Coronavirus: PM Lee 'announcement' that S'poreans can't travel beyond the area they live in is fake, says Govt

According to the fake message, boundaries of the sectors will be enforced by soldiers and the police to make sure that residents of one sector do not enter another.
According to the fake message, boundaries of the sectors will be enforced by soldiers and the police to make sure that residents of one sector do not enter another.PHOTO: SCREENSHOT
An enforcement officer from the National Environment Agency speaks to a resident at the Toa Payoh West Market and Food Centre on April 14, 2020.
An enforcement officer from the National Environment Agency speaks to a resident at the Toa Payoh West Market and Food Centre on April 14, 2020. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - Rumours that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will announce on Friday night (April 17) that Singaporeans will no longer be allowed to travel outside of the region they live in are not true, the Government said.

In a message sent through Gov.sg's messaging app channels, the Government said on Friday afternoon that people should refer to government sources or PM Lee's official social media platforms for information on whether he is making a national address.

There are no indications from official sources that he is making a national address on Friday.

A message being circulated recently is similar to an old WhatsApp chain message that refers to a “partial lockdown” of Singapore, where the country is alleged to be split into four sectors – north, south, east and west.

According to the fake message, boundaries of the sectors will be enforced by soldiers and the police to make sure that residents of one sector do not enter another. 

The Gov.sg message urged people not to spread unverified information.

In a Facebook post, Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin said he is “sick and tired” of people who think it is a game to send such messages which are “pure nonsense”.

“And worse are those who see this as an opportunity to undermine confidence and trust. I hope we track down those who are responsible for generating this and also sharing the fake news,” he said.

Since the coronavirus outbreak began, false rumours have intermittently spread about supposed national addresses by PM Lee despite no plans or official announcements on the matter.

 
 
 

In certain cases, such as when some people alleged that Singapore was running out of masks, the Government has invoked the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act to correct false statements.