Government fake news site Independent.sg yesterday (Sep 3) took down a fake news article claiming that a Malaysian hospital demanded payment before giving emergency medical treatment. The government news site initially blocked all traffic from Malaysian sources after it could not stand criticisms from Malaysians condemning the fake news article.
Malaysia Health Ministry’s Director-General Noor Hisham Abdullah said:
“Our prompt response debunking fallacies has resulted in an otherwise arrogant Singaporean portal retracting its post. The Independent had initially defended its article and had blocked Malaysian IPs from accessing it.”
Singapore state media Straits Times and ChannelNewsAsia were also guilty of propagating the fake news to smear the reputation of Malaysia. The fake news propagated by the Singapore government-regulated media is seen as an attempt to interfere with Malaysian politics, which is currently going through a General Election.
No action was taken against any government media by the Singapore Police and Law Minister K Shanmugam, who had earlier bragged about taking down fake news.
Earlier in August, government news site Mothership.sg was also forced to take down an article fabricating comments of an Education Ministry’s official.