S'pore public servant, 37, & husband, 38, arrested for leaking MSF-MOE draft media release within 2 days

A report was made on April 3 at around 5:45pm.

Zhangxin Zheng | April 05, 2020, 10:45 PM

Rumours and unverified documents spread like wildfire prior to the national address made by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at 4pm on April 3.

That prompted some people to flock to supermarkets, resulting in long queues and some empty shelves.

A draft joint media statement by the Ministry of Social and Family Development and the Ministry of Education was leaked that afternoon before its official release.

The statement contained details of the implementation of full home-based learning by schools and Institutes of Higher Learning, as well as the closure of pre-schools and student care centres.

Public servant and husband arrested

According to the Police, a report was made on April 3 at around 5:45pm, according to a news release on April 5.

A 37-year-old woman and a 38-year-old man have been arrested for the offence of wrongful communication of information under Section 5(1) of the Official Secrets Act, Cap 213.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the woman, a public servant and an authorised recipient of the media statement, had allegedly taken a screenshot of the media statement on her computer screen and shared the image with her husband via WhatsApp on April 3 at about 9am.

Her husband, who is not an authorised recipient of the media statement, subsequently shared the image with his friends.

The image became publicly available before the media statement was officially released to the media at 4:30pm on April 3.

Police investigations are ongoing.

All unauthorised recipients are liable under the Official Secrets Act

The news release also cautioned that the government takes a serious view of any wrongful communication of confidential information, and will deal firmly anyone who does so.

The offence carries a fine of up to S$2,000 and imprisonment for a term of up to two years.

Unauthorised recipients should not further circulate any confidential information they may receive, as they may be similarly liable under the Official Secrets Act.

Top image from Pixabay