SINGAPORE: Minister K Shanmugam filed a civil lawsuit against TikTok after it failed to provide details about three users who allegedly uploaded a video spreading false allegations about him.
According to three affidavits obtained by TODAY online on Tuesday (Nov 28), the affidavits were filed in support of Mr Shanmugam’s application for court orders requiring TikTok to produce documents and information that would help to identify the users involved. Mr Shanmugam shut down circulating rumours on Aug 16 after an old blog post was shared claiming that he had an affair with a fellow PAP MP. Mr Shanmugam also said another post allegedly by his ex-wife, Jothie Rajah, was also false.
In a Facebook post, the Law and Home Affairs Minister wrote: “[Alleged Affair with MP] I have been told that an old post, fake news, is being recirculated – that I had an affair with an MP. False baseless allegations. Have asked my lawyers to look at it and am also considering other options”.
In a separate post, Mr Shanmugam wrote: “[Alleged post by Jothie] A person pretending to be my ex-wife Jothie, put up a nasty, false post, many years ago. Jothie didn’t write it and has told me that she didn’t write it. It was an imposter, making up the allegations. I had wanted to file a police report but eventually left it alone because the matter sort of died. I see that people are deliberately recirculating that post. This time I will file a police report.”
The minister also clarified that the allegations of his supposed affair with the PAP MP were “false and baseless”. Following the discovery of the videos, Mr Shanmugam had engaged lawyers to ask TikTok to take immediate action to disable access to the videos. The request also asked for TikTok to provide the three users’ basic subscriber information. However, TikTok responded in an email saying that they could not disclose the information without a court order or other legal requirement. Mr Shanmugam’s lawyers were still able to try to reach out to two of these TikTok users through Facebook, requesting that they remove the videos and provide a written apology, but no response was received.