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Wake Up, Singapore issued Pofma correction direction over KKH miscarriage claims

SINGAPORE — Alternative news source Wake Up, Singapore has been issued a correction direction under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (Pofma) for publishing a woman's claims that she suffered a miscarriage after a four-hour wait at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH).

Wake Up, Singapore issued Pofma correction direction over KKH miscarriage claims

Wake Up, Singapore put up a message online saying it had been publishing false information given by a woman regarding KK Women's and Children's Hospital.

SINGAPORE — Alternative news source Wake Up, Singapore has been issued a correction direction under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (Pofma) for publishing a woman's claims that she suffered a miscarriage after a four-hour wait at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH).

"These allegations are false," said the Ministry of Health (MOH) in a media release just after midnight on Sunday (March 27).

"KKH had identified the patient in question, based on a screenshot of a hospital bill accompanying WUSG’s (Wake Up, Singapore) posts, which contained discrepancies with the patient’s account of events," said the ministry.

"Subsequent investigations by KKH have confirmed that the patient had been seen by a doctor within an hour of her arrival at KKH in February 2022, and did not suffer any miscarriage."

Wake Up, Singapore published the correction notices on Facebook and Instagram shortly after MOH issued its media release. The original posts have since been taken down.

Wake Up, Singapore's posts about the alleged incident first made their rounds on Wednesday after it published the woman's account with a picture of a redacted hospital bill dated Feb 28. 

The article gave a timeline of the woman's account of her visit to KKH. She said she lost her baby after she was allegedly left unattended at the A&E for four hours.

KKH said on Friday that it filed a police report after its investigations indicate that there was no such case at the hospital.

Later on Friday, Wake Up, Singapore apologised for publishing the woman's claims, saying it "may have been fed lies at every turn".

"Notwithstanding WUSG’s apology, the allegations are serious and have been circulated to various other platforms. This could lead to the erosion of public trust in the credibility and professionalism of our healthcare system and institutions," said the Health Ministry.

"The Government takes a serious view of these falsehoods, which appear to have been fabricated. The matter has been referred to the relevant authorities for investigation."

A search on the national internet registry for Singapore shows that the Wake Up, Singapore domain name is registered under Mr Xu Yuanchen, who is better known as Mr Terry Xu, while Mr Ariffin Sha is listed as the "administrative contact".

Mr Xu was chief editor of the now-defunct socio-political website The Online Citizen while Mr Ariffin is a legal trainee and former assistant secretary-general of Singapore People's Party. CNA

For more reports like this, visit cna.asia.

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miscarriage online falsehood KKH Wake Up Singapore hospital pregnant Terry Xu

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