The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) has announced its intentions to challenge the Ministry of Manpower’s fake news Correction Direction (CD) in court after its application to cancel said Correction Directions was rejected.
A statement released by the party today (Jan 7) said that “In rejecting the SDP’s application for the cancellation of the Correction Directions, the MOM has failed to provide any grounds for its decision”.
MOM’s reply to the party’s application simply stated that their application did not provide sufficient grounds for the cancellation of the CDs.
The SDP also noted in their statement that they had submitted a detailed account – including analysing MOM’s own statistics – of the reasons for the statements in their posts.
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”.
The SDP complied with the CD, but refuted conclusions that Manpower Minister Josephine Teo drew.
“On the other hand, Minister Josephine Teo, despite having the entire Ministry and its officials at her disposal with two full working days and an entire weekend to refute our specific arguments, has refused to do so or been unable to do so. This is telling.
Replying that the “Minister has therefore decided to refuse your Application” is not an answer, it is a cop-out”, the party wrote in their statement.
They added: “The PAP hurls accusations against its opponents but refuses to substantiate its arguments when rebutted with official data. This is hardly the kind of leadership Singaporeans should expect or deserve. It is an unfortunate but very real comment about the calibre of the PAP’s 4G leaders”.
The SDP puts that MOM’s lack of explanation comes across as a refusal to back-up its allegations, and wrote, “POFMA should be held to higher standards, this Government should be too”.
SDP’s application to cancel the CDs can be found here.
What initially happened
On Dec 2, the SDP had published a sponsored Facebook post with a graphic showing plunging local PMET employment. This post and an earlier social media post published on 30 Nov linked to an article on the SDP website which asserted that the SDP’s Singaporeans First policy proposal “comes amidst a rising proportion of Singaporean PMETs getting retrenched.”
Refuting the statement that local PMET retrenchment is rising, the MOM said that the number of retrenched local PMETs and the number of local PMETs retrenched as a share of all local PMET employees has declined since 2015. MOM also said that the graphic the SDP published was wrong and that the ministry’s Comprehensive Labour Force Survey shows that local PMET employment has risen steadily since 2015.
On Dec 16, while the SDP complied with the Pofma correction directions and posted correction notices on its article and earlier Facebook posts, it said that “the conclusions that Manpower Minister Josephine Teo has come to are disputable”. /TISG