SINGAPORE: The Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation (POFMA) Bill will be tabled for a second reading in Parliament on Tuesday (May 7). Ministers and up to 31 Members of Parliament are expected to speak on the issue over two days.
WHAT IS IT?
The Bill is meant to help Singapore guard against malicious actors who knowingly spread harmful falsehoods and act against the public interest, the Law Ministry has said. It includes powers for ministers to direct the publication of corrections and to order sites such as Facebook, Google and Twitter to put warnings next to posts that authorities deem false. If needed, ministers could even issue take-down orders.
WHY IS IT A HOT-BUTTON ISSUE?
Some academics, Nominated Members of Parliament and non-governmental organisations have raised concerns about the powers granted to the Government under the new laws and whether it could chill debate. Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam has addressed the criticism, saying the proposed laws have an "oversight mechanism" to prevent abuse.
WHAT'S BEING SAID IN PARLIAMENT: