Lee Hsien Yang Issued POFMA Order For Facebook Post With ‘Untrue Statements’ On Ridout Road & SPH Media

Lee Hsien Yang Issued POFMA Correction Direction For 23 July Facebook Post

A Correction Direction under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) has been issued to Mr Lee Hsien Yang for a Facebook post he made on Sunday (23 July).

Source: Lee Hsien Yang on Facebook

According to the Ministry of Law (MinLaw), Mr Lee had made disparaging remarks regarding the Ridout Road saga, SPH Media, as well as his older brother, Prime Minister (PM) Lee Hsien Loong.

However, MinLaw pointed out that his post contained “false statements of fact”.

Therefore, Mr Lee has to add a correction notice to his Facebook page. The notice has to include a link to an article that “lays out the facts and clarifications on the matter”.

Lee Hsien Yang receives POFMA order for Ridout Road comments

On Tuesday (25 July), MinLaw issued a POFMA Correction Direction to Mr Lee Hsien Yang under the instruction of Second Minister for Law Edwin Tong.

Mr Lee must now acknowledge that his Facebook post from 23 July “contains false statements of fact”.

He must also provide a link to the Factually article, which lists all the necessary clarifications in detail.

MinLaw identified three “untrue statements” in Mr Lee’s post.

The first two involve the properties at 26 Ridout Road and 31 Ridout Road, which are leased to Law Minister K Shanmugam and Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan respectively.

Source: Google Maps

Regarding Mr Lee’s claim of “state-sponsored renovations”, MinLaw emphasised that the tenants’ identities “had no bearing on the decision on the works to be carried out on the properties”.

 

“The post omits important information that the works done were in keeping with Singapore Land Authority’s (SLA) practice, and were assessed to be necessary in the circumstances,” it added.

MinLaw also clarified that most of the costs were for “works that external consultants had determined to be necessary, in light of the condition of the properties and to comply with the relevant conservation requirements.”

Likewise, the identity of the tenants had nothing to do with the decision to cut down the trees.

The relevant parties apparently made the decisions after independent arborists identified safety issues following inspections. Had they needed approval, they reportedly obtained it from NParks.

Statement that SPH Media fraudulently inflated circulation numbers untrue

Lastly, MinLaw said that Mr Lee’s statement that SPH Media “fraudulently inflated its circulation numbers” is untrue.

Source: SPH Media

They explained that the overstatement of numbers happened “when the media business was under SPH Limited – a listed company”. This was before the incorporation of SPH Media Trust (SMT).

“When SMT took over SPH Limited’s media business, it discovered, reported, and investigated the circulation issue.”

MinLaw noted that the Government signed its funding agreement to build up public service media capabilities with SMT, and not SPH Limited.

Hence, they arrived at the funding quantum after studying SMT’s transformation needs and not the circulation numbers.

Lee Hsien Yang to publish correction notice on Facebook page

To conclude, MinLaw highlighted that Mr Tong’s and Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean’s Ministerial Statements in Parliament “provided a comprehensive account of the facts and background context of the rentals of 26 Ridout Road and 31 Ridout Road”.

In light of his “untrue statements”, Mr Lee has to publish a correction notice on his Facebook page with a link to the Factually article.

However, he does not need to delete or edit his post. At the time of writing, he appears to have not made any changes to his post.

Have news you must share? Get in touch with us via email at news@mustsharenews.com.

Featured image adapted from Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images via Bloomberg.

Tammi Tan

Tammi loves the colour pink but wears a lot of black. She can often be found enjoying tiny house tours on YouTube or rewatching Christopher Nolan and Marvel films.

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