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Viral WhatsApp message warning public that “political and religious debate is an offence” is a hoax or prank

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Several readers have sent us a viral Whatsapp message which warned against having “political and religious debate” online. The message goes like this:

“❌????❌????❌????❌????❌????❌????
Don’t forward any posts or videos etc., you receive regarding politics/present situation about Government/PM etc.
⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔
Police have put out a notification termed ..Cyber Crime … and action will be taken…just delete …
⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔
Inform your friends & others too.
⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔
Writing or forwarding any msg on any political & religious debate is an offence now….arrest without warrant…
⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔
This is very serious, plz let it be known to all our groups and individual members as group admin can b in deep trouble.
⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔
Please take note of this seriously.
⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔
From tomorrow onwards there are new communication regulations.
???? All calls are recorded
???? All phone call recordings saved
???? Whatsapp is monitored
???? Twitter is monitored
???? Facebook is monitored
???? All social media and forums are monitored
⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔
Inform those who do not know.
⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔
Your devices are connected to ministry systems.
⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔
Take care not to send unnecessary messages.
Inform everyone about this to take care.
⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔⛔
Please share it; it’s very much true.
❌????❌????❌????❌????❌????❌????”

Facebook user Mark Roche who shared the viral Whatsapp message said:

“I have been receiving this message from many people who apparently are afraid of the warning. Anyway I’ve taken the liberty of posting here. Because I personally think it’s simply a ‘lot of bullshit’. We aren’t the opposition party that is against the government. If we post something, it’s in hope of the government departments concerned, to improve itself and make good their promise to make Singapore a better place, leaving no citizen out.”

I have been receiving this message from many people who apparently are afraid of the warning. Anyway I've taken the…

Posted by Mark Roche on Thursday, 22 June 2017

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The message is a fake and probably created by pranksters or mischiefs. A similar message was circulated in March this year and non-practicing lawyer M Ravi commented on it saying: “This is a spam message to be ignored or to be sent to the bin immediately. This message causes false alarm among citizens. It arises from a misguided notion of the law regarding the information being circulated.”

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