by Teo Soh Lung
I squirmed when I read about the government’s “concern” and expression of intention to enact laws to fight fake news (The New Paper of 17 April 2017). The two experts consulted by the government on how to deal with fake news should go back 30 years ago and they will know all about fake news published by the Singapore government through its mouthpiece The Straits Times.
Just read the headline on the front page of The Straits Times of 22 May 1987: “ISD detains 16 for communist links”.
Can you imagine the reaction of my family, friends, judges and colleagues in the legal profession had been when they read the terrible headline on the morning of the day after my arrest?
The Straits Times was guilty of publishing gross FAKE NEWS as early as 1987. It has shocked and blinded Singaporeans then. Even today, Singaporeans believe the 1987 arrests and imprisonment without trial of 22 people was justified. The irreparable damage caused to the reputation of the 22 people have yet to be corrected.
Today I categorically deny again that I was a communist in 1987. I deny that I was ever involved in any communist network. I invite the government to prove its case against me or charge me in court if they so wish. I know it will never convene a truth and reconciliation commission to investigate the gross injustice done to those arrested.
What laws do the government need to fight fake news? It should put its house in order before it enacts more laws to blind and gag the people of Singapore.