Online misinformation, rumours and smears a 'threat' to Total Defence: Ng Eng Hen

Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen (above) on Friday, Aug 2, 2013, warned of a new threat facing Singapore's Total Defence efforts - distorted or false information, rumours and smears that surface on the internet. -- ST FILE PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG
Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen (above) on Friday, Aug 2, 2013, warned of a new threat facing Singapore's Total Defence efforts - distorted or false information, rumours and smears that surface on the internet. -- ST FILE PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen on Friday warned of a new threat facing Singapore's Total Defence efforts - distorted or false information, rumours and smears that surface on the internet.

Those who intend Singapore harm, he said, would spread these "to weaken our resolve and cause disunity". Online misinformation could spread widely during tense or volatile situations, he added, causing confusion and chaos.

Dr Ng also said that the way Singaporeans helped each other during the 2003 Sars crisis and the recent haze episode - the country's worst ever - gives people assurance that Singapore's Total Defence efforts are working.

He was speaking on Friday at this year's Total Defence Symposium at the Ritz-Carlton Millenia hotel, where he presented awards to more than 500 organisations for their contributions to Total Defence. Some companies, for example, allowed flexibility in work timelines so that their NS men could go for in-camp training with that peace of mind.

In an earlier forum with employers, Senior Minister of State (Defence) Chan Chun Sing said that Mindef would consider helping them with CPF contributions for their employees during their in-camp training periods.

"But we must be careful never to monetize the invaluable contributions by our NSmen and employers to Total Defence," he said.