Singapore reportedly criminalizes the publication of false news

SINGAPORE: Singapore According To Reports, A Law Was Approved That Penalizes The Publication And Allows The Government To Block And Order The Elimination Of Said Content.

The Strait Times Reported That The False Protection Bill And Online Tampering Approved Wednesday Night With A Vote Of 72-9 With Three Abstentions.

The law bans falsehoods that are prejudicial to Singapore or likely to influence elections and requires service providers to remove such content or allows the government to block it. Offenders could face a jail term of up to 10 years and hefty fines.

Opponents In Parliament Said That They Giving Government Ministers Too Much Power To Determine What Was False And The Public Interest Broadly Defined.

The Strait Times Reported That Law Minister K. Shanmugam Said That Orders To Correct Or Remove False Content Would Mostly Be Directed To Technology Companies, Rather Than To People Who Objected To The Law Without Intent.

Human Rights Watch sharply criticized the law. It is a ``disaster for online expression by ordinary Singapore ans'' and a ``hammer blow'' against the independence of online news portals, said Phil Robertson, the group's deputy Asia director.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong last month defended the proposed law, saying many countries had them and that Singapore had debated the issue for two years. He rejected criticism the law could further stifle free speech in Singapore , which already has stern laws on public protests and dissent.

``They criticized many things about Singapore 's media management, but what we have done have worked for Singapore . And it is our objective to continue to do things that will work for Singapore . And I think (the new law) will be a significant step forward in this regard,'' he said on a visit to Malaysia.

Speaking At The Same Press Conference, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad Warned That Such Laws Were A Double-edged Sword That Governments Could Abuse To Keep In Power.

Malaysia's False News Ban Becomes Into Law By The Mahathir Government Coalition Expulsed In A Shocking Election Result In 2018. Mahathir Has Promised To Try To Repeal The Law, Though Failed In A First Attempt.