is a concept for lawyers, but it does not operate in the real world”. 

MHA said that he used this as a contrast to show how the rule of law is applied in Singapore.

Mr Shanmugam's comments were in response to several members of the Workers’ Party who spoke at length on its key proposal: For judicial oversight of the new law.

After MHA sent its letters to the nine individuals “requiring them to correct the false statements and apologise”, seven have done so.

Mothership has also published an editor’s note to “clarify and correct the misrepresentation”, the ministry said.

As at 11.20pm on Thursday, Mr Lim and Mr Wham have yet to correct their posts or issue an apology on their respective Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Related topics

K Shanmugam MHA Parliament law Mothership social media correction

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