Singapore used its law to combat misinformation for the first time on Monday, ordering opposition figure Brad Bowyer to correct a Facebook post authorities said could “smear the reputation” of state investment funds.
Bowyer, a member of the Progress Singapore Party, was ordered to correct a Facebook post in which he questioned the independence of state-linked investment vehicle Temasek and sovereign wealth fund GIC.
A government statement, published alongside Bowyer’s post stamped with the word “false” in red, corrected what it said were falsehoods and accused him of seeking to “smear the reputation” of the investment funds.
Bowyer issued a “correction notice” to his original post, which directed readers to a government website for the “correct facts”.
Tech giants including Google and Twitter have criticised the law, as have activists who fear it could stifle online dissent, but the government insists the measure is necessary to stop the circulation of damaging falsehoods.
Bowyer said he had no problem following the request but vowed not to be intimidated: “A responsible and vocal citizenry is as much a vital part of our democratic nation as is a responsible and listening government”.