The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) will be applying to cancel the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) Office’s correction order that was issued to the Party on Saturday (4 July), said the SDP on Sunday (5 July).
The POFMA Office stated yesterday that the correction order was issued due to “false statements of fact claiming that a statement made by Dr Cheong Koon Hean at the IPS-Nathan Lectures in 2018 suggested that our population would increase to 10 million by 2030”.
“These allegations are false. Dr Cheong made no statement suggesting that our population would increase to 10 million by 2030,” it said. “This is a continuation of falsehoods alleging that the Government has a population target of 10 million, which the Government has clarified.”
The clarifications can be found here.
In a press statement today, the SDP noted that the “conclusions that the alternative authority at the Ministry of National Development arrived at are disputable”.
“Under POFMA, we have to comply with the order but we will be applying to cancel the Correction Directions,” it stated.
The SDP said that the “quote was taken verbatim from the article” that was published in the Straits Times (ST) on 20 April 2018, it cited the quote: “Even if the increase that Dr Cheong proposed was in terms of ‘liveable density’ instead of population density, this would imply that the total population was planned to go from 5.7 million (11,000 per liveable sq km implying a liveable area of 518 sq km) to 6.97 million (13,700 per sq km with no increase in liveable area) in 2030”.
However, the alternative party claimed that the 6.97 million population figure is slightly higher than the 6.9 million population figure that People’s Action Party (PAP) candidate Vivian Balakrishnan “tried to disavow” during the televised General Election (GE) debate on 1 July.
“While we appreciated the PAP’s admission during the debate that they were not planning on 10 million or even 6.9 million as a target for the population in the next decade, this latest action by the alternate authority from the MND seems to contradict Dr Balakrishnan’s statement by implying that the government had planned for a target of 6.97 million which is slightly higher than 6.9 million,” it asserted.
The SDP, however, would like to get clarifications from the PAP on the target population as it seems to become an issue now.
“While we do not want to quibble over these details in the middle of a critical election campaign in the middle of a pandemic, it would be good to have clarity on this matter as it seems to have become an issue for the PAP,” it added.