Retiring Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs and Communications Information Minister Yaacob Ibrahim told state media Straits Times in an interview that the Singaporean Malay community’s progress have him to thank for:
“When I became Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs in 2002, there were no Malay/Muslims in the Government’s elite Administrative Service. Today, there are six. The increase is just one of several indicators of progress by the Malay/Muslim community.”
The PAP Minister who has an American wife and dual-citizenship children, claimed that the Malays are getting wealthier because the obligatory Islamic fund, Zakat, have increased:
“Other yardsticks of progress also convince me that the community is en route to realising my vision of a community of excellence include the rising number of awards given yearly by self-help group Mendaki, which shows students are doing better in school, and the record $44 million of zakat funds, or tithes, collected last year that reflect the greater wealth in the community. These achievements, however, form the foundation.”
No immigration charges were levied against the PAP Minister who admitted that his children indeed held dual citizenship, which is illegal under the Singapore Constitution, for a number of years.
Like retiring Minister Lim Swee Say, Yaacob Ibrahim had a number of foot-in-the-mouth gaffes. In Nov 2009, the Minister issued a fake news claiming that flooding in Singapore comes “once every 50 years”. Less than a year later in Jun 2010, the Orchard Road was flooded.
Also in reference to the flooding at Orchard Road in 2010, the PAP Minister was slammed by the public for refusing to use the word “flooding” and instead used “ponding” in his official reports.
In 2013 during an interview with BBC, Minister Yaacob Ibrahim defended new censorship laws and media regulations saying that he wants Singaporeans to “read the right thing”:
“Regulations are crafted in the interest of ordinary Singaporeans… to enable them to read the right thing.”
In 2014, the government’s IT system, SingPass, was hacked and the PAP Minister blamed Singaporeans for using “simple passwords”:
“There is no vulnerability in the SingPass system… Users had very simple passwords.”
As the Minister of propaganda, Yaacob Ibrahim created the government-paid internet trolls to sabotage and spread fake news on the opposition and government critics. Internet censorship was tightened, and the Minister even imposed a S$50,000 bond for any website or blog posting Singapore current affairs. Minister Yaacob Ibrahim is also guilty of severely interfering with content published on the mainstream state media, which was recently ranked 151st again in 2018.