Activist group The Real Singapore retracts ‘pure fiction’ article that falsely attributes politician

Straits Times story

ST story about Ng’s misrepresentation by The Real Singapore

Free-speech activist group The Real Singapore has retracted a monologue it published on its website that falsely quotes a Singaporean politician.

An article in the Straits Times quoted Irene Ng, an MP for ruling party the PAP, as saying that the piece was “forgery and impersonation with a malicious intent to deceive.”

Ng has filed a police report about the article, asking TRS to delete it and apologise for “the damage” it has caused her.

“I am all for freedom of speech and for people to have the right to express their views,” said Ng in the Straits Times article. “But this is not about freedom of speech – it is about forgery and impersonation with a malicious intent to deceive.”

TRS told Mumbrella that Ng’s comments had been sent to them from an apparently bogus email address – – and published a story based on those comments.

The TRS, which claims to carry “the voices of average Singaporeans’, has removed the article from its website.

In the email, which led to a story headlined ‘PAP MP Irene Ng: We should not play the blame game over the haze problem’ which can still be read on, the author purporting to be Ng claimed that the politician had turned on her own party over the recent air quality crisis in the citystate, caused by burning rainforests in neighbouring Indonesia.

TRS told Mumbrella: “We still do not know the motive behind the email.”

TRS has since published Ng’s comments about its article, taken from her Facebook page, on its website.

A statement from TRS emailed to Mumbrella reads:

We were surprised when we saw Ms Ng’s Facebook status update which was shown to us by one of our readers.

We had not received any communications at all from any media writing about the issue nor from Ms Ng herself at any time during this whole situation.

Irene did not write to us to clarify that she was not the author, nor did she contact us to notify us of the status that she had published.

Upon seeing her status which was shown to us by one of our readers, we immediately took down the article in question as her facebook status suggested, and re-published her status on our website with our own comments so that everybody could see it and better understand the situation.

The TRS says that it is a “platform that allows users to submit articles directly, or send them to us by email and one of our writers will publish the e-mailed articles to the website.”

The Straits Times had not responded to Mumbrella’s follow-up questions at the time of writing.

The episode does not ease long-standing tension between the government and free-press activist blogger groups such as TRS and The Online Citizen.

The Online Citizen is currently behind a campaign called #FreeMyInternet, which opposes new rules imposed by Singapore’s Media Development Authority that it says impinge on internet publishing freedoms in the citystate.


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