Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information Janil Puthucheary on Monday (Mar 12) suggested to impose the death penalty for the sharing of fake news. The ex-Malaysian who is a committee of the Select Committee to introduce new censorship laws boasted that US President Donald Trump praised his government for the mandatory death penalty and “zero-tolerance” policies on drugs, and said that the Singapore government can regulate fake news like drugs:

“Singapore may fight fake news in the same way as drugs. I favour an integrated approach similar to the one we use against drugs. United States President Donald Trump has recently praised Singapore for our “zero-tolerance” policies on drugs. Our approach is never to say that legislation is going to be the be all and end all, or that regulation is going to be the be all and end all. It’s how various components work together. Our approach towards drugs, where it’s not just purely the legislation that is the effective lever, we feel, it’s the ecosystem that has been generated.”

The PAP Minister is however against the existing model of self-regulation and coordination with the government, questioning it’s effectiveness:

“I think it’s worth examining. If it hasn’t happened already, for good reasons, to what extent will it be effective if it’s mandated?”

Minister Janil Puthucheary wants international media companies like Google and Facebook to ban news the government label as “fake”:

“Technology companies could do more to stop the spread of false information. The question is whether they are affected, and whether they are in a position to go as far as society would like them to go.”