S. Isawaran; Straits Times

Singapore’s dictatorship government has passed down a new censorship order on exiled writer, Alex Tan, banning Singaporeans from accessing his Facebook pages and website States Times Review.

The government propaganda ministry, Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI), yesterday (May 6) accused the Singapore-born Australian writer of making several “falsehoods”:

“The Singapore States Times’ (SST) and its owner Alex Tan’s Facebook pages will be Declared Online Locations (DOL) under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) from Thursday (May 7). These Facebook pages have repeatedly communicated numerous falsehoods, of which at least three on each page were the subject of POFMA directions from November 2019 to date.”

Fuming at Alex Tan for refusing to report news in the government’s favour, the Minister of Information, S Iswaran, issued the order claiming Alex Tan fabricated “false statements of fact” regarding the COVID-19 outbreak in Singapore:

“In recent months, both Facebook pages have communicated falsehoods regarding the COVID-19 virus situation in Singapore. These falsehoods include: the number of COVID-19 cases in schools, the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) reporting of COVID-19 cases in Singapore, the payment of salaries for quarantined migrant workers amid the COVID-19 outbreak, as well as allegations of abuse of police power. SST and Tan have refused to comply with any of the directions issued to them.”

In the latest article, Education Minister Ong Ye kung denied allegations that there have been any transmission in schools, and issued a POFMA order on Alex Tan for reporting “at least 50 students and teachers” were infected. The Education Minister clarified that “at least 50” is wrong, and said:

“As of 3 April 2020, 69 students and staff in MOE schools, including the Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs), were reported to have been infected with COVID-19.”

Singapore’s government-controlled state media is recently ranked 158th in the world for credibility and independence.