Spoof Facebook page: Man fired by HDB now assisting police in probe

A man fired by the Housing Board for his involvement in a spoof Facebook page is assisting the police with investigations.

The page, NUSSU - NUS Students United, was taken down by Facebook last November, a day after it was called out for misusing a quote from Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam. A police report was lodged on Nov 26 last year.

The police confirmed yesterday that a 30-year-old man was assisting with investigations for suspected involvement in a case of forgery involving a fake Facebook account.

The police added preliminary investigations revealed that the fake account appears to have been used to impersonate someone else as the administrator of the fake page.

This was first reported on Chinese-language news site 8world.com

In response to queries yesterday, HDB said that a staff member was subjected to disciplinary proceedings "and had his service terminated after due process".

"HDB takes a strong view on matters involving the conduct of our staff," it added.

The Straits Times understands that the now former staff member in question is one Mr Shermon Ong.

Last November, Mr Shanmugam's press secretary, Mr Goh Chour Thong, said a post on the NUSSU - NUS Students United page had misleadingly quoted the minister on what he said about religion and politics in Parliament.

The post also said that People's Action Party member Rachel Ong should "resign ALL executive positions with Rohei, an organisation with religious leanings" if she wants to run for election.

Mr Goh said that this was a false assertion and a misuse of Mr Shanmugam's words and the post directly contradicts what the minister had said.

"The name as well as its deliberately misleading posts show the site is run by people with no integrity, bent on sowing discord and hatred," added Mr Goh.

Facebook later removed the page for "violating authenticity policies".

A spokesman for the social media platform said that the page was not removed due to its content.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 29, 2020, with the headline 'Spoof Facebook page: Man fired by HDB now assisting police in probe'. Print Edition | Subscribe