Attorney General's Chamber (Photo - Terry Xu)

AGC threatens to use anti-harassment act on TOC – again

Attorney General's Chamber (Photo - Terry Xu)
Attorney General’s Chamber (Photo – Terry Xu)

The Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) has threatened to file for harassment against this website – again.

This is the second time in about seven months that the AGC is citing the Protection from Harassment Act (PHA) against The Online Citizen (TOC).

In a letter received by TOC on Wednesday afternoon, the AGC took issue with an article published on this website on 31 July 2015.

The article, titled “Severe consequences for a PAP majority with its underground city for 10m population“, was written by a “Concerned Singaporean”.

In it, the author claimed that the government was planning for a population of 10 million, and that the government would issue “Savings Bond” to develop an underground residential city for such a population.

“Currently, PAP do not know the exact amount needed to build the underground city so a Long Term Savings Bonds will help the financing of this underground city,” the writer said.

However, the AGC disputes this.

“There is no plan to build an underground city or underground residential developments to accommodate a ’10 million population’,” it said in its letter of demand to TOC.

It also said:

AGC letter
AGC letter

The AGC letter then said it was regrettable that TOC “did not check with the Ministry of National Development before publishing this article.”

It then demanded that TOC “either remove the said article, or you include the notice set out in Annex A to this letter as a preface to the said article.”

The AGC letter, signed by State Counsel Hui Choon Kuen, threatened that if TOC did not comply “with this request by 6pm today, these Chambers will have no choice but to take out an application under Section 15 of the Protection from Harassment Act 2014 to obtain an appropriate court order restraining further publication of this false statement without making clear the truth.”

It is unclear who the AGC is acting on behalf of, if indeed it is.

TOC has since inserted the notice into the original article as the AGC had demanded.

In February, the AGC made similar demands of TOC regarding another article on this website.

The article, titled “Inventor forced by Mindef to close company over patent rights“, was deemed by the AGC – acting on behalf of the Ministry of Defence – as having harassed the ministry.

TOC declined to accede to the AGC’s demands then and the case went to the courts.

Subsequently, the court found in favour of the AGC and granted the application under the PHA.

TOC, however, has appealed the judge’s decision and the matter is pending in the courts.

Below is the AGC letter to TOC in full

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