Photo of Chan Chun Sing from Wee Teck Hian Today

Minister of State Chan Chun Sing took to Parliament today (Aug 1) claiming that foreign powers are trying to “undermine” the authoritarian state:

“Singaporeans must be vigilant about any potential attempts by foreign parties to influence local politics and undermine the democratic process. Foreign interference in domestic politics and electoral processes cannot be underestimated and must always be factored into our social and psychological defence. History has shown that bigger and more powerful states will seek to advance their interests by projecting their influence on usually smaller or less organised ones via all instruments of power.”

When questioned by opposition MP Png Eng Huat if the Minister can substantiate his claims if any foreign country has attempted so, Minister Chan Chun Sing embarrassingly dodged the question saying that it is “inconvenient”:

“It would not be convenient for me to reveal details publicly due to the sensitive nature of the subject.”

Minister Chan Chun Sing then said Singaporeans must be discerning of the news they read and not fall victim to fake news:

“The threat is compounded by the pervasive use of the Internet and fake news, and Singaporeans should be more discerning in what they read or hear. It is critical for Singaporeans ourselves to recognise that foreign influence campaigns continue to exist … the integrity of our democratic process is the collective responsibility of all stakeholders and our electorate.”

There is no mention of fake news churned out by the government-regulated media and the national newspaper Straits Times. Singapore’s government-regulated media ranks 151th in the world for credibility and independence. Most fake news written by the government-regulated media are half-truth meant to put the government in a good light and at the same time mislead Singaporeans into false impressions and interpretations of current affairs issue.