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Pofma issue to be “decided by the courts, not the government”, says SDP

“The fact that we’ve taken the matter to court makes clear our stand that the government does not have a final say in the matter,” said the party in response to the AG's complaints

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The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) has still not let the matter rest and has replied to the Attorney-General’s (AG) complaints on Monday (Jan 10). Earlier in the day, the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) asked the High Court for a further hearing on the party’s appeal against Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) correction orders.

In their letter, the AGC said that statements posted on SDP’s website concerning the court proceedings were misleading.

The AGC also said that the first article had been “calculated to embarrass the minister and falsely portray POFMA in a negative light.”

Responding to the AG’s complaints, the SDP wrote that they did not misrepresent what Deputy AG Hri Kumar said, adding “It is the government’s position that ‘the minister who initiates a Pofma direction will look at the article or statement in question and determine what he believes to be its meaning’”.

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The SDP also wrote that it “does not believe that this is the end of the matter under the Act”.

They explained: “The fact that we’ve taken the matter to court makes clear our stand that the government does not have a final say in the matter”.

Secretary-General Dr Chee Soon Juan, Chairman Paul Tambyah and Vice Chairman John Tan concluded their letter saying “This makes it clear to readers that the matter will be decided by the courts, not the government”. /TISG

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