Member of Parliament for MacPherson Single Member Constituency, Tin Pei Ling, took to Facebook on June 7 to refute false claims made by the States Times Review (STR) website.
A June 4 post on the website claimed the following:
- During her Fortitude Budget debate speech, Tin supposedly said that each Singaporean citizen or Permanent Resident (PR) received S$23,225 from the government during the Covid-19 outbreak.
- Tin supposedly suggested that taxes should be "rapidly raised" after the outbreak.
This was reproduced in a Facebook post in a page called State News Singapore, but links to the STR website.
Tin: I did not say each Singaporean or PR would directly receive S$23,225.
However, Tin pointed out that she said something different.
Instead of claiming that each Singaporean or PR received S$23,225 directly from the government, she said government support for Covid-19 came to the sum of S$23,225 on a per capita basis.
Tin divided the total sum of government Covid-19 support of around S$93 billion by Singapore's population to standardise for country comparisons. This takes into account both direct and indirect support. She added:
"This also gave 'a good sense of our government’s determination in supporting our people and seeing Singapore through this crisis'."
Tin: I did not mention raising taxes
Tin also pointed out that she did not suggest raising taxes in her speech:
"Second, it was claimed that I suggested that taxes be raised rapidly after the outbreak. This is untrue – I DID NOT mention raising taxes at all."
Instead, she said that Singapore's pioneers took more than 50 years to save up a "pot of gold" for their children and future generations, and we have a duty to use it wisely.
She explained that what she meant was that Singaporeans want to ensure future generations will continue to have this asset to fall back on, when the time comes for them to face their own crisis.
Her exact words in her speech are as follows:
"Our pioneers took more than 50 years to save up this pot of gold because they want to protect their children and future generations. Similarly, we have a duty to use this pot of gold wisely and make sure that we put back what we took once we can."
You can see her post below:
States Times Review blocked in 2018
Back in 2018, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) blocked access in Singapore to the STR website, after it ran a "baseless and defamatory" article about the 1MDB scandal in Malaysia.
STR did not comply with IMDA's notice, so IMDA directed Internet Service Providers to restrict access to the site.
Top image from Tin Pei Ling and State News Singapore Facebook pages.