SINGAPORE: The alternate authority for the Minister for Education has instructed the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) Office to issue correction directions to the Facebook page of the Peoples Voice party and the YouTube channel of its party chief Lim Tean.
The POFMA Office said on Thursday (Jul 2) the correction directions were issued with regard to a "live" video posted on the Peoples Voice Political Party Facebook page on Wednesday, which contained a falsehood regarding Government expenditure on foreign students.
The video was also shared on Mr Lim’s YouTube channel “Tean Lim”.
Ministers may appoint public officers to issue orders under POFMA during an election period, which is defined as the period between the day a writ of election is issued and the close of Polling Day.
The alternate authority in this case is the Ministry of Education's Permanent Secretary, Mr Lai Chung Han.
The article on the Government fact-checking website Factually is as follows:
The Facebook video by Peoples Voice Political Party on Jul 1 2020 contains a false and misleading statement.
2. Mr Lim Tean states that “We spend a quarter of a billion dollars providing free education for foreigners every year.”
3. This is false and misleading. MOE does not spend a quarter of a billion dollars to provide free education for foreigners every year.
4. While MOE spends about S$238 million on foreign students a year as stated in a parliamentary reply on Aug 5 2019, the significant majority of these students are still required to pay fees higher than those of local students and/or fulfil a bond obligation after graduation.
Mr Lim was previously issued a correction direction on Dec 16, 2019, for false statements on the same topic, the POFMA office said.