MOM lodges police report over hoax post

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has lodged a police report about a social media post that claimed it had declared a "voluntary non-work day" yesterday as a result of the haze.
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has lodged a police report about a social media post that claimed it had declared a "voluntary non-work day" yesterday as a result of the haze.PHOTO: SINGAPORE MINISTER OF MANPOWER/FACEBOOK

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has lodged a police report about a social media post that claimed it had declared a "voluntary non-work day" yesterday as a result of the haze.

In its own Facebook post yesterday, MOM also debunked the hoax message that is believed to have started on the messaging service WhatsApp before spreading to other forums. "(This) post is fake and the contents are not true," it said. "While there is no national shutdown of workplaces, employers should not compromise the health and safety of their employees as they continue functioning."

It also urged members of the public to use only its official website and official Facebook page "for all informational and transactional needs concerning MOM matters".

Police confirmed that a report has been lodged and it is looking into the matter. The bogus message, claiming to have been made by MOM, said bosses would be encouraged to give their staff a paid day off and civil servants would work a half-day until noon. It stated that this decision was made because the haze was forecast to be in the very unhealthy range yesterday.

But the public was not taken in by the post. A civil servant, who wanted to be known only as Ms Cheong, 26, said: "I've not heard anything official and, in any case, a 'voluntary non-work day' didn't sound legitimate enough to be believable."

Construction safety officer Andy Tan, 37, added: "We would have official instructions from our headquarters if we had to stop work because it's quite drastic."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 26, 2015, with the headline 'MOM lodges police report over hoax post'. Print Edition | Subscribe