Channel NewsAsia

AGC warns City Harvest pastor for 'contemptuous' tweets

City Harvest Church pastor Tan Kim Hock has been told by the Attorney-General's Chambers to remove two tweets and publish an apology on his Twitter account within seven days. 

SINGAPORE: The Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) has issued a warning to City Harvest Church pastor, Mr Tan Kim Hock for posting two messages on his Twitter account that are deemed to have scandalised Singapore's judiciary system.

According to a statement on Tuesday (June 3), the AGC said one of the tweets had insinuated that the State Courts gave The Straits Times (ST) 'preferential and privileged access' to information on whether City Harvest Church leaders involved in an ongoing trial, had a case to answer even before the decision was delivered by Judge See Kee Oon.

It further insinuates the State Courts is 'biased and unfair', given that such treatment was not equally accorded to everyone else, the AGC said.

The second tweet cited the bible verse of Ecclesiastes 3:16. The AGC said the message insinuated that Singapore's courts are corrupt, including the court hearing the City Harvest Church leaders case.

"AGC takes the view that the insinuations set out in the two tweets are insinuations which scandalise the Judiciary of the Republic of Singapore. These insinuations are scurrilous, false, and made without any objective basis," it said. 

The AGC has asked the pastor to publish an apology for the publication of the two tweets on his Twitter account within seven days of June 3. Mr Tan has also been warned that publishing such insinuations can amount to contempt of court, and that action may be taken against him.

A check of Mr Tan's Twitter account shows both tweets have been removed. He also made reference to one of the tweets deemed objectionable, tweeting: "On 6 May, I tweeted a bible verse. On hindsight, I realise that the tweet may be possibly misinterpreted and I have since removed it."
 

Tweet photos, videos and updates on this story to  @channelnewsasia