Kenneth Jeyaretnam’s POFMA-related actions escalated to AGC

SINGAPORE: The Attorney-General’s Chambers and the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) Office will assess Reform Party leader Kenneth Jeyaretnam’s comments about the rental of properties at Ridout Road by two ministers to see if “any further action should be taken”. 

“The government takes a serious view of individuals who spread online falsehoods,” the Ministry of Law (MinLaw) and the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) said in response to CNA queries on Thursday (Feb 22). 

Mr Jeyaretnam was given his sixth correction direction under POFMA last week over comments he made about the rental of the black-and-white bungalows.

He claimed that the Singapore Land Authority had charged ministers K Shanmugam and Vivian Balakrishnan rent at below market value for 26 and 31 Ridout Road respectively, and had given them preferential tenancy terms.

This claim was also republished by Gutzy Asia and The Online Citizen Asia. 

An article on the government’s Factually website said that “this is untrue”. The article added that Mr Jeyaretnam’s comments and posts “glaringly” omitted facts and that he “has a track record of publishing false statements” regarding the properties.

“Mr Kenneth Jeyaretnam’s repetition of falsehoods, even when the falsehoods and corresponding facts were pointed out to him previously, may suggest a deliberate intent to spread falsehoods,” MinLaw and MCI said. 

“Mr Jeyaretnam’s actions have been referred to the POFMA Office and the Attorney-General’s Chambers to assess if any further action should be taken.”

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