ELD reports Iris Koh & M Ravi to police for posting PE2023-related content during cooling-off period

The police may conduct investigations to establish whether offences have been committed.

Syahindah Ishak | October 02, 2023, 12:51 PM



Police reports were lodged against Iris Koh, founder of anti-vaccine group Healing the Divide, and suspended lawyer M Ravi after they posted elections-related content online during the cooling-off period for the 2023 Presidential Election.

The Elections Department (ELD) said in a press release on Oct. 2, 2023, that the Assistant Returning Officer lodged police reports against the duo for potential offences committed under the Presidential Elections Act (PrEA).

"The police may conduct investigations to establish whether offences have been committed," added ELD.

Rules during cooling-off period

The cooling-off period for PE2023 started from 12am on Aug. 31, 2023, and ended with the close of polling at 8pm on Sep. 1, 2023.

Campaigning activities and election advertising are not allowed during the cooling-off period of a Presidential Election.

Publishing of election advertising during the cooling-off period is an offence under Section 42C of the PrEA.

ELD had issued reminders on the prohibition of campaigning activity and election advertising during the cooling-off period, including a press release the day before cooling-off day.

"The press release was also reported in the local media," ELD said.

Koh and Ravi's posts

Despite the reminders, ELD said Koh and Ravi "repeatedly published" online election advertising during the cooling-off period, with content that can "reasonably be regarded" as intended to promote or prejudice a candidate's electoral success or standing.

According to the ELD:

  • On cooling-off day, Aug. 31, 2023, Koh published two duplicate videos on TikTok with such content.
  • On the same day, Ravi published Koh's video on Facebook, as well as three videos on Facebook with such content.
  • On polling day, Sep. 1, 2023, Ravi published a fifth video and another post on Facebook, both with such content.

The Assistant Returning Officer had issued corrective directions to TikTok and Meta on Aug. 31 and Sep. 1, 2023, to disable access in Singapore to the two videos by Koh and the five videos and one post by Ravi.

TikTok and Meta had complied with the Corrective Directions.

Top images via Iris Koh/FB & The Online Citizen video.