Photo of Charles Chong from Straits Times

As a prelude to imposing stricter censorship laws, the PAP-controlled Select Committee concluded their fake public consultations yesterday (Mar 29) with PAP MP Charles Chong claiming the 8 sessions as “extensive involvement and robust engagement”.

The PAP MP who propagated fake news to win his election told state media that the Select Committee concluded that there is a need for added legislation. PAP MP Charles Chong attacked witnesses who disagreed with the government saying they are defending falsehoods:

“Some who appeared before the committee had argued that free speech protections do not extend to the spread of falsehoods, saying that “we are entitled to our own opinion and not our own facts”. Some others, however, were opposed to putting any limits on expression, even when it is demonstrably false and harmful. Current legislation is limited in tackling the problem. While some opposed any new laws, others gave specific proposals on how anti-fake news laws should look like. Many agreed on the need to respond to falsehoods both quickly and effectively, as a matter of principle.”

PAP MP Charles Chong also said the foreigners who gave their “testaments” show how “serious” fake news are:

“The committee heard first-hand how deliberate online falsehoods are a real and serious problem and how they can harm national security, racial and religious harmony, public institutions and democratic processes. Among other things, the committee also learnt how digital technologies have made it easier, cheaper and more profitable to create and spread falsehoods.”