Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam on Fri (24 Jan) rejected The Online Citizen‘s application against a Correction Direction issued under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA).
The Correction Direction, issued by the POFMA Office upon Mr Shanmugam’s instruction, pertains to an article on allegations made by Malaysia-based human rights organisation Lawyers For Liberty on the judicial execution methods carried out on death row prisoners in Changi Prison.
A letter from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) — sent to TOC today on behalf of Mr Shanmugam — regarding the rejected application detailed no reasons for the Minister’s decision to dismiss the application.
In a letter from the POFMA Office regarding the issuance of the Correction Direction against TOC, it was stated that our article on LFL’s allegations “contains false statements of fact” made by the organisation, and that it was Mr Shanmugam’s opinion that the Correction Direction for the article should be made “in the public interest”.
TOC submitted an appeal to the Home Affairs Minister on Wed (22 Jan) against the Correction Direction, based on the grounds that our report does not affirm the authenticity of the claims made by LFL, and that we did not receive any response from MHA after submitting a query regarding the claims made by the human rights organisation.
We had earlier sought MHA’s comments via email regarding the allegations on the day LFL’s statement was published last Thu (16 Jan). However, as seen below, we did not receive any response from the Ministry, except an automated reply sent the same day.
TOC will be making an application on Tue (28 Jan) for the matter to be heard by the court as Mon is a public holiday.