The Ministry of Manpower responded yesterday (Jan 2) to the Singapore Democratic Party’s (SDP) statement calling for Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo to retract the POFMA Correction Directions she issued to the party last year (Dec 14) and issue an apology.
Under Pofma, the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act, the MOM said that SDP’s Facebook posts and article on Singapore’s population policy contained “a misleading graphic and false statement of facts”.
In SDP’s statement, they claimed that, “MOM had accused the SDP of making statements that we did not make or cited different sets of data which it then used to accuse the SDP’s post as false. This is an abuse of POFMA”.
“MOM substituted our word “unemployment” in our post to “retrenchment” and then accused us of posting a falsehood. This is clearly an abuse of the law”, they added.
Alleging that POFMA was used to promote the People’s Action Party’s interests, the SDP wrote that “the three SDP’s posts which Ms Teo cited cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, be considered falsehoods, let alone deliberate ones”.
The party also wrote that “For POFMA to have legitimacy, the Minister must apologise”.
Similarly, in a Facebook post (Jan 2), Dr Chee wrote, “Clearly, the MOM has used the law for political-partisan purposes to stymie legitimate criticism of the PAP’s foreign PMET policy that has been and continues to be unfair to Singaporeans”.
Yesterday, the Ministry of Manpower responded rather stoically saying, “The facts remain that SDP published specific falsehoods”.
“In the Correction Directions (CDs) issued by POFMA Office, the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) was informed that they can apply to the Minister to vary or cancel the CDs”, they added.
The MOM also explained that if SDP takes the position that the CDs were wrongly issued, there is a process under POFMA for them to follow.
MOM’s full statement:
MOM’s Statement in response to the Singapore Democratic Party’s online article calling to retract POFMA Correction Directions
In the Correction Directions (CDs) issued by POFMA Office, the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) was informed that they can apply to the Minister to vary or cancel the CDs.
It had been earlier reported by Lianhe Zaobao that SDP intended to apply to cancel the CDs. However, the Ministry of Manpower has not received any application from the SDP to vary or cancel the CDs. If SDP takes the position that the CDs were wrongly issued, there is a process under POFMA for them to follow.
The facts remain that SDP published specific falsehoods.
For details, please refer to https://www.gov.sg/…/factually-corrections-on-falsehoods-po…