Photo of Eugene Tan from asianscientist

A right-wing academic from SIM Global Education’s academic division, Dr Felix Tan, called for States Times Review to be banned for “intent to cause dissension among the general public”:

“The consequence of such news, however one sees it, is its intent. So, any new laws or amended laws might want to incorporate this concept of intent. That is the smoking gun. Only when one can prove that the intent was indeed to cause dissension among the general public, then the law could have a chance of being effective in the short to long term.”

Criminal lawyer Sunil Sudheesan whom state-controlled media TodayOnline spoke to, called for “an expedited take-down order to curtail the spread of fake news”.

Another right-wing academic, Associate Professor David Tan, vice dean of academic affairs at the NUS Faculty of Law, however admitted that the government has their hands tied because States Times Review is based overseas:

“Even if we can block a particular site from being accessed in Singapore, we would be powerless to stop the circulation of fake news on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.”

Former PAP-Nominated MP and self-styled “media expert” academic Singapore Management University law don Eugene Tan agreed and claimed that the government is not curtailing free speech:

“When culprits operate from abroad, the need to retrieve evidence from foreign authorities pose significant challenges in enforcement. There are limits to what the law can do, he said. He added that any regulation dealing with fake news must not be seen as a derogation of freedom of speech.”

The right-wing academic then said Singaporeans should subscribe to the government websites to help them do “fact check”:

“The Government can help nurture such acumen by putting out as much information as possible in the public domain that will enable Singaporeans to do the requisite fact checks on their own. Fake news often thrives when there is a lack of information.”

Another right-wing academic from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy’s Institute of Policy Studies, Senior research fellow Dr Carol Soon, claimed that Singaporeans who “fall victim” to States Times Review simply needed more “education literacy”:

“Education literacy is a sustainable measure in dealing with fake news in the long run. This will prevent individuals from falling prey … Other members of the community, such as community leaders and even businesses, should step up and call out fake news to mitigate its effect.”