Warning for student behind hoax on Mr Lee's death

Warning for student behind hoax on Mr Lee's death

Police have issued a stern warning to a male Singapore student, aged below 16, who posted a fake announcement on the supposed death of former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew on March 18.

In a statement issued yesterday, a spokesman said the police had completed investigations into the case.

Acting alone, the student had circulated online a screenshot, purportedly from the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) website, announcing the death of Mr Lee.

"In consultation with the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC), the police have issued him with a stern warning in lieu of prosecution," the statement said.

Further details in a separate statement issued by the AGC revealed that no "hacking" or unauthorised access of the PMO website had taken place. It also explained that the student had never intended his message to be disseminated so widely.

"He created the image because he was frustrated with the frequent rumours over the demise of Mr Lee. He wanted to demonstrate to his friends how easy it was for a hoax to be perpetuated," said the AGC statement.

After sharing it with his friends, however, the image was quickly forwarded by one or more of the original recipients despite the student informing them that it was fake.

The AGC added that the decision to issue a stern warning to the student, which was done in the presence of his parents, was taken after "careful consideration of all relevant factors", including his personal circumstances and readiness to accept responsibility.


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