SINGAPORE: Reform Party leader Kenneth Jeyaretnam has been issued a correction direction — his third since July — under the law against fake news. This time the directive follows his comments on social media posts about:
- The arrest of 10 foreign nationals in an islandwide anti-money laundering operation
- The corruption probe into Transport Minister S. Iswaran and Mr Ong Beng Seng, and
- The Ridout Road property rentals by Minister for Law and Home Affairs K. Shanmugam and Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan.
Second Minister for Law Edwin Tong issued the instruction under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA), the Ministry of Law said on Tuesday (August 22).
Mr Jeyaretnam has to put up correction notices on the posts he made on Facebook and X on Aug 18.
Mr Jeyaretnam falsely stated that Singapore arrested 10 foreign nationals on Aug 15 for forgery and money laundering under pressure from China.
“As stated in the police news release on Aug 16, they had identified the suspects through intelligence probes and extensive investigations including the analysis of suspicious transaction reports,” said the Law Ministry.
“These operations and the planning of the arrests had been in the works over many months. They were not at the behest or because of any foreign party.”
The ministry said that no foreign parties were informed of these cases before the arrests.
Mr Jeyaretnam falsely claimed that the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) probe into Mr Iswaran and Mr Ong was also due to foreign pressure.
The CPIB had been investigating a separate matter when it came across information about Mr Iswaran, the ministry explained.
The ministry added these facts on several occasions, including in Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Education Minister Chan Chun Sing’s statements in Parliament on August 2.
Mr Jeyaretnam also falsely said the rental rates paid by Mr Shanmugam and Mr Balakrishnan for 26 and 31 Ridout Road, respectively, were locked in for nine years.
The tenancies are renewable every two or three years, and the rentals are reviewed in light of the prevailing market value, the ministry added.
“When the tenancies of the two properties were up for renewal after the initial three years, a revaluation was carried out by professional valuers to peg the rentals to the prevailing market rate,” the ministry said. “This valuation was based on market comparables.”
Earlier this month, Mr Jeyaretnam was issued a correction notice over comments made on the Ridout Road bungalows on July 27.
Earlier, on July 16, Mr Jeyaretnam was told to put up a correction notice for an article he published on his website, The Ricebowl Singapore, on July 2.