Jolovan Wham puts up correction notice on Twitter after POFMA order issued

All of the nine issued letters by MHA have now complied.

Sulaiman Daud | October 09, 2021, 04:43 PM

Follow us on Telegram for the latest updates:

Activist Jolovan Wham was issued a Correction Direction under POFMA for circulating online falsehoods that misrepresented what Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam said in Parliament.

A tweet by Wham on Oct. 6 communicated the falsehood that the Minister for Home Affairs adopts the view that the rule of law does not operate anywhere in the real world, including in Singapore.

He is required to publish the Correction Notice on his online platform. As of publication, Wham has done so.

Letters issued

On October 7 2021, MHA issued letters to nine persons, namely Lim Tean, Andrew Loh, Kirsten Han, Martyn See, Julie O’Connor, Jolovan Wham, Kokila Annamalai, Lynn Lee and Facebook page Wake Up Singapore who had published false posts which misrepresented what the Minister had said in Parliament on 4 October 2021.

The posts suggested that Minister Shanmugam had said, in Parliament, that the Rule of Law does not operate in Singapore.

Eight of nine made the corrections and published apologies.

For the facts of the case, refer to this page on Factually.

Mothership's initial article

Mothership reported Shanmugam's remarks on the rule of law on Oct. 6.

At around 12pm on Oct. 7, Mothership edited and updated its article to include an editor's note and an apology, which you can see below:

"Our earlier version gave the impression that Minister Shanmugam has changed his mind on rule of law. This is wrong and taken out of context.

Minister Shanmugam said in Parliament that the rule of law is fundamental for Singapore and its success. He also said the government has always been committed to the rule of law and continues to be so. He also referred to some countries around the world “where rule of law is a concept for lawyers but it does not operate in the real world.” He used this as a contrast to how the rule of law is applied in Singapore.

Mothership apologises for the misrepresentation. We have corrected our article to accurately represent Shanmugam's comments."

Mothership’s initial published version included a section on how Shanmugam believes in the principles of the rule of law and the separation of powers, both then and now.

Mothership's Managing Editor Martino Tan further clarified:

"The way we presented Minister Shanmugam’s quotes in the initial version of the article has led to misinterpretation.

While the article has since been corrected, I understand that some of our readers formed the wrong impression of his remarks as a result, and went on to share their own interpretations as well.

Our error has regrettably and needlessly led to much confusion. My colleagues and I are committed to ensuring that such reporting errors do not occur moving forward, and will work even harder to serve all our readers and audiences to the best of our abilities.”

Wham complied with the corrections requirement

In the morning of Oct. 9, Wham had not yet made the corrections.

The Ministry of Home Affair then instructed the POFMA Office to issue a Targeted Correction Direction (TCD) to Twitter, following Wham’s non compliance with the Correction Order issued to him on October 8, 2021.

The TCD requires Twitter to alert users who had seen Wham’s tweet, that it contains false claims about Minister Shanmugam’s views on the rule of law.

However as of publication, Wham has made the corrections, which you can see below:

Screenshot from Jolovan Wham's Facebook page.

Top image from Jolovan Wham's Facebook and Twitter pages. Photo of Wham taken before pandemic measures.