We refer to Senior Counsel Siraj Omar's views on the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Bill (A more calibrated approach, May 1).
Mr Omar agrees with the purposes and need for the Bill.
He is correct to note that the Bill:
- Gives narrower powers to the Government, compared with powers the Government already has, under existing legislation;
- Gives greater oversight to the courts, compared with existing legislation; and•
- Represents a shift in the Government's approach, with the Government adopting a more measured and calibrated approach.
These points have been overlooked by some commentators. The Bill does seek to scope down and calibrate the Government's powers in key areas.
The Bill has also built in proportionality requirements (as recognised by Mr Omar) when the Government issues directions.
He suggests that the Government consider mandating a simplified and expedited process for appeals to court.
The Bill does seek to scope down and calibrate the Government's powers in key areas. The Bill has also built in proportionality requirements when the Government issues directions.
We thank Mr Omar for his views, which we believe will contribute to a constructive debate on the Bill. We will also consider the suggestions he has made.
Teo Wan Gek
Press Secretary to Minister
Ministry of Law