The Independent Singapore, a socio-political website has decided to retract two articles that made allegations against NTUC Foodfare Co-Operative; the food-centre operator at Changi Terminal 4.
The first article was published on 19 Nov last year alleging of an elderly hawker passed away due to exhaustion after working 18-hour days to avoid hefty fine by NTUC Foodfare.
Another article that ran the same day alleged that NTUC Foodfare imposed a S$3,500 fine to an “elderly and injured tenant” who was injured during working and had to close stall for a few days because he was not able to find replacement workers.
Huge speculation had gone viral over the web that resulted NTUC Foodfare to came up with Media Statements on 20 Nov to answer the allegations.
A day after the media statement release, NTUC Foodfare said that it will take legal actions against the website for producing allegedly defamatory articles, also through its lawyer, it demand The Independent Singapore to apologies and retract the article from their website and social media. However, the website refuse to comply, maintaining that the articles were “based on facts” and should remain published until being proven to be “false and baseless.”
Both articles has been taken down from The Independent Singapore’s website and Facebook page.
In the retraction statement published on the website, The Independent Singapore said that it had clarified these facts with NTUC Foodfare and are “satisfied that NTUC Foodfare did not act in the manner that the articles implied.”
Specifically, it did not cause the death of any elderly stall operator nor forced him to work 18-hour days.
Both articles were :
- “Elderly hawker allegedly passed away after working 18-hour days to avoid hefty fine when NTUC Foodfare rejected appeal to shorten operating hours” and
- “NTUC Foodfare slaps $3500 fine on elderly and injured tenant who was unable to operate for a few days”.
On the publisher’s note appended with the statement, it mentioned that The Independent Singapore is prepared to provide one day per month free legal clinic for all hawkers in Singapore to help them be better placed to deal with matters such as contract obligations.