Photo of Ong Ye Kung from CNA

Education Minister Ong Ye Kung has issued a POFMA order demanding that States Times Review shut down because of “inaccuracy”.

The PAP Minister wrote in his POFMA order saying 69 were infected from MOE schools, and not “at least 50” as reported by States Times Review:

“On 4 May 2020, SST published a Facebook post stating that “Education Minister Ong Ye Kung is responsible for numerous infections in schools after he refused to close down the schools. The schools were only closed on April 3rd, but at least 50 students and teachers were already infected.” These statements imply that at least 50 students and teachers had become infected with COVID-19 by 3 April 2020 as a result of transmission in schools, which is false.

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.”

Minister Ong Ye Kung claimed that “government contact tracing and investigations” found that none of the 69 students and staffs were infected from the school, and the infected just happened to be in the same school at the same time:

“Based on contact tracing and investigations by MOH, all the cases (except for 3 which are still unlinked) were attributed to transmission via overseas travel, within households, social settings, and a non-school workplace (for a part-time student). In short, none of the 69 infections were traced back to MOE schools, including the IHLs.”

There is no medical evidence or antibody test done to prove the infections were not from the schools.

The PAP Education Minister also defended his decision not to close schools:

“If MOE had simply closed schools early, say from Feb 2020, we would have disrupted lives significantly, and the impact on students from vulnerable backgrounds would have been immense. Instead, we have kept schools open as long as possible, while keeping our students safe.”