A Malaysian rights group has filed a suit in a domestic court against a Singapore ministers attempts to attach a correction to an article published by Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) that claimed that Singapore prison officers are instructed to snap prisoner's necks by kicking them. The suit attempts to prevent any addition/removal/correction as directed by the minister.
Singapore's Minister for Home Affairs, K. Shanmugam who is attempting to make the correction has stated that the accusations levelled by Lawyers for Liberty are untrue, baseless, and preposterous. He demanded that all websites that carried those posts and articles should add a 'Fake news' tag alongside them.
In the suit, Malaysian Lawyers have claimed that the Minister's directives can not be carried out because the directive grossly oversteps Singapore's jurisdiction. The group's lawyer, Gurdial Singh Nijar has claimed that the group was asked to publish the correction, and if they failed to do so they would take legal action and they would be ultimately charged in Singapore's courts.
Gurdial Singh Nijar further claimed that the directive is null and void and can not be enforced. Soon after the directive by the Singapore Minister, Yahoo Singapore posted the correction notice on its Facebook page claiming that it had been ordered by the Singapore government and that it was legally obliged to do so.
Access to the Lawyers for Liberty website has been blocked according to Singapore's communication and information ministry after the rights group failed to comply with the directive.
Singapore's anti 'fake-news' law is considered to be one of the most far-reaching measures of its kind in the world and in the past has been greatly criticised by civil rights groups and Singapore's opposition parties. But the government had denied all allegation made by critics and claimed that its Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act only targets falsehoods and fake news. Legitimate criticism and free speech are not affected by the act.
(With inputs from Agencies)