Reform Party Secretary-General Kenneth Jeyaretnam and Chairman Andy Zhu Laicheng wrote to TODAY Online accusing them of “publishing fake news” on Tuesday (May 26).
In a blog post on kenjeyaretnam.com, Mr Jeyaretnam shared copy of the letter he sent to the Editor-In-Chief of TODAY Online.
He wrote: On 24 May 2020 an article appeared in the online edition of your newspaper entitled “Members who resigned, were expelled ‘no big deal’ for Progress Singapore Party: Tan Cheng Bock”.
In the article your newspaper goes on to say:
“Back in 2011, the party founded by Mr Kenneth Jeyaretnam saw a mass resignation of nine members”.
It is clear from the context that “the party” refers to the Reform Party. This statement is incorrect and furthermore clearly fits the definition of Fake News”.
Mr Jeyaretnam asked that the paper correct their mistake and “to avoid further damage to the party and to Kenneth Jeyaretnam’s reputation and to publish an apology forthwith”.
In their letter to TODAY Online, Mr Jeyaretnam and Mr Zhu added that the article by TODAY Online “obliterates an important element of the late Joshua Benjamin Jeyaretnam’s legacy in founding the Reform Party”.
They continue that “The employment of this fake news also damages the reputation of the Reform Party and that of the current SG, Kenneth Jeyaretnam in attempting to lower the status of both in the eyes of the public”.
While there was no response from the online paper, a later version of the article reflected an updated version that said: “Back in 2011, the party headed by Mr Kenneth Jeyaretnam saw a mass resignation of nine members, including current PSP vice-chairwoman Ms Poa”.
While it is unclear if this constitutes a response, Mr Jeyaretnam and Mr Zhu concluded their letter by adding the following: “We await a response. If none is forthcoming in the next 24 hours we will ask the Minister to issue a Correction Notice under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act”.
TISG has reached out to TODAY Online for comment and clarification. /TISG