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MHA rejects Jolovan Wham's application to vary or cancel POFMA directive issued to him

MHA rejects Jolovan Wham's application to vary or cancel POFMA directive issued to him

Jolovan Wham arrives at the State Court in Singapore on Feb 21, 2019. (Photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)

SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has rejected an application by activist and social worker Jolovan Wham to vary or cancel a correction direction issued to him under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA). 

A correction direction was issued to Mr Wham on Oct 8 over a social media post he had made about Law and Home Affairs K Shanmugam's remarks on the rule of law. 

The tweet, dated 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", said MHA in a press release on Thursday (Oct 14). 

The conditions for issuing the Mr Wham the correction direction were "satisfied" and the application did not disclose any grounds to the contrary, the Home Affairs Ministry added. 

"After having carefully considered the Application, the Minister for Home Affairs has decided to reject it," it said, adding that Mr Wham had also been notified of the rejection. 

Under POFMA rules, if he wishes to, Mr Wham can now mount a challenge in the High Court against the correction direction.

On Oct 10, Mr Wham had posted the correction notice on his Twitter account, which said his original tweet contained false statements on Mr Shanmugam's comments. 

"However, I do not agree with this correction and will be making an application to cancel/vary this notice," he later said in a tweet replying to the correction notice. 

On Oct 7, MHA issued letters to nine entities, including Mr Wham, who had published "false posts" on Facebook that "misrepresented" what Mr Shanmugam said in Parliament. All the entities, except for Mr Wham, have apologised for what they did, corrected their posts, or done both. 

Mr Shanmugan's comments on the rule of law in Singapore were made near the end of a debate on the Foreign Interference (Countermeasures) Act (FICA) on Oct 4.

Source: CNA/lk(ac)

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