Police issues stern warning to SPH and ST editor for Punggol East report

Police on Thursday issued a stern warning to The Straits Times (ST) editor Warren Fernandez and Singapore Press Holdings, over a January report on the Punggol East by-election that was published in the newspaper.

The Attorney General's Chambers (AGC) said in a statement on Thursday that the stern warning was issued in lieu of prosecution for the offence of publishing a poll after the writ of election had been issued.

The article, headlined "ST Poll: more rooting for PAP," presented the views of 50 Punggol East residents that reporters had interviewed."

The publication of polls from the day the writ of election is issued until the close of polling stations on Polling Day is prohibited by the Parliamentary Elections Act.

The AGC statement said that the publication of the article "was attributable to neglect on the part of Mr Fernandez."

SPH said Mr Fernandez and Mr Patrick Daniel, the editor-in-chief of the media group's English and Malay newspapers division, presented themselves at the Central Police Division earlier in the morning to receive the written warnings.

"The Straits Times newsroom co-operated fully with the police during their investigations and accepted that there was an internal lapse that led to the publication of the poll results," said SPH.

"It has always been our approach that when we get something wrong, we acknowledge it, put it right, and strive to do better," said Mr Fernandez.