51-year-old public servant to be charged under OSA over sharing of phase 2 information

Those convicted of violating the Official Secrets Act can be fined up to $2,000 or jailed for up to two years.
Those convicted of violating the Official Secrets Act can be fined up to $2,000 or jailed for up to two years.PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A 51-year-old public servant will be charged under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) with wrongfully communicating information about Singapore's post-circuit breaker reopening.

The man, who was authorised to receive the information, allegedly shared it via WhatsApp on June 11 last year, said the police in a release on Tuesday (May 18).

The information had to do with the resumption of activities in phase two of the country's reopening.

The police added that it was then disseminated by members of the WhatsApp group, resulting in wide circulation of the classified information before it was meant to be released.

Six others who wrongfully received and communicated the information will be issued with stern warnings.

The authorities take a serious view of any breach of the OSA, said the police.

Those convicted can be fined up to $2,000 or jailed for up to two years.

The police added: "Unauthorised recipients should delete and not further circulate any confidential information received, as they may otherwise be similarly liable under the Official Secrets Act."

This latest case comes on the back of two similar OSA cases.

Noorain Jubli, 38, faces two charges of wrongful communication of information.

She was the personal assistant to the director-general of the Singapore Food Agency and allegedly leaked information on school closures during the Covid-19 circuit breaker last year.

Her husband, Khairul Annuar Zakaria, 39, faces one such charge and another of soliciting wrongful communication of information.

The information was allegedly taken from a draft joint media statement by the Ministry of Social and Family Development and the Ministry of Education.

Noorain is alleged to have accessed the classified information from the director-general’s e-mail inbox and sent it to her husband before it was officially released. He then allegedly sent it to his friends.

Earlier in April, a former deputy lead at the Ministry of Health (MOH) was charged with allegedly leaking Singapore’s daily Covid-19 case numbers 22 times last year.

Zhao Zheng, 36, faces 24 charges under the OSA.

She was charged along with her friend, Tang Lin, 36, who allegedly solicited the wrongful communication of information.

Tang allegedly asked Zhao to help her check on the status of a coronavirus-positive patient.

They were charged together on April 14.