In a propaganda effort to improve the dictator’s image, state media TodayOnline published a fake news claiming most Singaporeans want to holiday with Lee Hsien Loong. Quoting a little known survey, TodayOnline said that Lee Hsien Loong ranks 3rd in celebrities to spend a vacation with.
However, the survey had 8,400 respondents from 28 countries but did not specify reveal how many Singaporeans – if any – were interviewed.
Publication of fake news warrant a jail sentence in Singapore, with two already charged and jailed for 8 and 10 months in online news site TRS case. The Singapore government abuse the law and gave a blanket definition of fake news for all news media that criticises it. Law Minister K Shanmugam has previously flagged States Times Review as a fake news site, but is unable to provide evidence to back his defamatory accusation.
The sole peddler of fake news remain Singapore’s state-controlled mainstream media, the Singapore Press Holdings and Mediacorp. The two media companies collectively rank 154th for credibility in the world and regularly publish half-truths to sugar coat the government’s image. The mainstream media in Singapore even assist government in cover ups of public health hazard issues like the Zika outbreak, Hepatitis C infection and tuberculous outbreak last year.