SINGAPORE – Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam hit out at “outright falsehoods” on sociopolitical website States Times Review on Saturday (Oct 22), following an article it posted the day before.
The article had made allegations that were “a complete fabrication”, said Mr Shanmugam in a Facebook post. He added that he intends to make a police report.
A post on Government website Factually said as well that it is “malicious” of the website to have spread “vicious falsehoods, calculated to sow discord among our different ethnic groups”.
It added that the Government will review the post and decide whether to take further action against States Times Review.
"I decided that this has to be taken seriously. At a personal level, I don't need to file a police complaint," said Mr Shanmugam, speaking on the sidelines of preparations for the annual firewalking festival at the Sri Mariamman Temple on Saturday (Oct 22) night.
"But I decided that I should take this seriously because it's a system that we are talking about," he added. "There was no question, no discussion on Eurasians, at least in my session."
He said the article's allegations have the "potential to create friction amongst the races".
While the perpetrator is overseas, added Mr Shanmugam, he has helpers in Singapore and the police report serves as a "marker for conduct".
"We need a clean system where we discuss ideas, where we set out the truth. Otherwise, there is no difference between our society and other societies where all sorts of lies go for public discourse," he said.
The Straits Times understands that no police report has been lodged as of Saturday night.
Titled “Law Minister K Shanmugam: Eurasian Singaporeans are Indians”, the anonymous piece claimed that the minister “told a Eurasian Singaporean representative that Eurasians are considered Indian under the Presidential candidacy law”.
The article claimed as well that Mr Shanmugam said “Indians outnumbered Eurasians 20 to 1. So it makes it difficult for (there to be) an Eurasian president.”
He was said to have made the remark “when the President of the Eurasian Association of Singapore, Benett Theseira, criticised the definition of Eurasian in the candidacy regulations”.
This allegedly took place at an Institute of Policy Studies forum on Friday (Oct 21).
But Mr Shanmugam said on Facebook that he was shocked by the article.
“All of this is completely false. During my session which lasted 90 minutes, I said nothing of the sort attributed to me, about Eurasians,” he wrote.
He added that he had not been asked about Eurasians at all, and there had been no discussion on the matter.
“The article also mentions a number of other things that were supposedly discussed – most of them are either completely untrue, or half truths, and misleading,” he said.
Following Mr Shanmugam’s Facebook post and subsequent news reports about it, States Times Review made a separate post claiming the minister has lodged a police report “over criticism”.
It further alleged that Mr Shanmugam was looking for a “scapegoat to cover up his embarrassment”.
Correction note: An earlier version of the story misspelled Sri Mariamman Temple as Sri Mariammam Temple. We are sorry for the error.