The Minister of Finance has instructed the POFMA Office to issue four correction directions under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) relating to posts made about the salary of Temasek Holding’s CEO Ho Ching, who is also the wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
In a statement on Sunday (19 April), the POFMA office said that the instructions from the Minister of Finance were to issue correction directions to HardwareZone user ‘darkseidluv’, The Temasek Review’s Facebook page, The Online Citizen’s Facebook page and website and Mr Lim Tean for sharing this falsehood on his Facebook page.
The correction order noted that is the opinion of the Finance Minister that it is in the public interest to issue these directions.
However, while the correction notice made references to social media posts made on the subject on Facebook and HardwareZone Forum, it did not identify the Taiwan news outlet that made the initial claim as the source of the alleged false claim. Media query to the POFMA office has not been responded.
HardwareZone has made a correction on the post in question by its user, noting that the post contains falsehoods and included a link to the government’s clarification of the facts.
For TOC, the correction direction is for an article on the website, a Facebook post which links to the article on TOC’s site, and Facebook video post of the Taiwanese news show which made the claim. TOC has similarly complied with the correction directions.
The two other have not included the correction notice in their posts at the time of publication.
Additionally, as noted in a separate Facebook post yesterday, TOC has filed its application to cancel the correction direction to the Minister at 7pm and is awaiting a reply.
Government asserts that the claim is false
On the government’s website Gov.sg, a post on the correction said that “there were false statements of fact contained in a number of social media posts” about the annual salary of Ho Ching.
The website noted, “The Authors made various claims that the annual salary of Temasek CEO Ms Ho Ching is ‘NT$ 2.1 billion’, ‘about 100 million SGD’ or ‘S$99 million a year’.”
It asserted that these claims are “false”, referring to a statement on the Temasek Holdings website published on Sunday as well.
The state-owned investment management firm denied claims that its CEO Ho Ching earns an annual salary of S$99 million. Though it rarely ever addressed the matter of remuneration of its top management, this time Temasek addressed the claims of Ho Ching’s salary directly, merely saying that the claim is “false”. Temasek also noted that Ho Ching’s annual compensation is not the highest within the firm nor is she among the top five highest paid executives.
Gov.sg also provided additional clarifications on the matter, saying that “the Government does not set the remuneration of staff in Temasek; this is the responsibility of its Board and management”.
It continued, “In the case of Temasek, its Board Committee, the Leadership Development and Compensation Committee (‘LDCC’), is responsible for the establishment of guidelines and policies on performance measurement and compensation plans.”
The site noted that the remuneration of the Executive Directors of Temasek Holdings is approved by LDCC and endorsed by its Board.
Highlighting that Temasek’s remuneration framework “balances reward for short-term performance and long-term value creation”, the site added that the company’s compensation framework is “benchmarked to the industry and the compensation framework comprises a base salary, as well as short-term, medium-term, and long-term incentives”.
It added, “Temasek has also publicly stated that Ms Ho Ching’s annual compensation is neither the highest within Temasek, nor is she amongst the top five highest paid executives in Temasek.“