Hong Kong based news agency, FactWire has said in a public statement that it regrets the false statement by Transport Minister, Khaw Boon Wan about Singapore being used as a “convenient bullet” in a “crossfire” between factions in Hong Kong and that it serves the public, independent of any commercial or political interests.

The Transport Minister appeared at the SMRT’s Bishan Depot on Wednesday, July 13, 2016 to explain why “hairline” train cracks were not made public.

FacWire noted that instead of of taking responsibility for an incident which has damaged the Singaporean public’s trust in the authorities, Mr Khaw blamed the Hong Kong news agency for exposing the cover up of the recalls of defective trains, claiming that Singapore has been used as a “convenient bullet” in a “crossfire” between factions in Hong Kong:

Mr Khaw was quoted to have said, “We are caught in a crossfire and there are factions in Hong Kong who wanted to cause some difficulties for mainland China. I have no inside information on whether that is true or not, but it’s possible. Unfortunately, we become a convenient bullet and collateral damage.”
FactWire in its public statement writes that it deeply regrets the false statements that Singapore’s Transport Minister made against this news agency.
Founded by 3,300 Hong Kong people in a journalism crowdfunding campaign that broke records in Asia, FactWire is entirely funded by the public. Thus, it is the public that this new agency serves, independent of any commercial or political interests.”

It added that every investigative report published by the new agency must be founded on impregnable evidence and cover serious public interests at stake.

“We will never allow commercial or political considerations to override our professional journalistic judgement.” wrote FactWire.

FactWire added, “As a news agency committed to serving the public, when public officials are riled by our reporting, it is merely proof that we are doing the right thing.”

It also posted an image along with the public statement, quoting from the famous writer George Orwell.

“Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.” – George Orwell

On July 5, FactWire released an exclusive report on 35 train carriages belonging to local train operator, SMRT Trains Ltd (SMRT) being shipped back to its manufacturer on June 12 due to alleged existing defects.

In its report, FactWire verified and documented the whole transportation after being tipped off by a mainland source in the railway industry that SMRT was secretly shipping defective trains back to mainland China for replacement and repair by manufacturer CSR Sifang Locomotive & Rolling Stock Company Ltd (CSR Sifang).

LTA and SMRT had not made the information public prior the expose. Mr Khaw subsequently said on Wednesday that the non-disclosure was due to concerns that there would be undue worries by the public and said that the hairline cracks were of no safety concern.

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