Police looking into hoax website that falsely announced death of Mr Lee Kuan Yew

SINGAPORE - Police are looking into a hoax website that falsely announced the death of former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew on Wednesday night.

The website, which bore the logo of the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), misled some foreign news organisations into mistakenly reporting Mr Lee's death.

The PMO said on Wednesday night that it had lodged a police report about the website. It added that no new information had been issued about Mr Lee's health since an update earlier in the day that Mr Lee was critically ill.

Police confirmed late Wednesday night that a report had been lodged and said they were looking into the matter.

"We take a very stern view against anyone who doctors a Government website to spread false information to deceive the public," Assistant Commissioner (AC) of Police Melvin Yong told The Straits Times.

"We will spare no effort to bring them to task. We also advise the public not to spread falsehoods," added AC Yong, who leads the police's Public Affairs Department.

Foreign media that carried erroneous reports about Mr Lee's death included CNN Breaking News and China's CCTV, Sina and Phoenix Chinese News.

CNN Breaking News said in a tweet shortly after 10pm that Mr Lee had died, citing a "government website".

But 10 minutes later, it published another tweet: "Reports emerge that statement attributed to Singapore government about Lee Kuan Yew may not be official."

CCTV, Sina and Phoenix Chinese News similarly reported on Mr Lee's death but shortly after said the reports had been wrong. Sina and Phoenix apologised for the mistake.