Minister of Home Affairs issues POFMA correction orders to The Online Citizen Asia and Terry Xu

Minister of Home Affairs issues POFMA correction orders to The Online Citizen Asia and Terry Xu

On Sunday night, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) announced that Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam has instructed the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (Pofma) Office to issue correction directions to The Online Citizen Asia (TOC) and Terry Xu.

The orders relate to a Facebook post by Xu on 30 April, TOC’s article on its website on 2 May, and TOC’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn posts on 2 May that referenced the TOC article.

The TOC article in question raised doubts about the police’s account of an incident involving an elderly woman, questioning the reason for the police officers’ presence at the scene and whether the woman was truly lost.

In a statement on the Government’s Factually website, MHA said that it was evident from the captured footage that the police officers’ primary aim was to assist the woman and help her find her way home.

MHA added that the police “did not make any misrepresentations to the family members of the elderly woman.”

In response to Xu’s allegations that the police lied to the woman’s next of kin, the police stated that the next of kin had lodged a police report against TOC and not the police, over the falsehoods spread by TOC about the police officers’ interactions with the elderly woman and for interviewing her without the family’s permission.

MHA also stated that previous statements by the police and Mr Shanmugam had accurately presented the facts in relation to the incident.

It emphasized that the High Court had dismissed TOC’s appeal and found that the police officers who had approached the woman believed she had lost her way.

In response to MHA’s statement, Xu pointed out that the police had not initially submitted the body-worn camera footage when asked to and only did so after the judge suggested an adverse inference could be drawn from withholding the footage.

He also noted that MHA was incorrect about the purpose of the 60 articles, stating that the funds had already been raised and the articles were meant to show appreciation to those who contributed.

Xu has left it to the public to view the body-worn camera footage and make up their minds on the issue.

As part of the Pofma order, Xu and TOC will be required to carry a correction notice alongside their publications.

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