Proposed law against fake news: The burning questions

That legislation is needed to tackle the scourge of online falsehoods is widely accepted. But how Singapore's proposed law would do so has come under the spotlight since the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Bill was tabled in Parliament on April 1. The Straits Times' Tham Yuen-C, Linette Lai and Lim Min Zhang take up the key questions raised over the draft legislation.

Powers given to ministers under the Bill - to decide what is a falsehood that could harm public interest and to order actions - may lead to censorship of unwelcome views or create a chilling effect on freedom of expression, some have argued.

But the Ministry of Law (MinLaw) said yesterday that the Bill applies only to false statements of fact, and will not cover opinions, satire or parody, or criticisms against the Government, no matter how severe.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 10, 2019, with the headline 'The burning questions'. Subscribe