Singapore targets opposition party with misinformation law

The Singapore Democratic Party is one of the small number of opposition parties in the country. (File/AFP)
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Updated 15 December 2019

Singapore targets opposition party with misinformation law

  • The party was asked to correct two Facebook posts and an article related to employment issues
  • The information said many Singaporeans were displaced from white-collar jobs by foreigners

SINGAPORE: Singapore has ordered an opposition party to correct online posts under a controversial law against misinformation, the first time the legislation has been used against a rival party, ahead of elections expected within months.
The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP), one of a host of small opposition parties in the city-state, was ordered to correct two Facebook posts and an article on its website related to employment issues, authorities said in a press release on Saturday.
The Facebook posts claimed that many Singaporeans had been displaced from white-collar jobs by foreign employees, which the authorities said was false.
“These false and misleading statements by the SDP have a singular objective — to stoke fear and anxiety among local PMETs (Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians). It is important to set the facts straight so that Singaporeans are not misled,” the government said on its fact-checking site.
Authorities used the measure twice last month, ordering Facebook to put a correction by a post for the first time, and telling an opposition party member to correct a message.
According to the SDP, Google also cited the new regulation, which prohibits adverts seeking to influence public opinion, when it announced a ban on political ads in Singapore this month.
The party said the move would affect its ability to reach out to voters in a country where the mainstream media usually backs the government.
The increased use of the law comes as speculation mounts that elections could be called within months, although a weak opposition is seen as no match for the long-ruling People’s Action Party.
Singapore’s government, which regularly faces criticism for curbing civil liberties, insists the legislation is necessary to stop the spread of damaging falsehoods online.


Kremlin says it hopes to resolve differences on nuclear arms control pact with Washington

Updated 21 October 2020

Kremlin says it hopes to resolve differences on nuclear arms control pact with Washington

  • Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia hoped to continue dialogue with Washington on extending the new START treaty

MOSCOW: Russia said on Wednesday it hoped to resolve its differences with the United States over a nuclear arms control treaty that expires in February next year.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia hoped to continue dialogue with Washington on extending the new START treaty. He was speaking a day after the United States welcomed a proposal by Moscow to prolong it by a year if both sides agreed to freeze their stocks of all nuclear warheads for that period.
Signed in 2010, the last US-Russia pact of its kind limits the numbers of strategic nuclear warheads, missiles and bombers each country can deploy.