Website applies to revoke order

The administrator of the States Times Review (STR) website has applied to revoke a correction direction issued under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act.

The Ministry of Home Affairs yesterday said it had received the application to Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam and was assessing it.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Mr Alex Tan, who describes himself as STR's editor, also said he intends to file an appeal with the High Court.

This can be done only if the minister rejects his cancellation application.

On Nov 28 last year, the ministry had instructed Mr Tan to correct a post on the STR Facebook page. The website itself is blocked in Singapore.

Among other things, the STR post had claimed that one person had been arrested and another was being investigated by the police for revealing the religious affiliation of People's Action Party member Rachel Ong in a Nov 17 post on the Nussu-NUS Students United (NSU) Facebook page. The NSU page parodies the National University of Singapore Students' Union (Nussu).

Refuting this, the ministry said no one had been arrested or charged over the NSU post.

Mr Tan, who has said that he is an Australian citizen, refused to comply with the order. A correction direction was then issued to Facebook.

In response, Facebook put up a notice at the bottom of the post in question that read: "Facebook is legally required to tell you that the Singapore Government says this post has false information."

Mr Shanmugam has to issue his decision on Mr Tan's cancellation application within two days of its submission.

If he refuses it, Mr Tan will then have 14 days to appeal to the High Court.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 03, 2020, with the headline 'Website applies to revoke order'. Print Edition | Subscribe