Home News Featured News SDP wants Pofma appeal against MOM to be heard in open court

SDP wants Pofma appeal against MOM to be heard in open court

In order for this to be possible, the judge would have to convert the originating summons into a writ action




- Advertisement -

The Singapore Democratic Party’s appeal against the Ministry of Manpower over Correction Directions issued under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (Pofma) has been scheduled to be heard in the High Court on Thursday (Jan 16).

The appeal is not open to the public or the media, owing to prevailing rules governing both the law and the courts.

In a post on its website on Wednesday (Jan 15), the SDP outlined three reasons as to why it felt its case should be heard in open court. In order for this to be possible, the judge would have to convert the originating summons into a writ action.

According to a High Court spokesman, the SDP appeal was filed by way of an originating summons, which is one of two possible ways of starting a civil action.

- Advertisement -

The rules of court provide that all originating summonses shall be heard in chambers, subject to directions of the court, among other things.

The spokesman also said: “As the Pofma appeal was filed by way of an originating summons, the appeal was hence arranged to be heard in chambers instead of open court.”

In its post, the SDP stated: “Unlike other cases between private entities over domestic disputes that have limited interest to the public, this matter involves a government ministry no less and a political party that will be contesting in the next GE engaged over the subject of job security of Singaporeans — a subject which survey after survey show are of great concern to the public.”

It added that having the hearing in open court is crucial as members of the public will be able to decide on the matter for themselves. Being transparent in the entire process also builds trust.

It added: “There is legal precedence for the court to order the hearing in open court. The SDP will cite at least two such cases.”

The party also wrote: “Minister Josephine Teo has made serious allegations against the SDP. We are confident of our arguments and, as such, we are prepared to have them scrutinised by the court and the public. We hope that the MOM feels the same way about its case.”

What initially happened

On Dec 2, the SDP published a sponsored Facebook post with a graphic showing plunging local PMET employment. This post and an earlier social media post on Nov 30 linked to an article on the party’s 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 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. It 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

Read related: SDP’s case against MOM to be heard in the High Court

Send in your scoop to news@theindependent.sg 

- Advertisement -

JTC issues stop-work order on contractor that ‘erroneously’ cleared Kranji woodlands

Singapore – The contractor that “erroneously” cleared a forested area at Kranji has announced it has been issued a stop-work order by JTC and is assisting the developer with investigations on the issue. On Feb 16, state-owned industrial property developer JTC responded...

Clementi, Dover, Kranji: Singapore’s grand conservation plan is to plant trees and destroy forests

Yes, we love to plant trees. Since Lee Kuan Yew started the whole ritual, at least 10,000 saplings are planted every year since 1963 as part of the Tree Planting campaign. Impressive indeed. Singapore Clean and Green. At the same time,...

Ex-UOB vice-president charged with mishandling over S$5.4 million

Singapore—Sixty-five-year-old Ling Shek Lun, who used to be a  vice-president at UOB, has been charged with mishandling millions of dollars, reported straitstimes.com (ST) on Friday (Feb 19). Ling, a Singaporean who was charged in district court on Feb 10, faces two charges...

Send in your scoop to news@theindependent.sg