PAP MP asks website to take down article

Above: Chua Chu Kang GRC MP, Mr Zaqy

SINGAPORE - People's Action Party (PAP) Member of Parliament Zaqy Mohamad has asked socio-political website The Real Singapore (TRS) to take down an article which he said contained false information.

Mr Zaqy, a Chua Chu Kang GRC MP, made a Facebook post in the early hours on Tuesday, asking TRS to produce proof within 24 hours that allegations made against his town council in the article are true, or remove it and apologise.

Last month, Tampines GRC MP Irene Ng made a police report against TRS when it published an article falsely attributed to her. That article has since been removed.

The article that Mr Zaqy has objected to was written by one Ms Serene Tham.

She claims she suffered injuries after falling on a staircase in Choa Chu Kang two months ago, and that actions by the town council contradict its earlier statement that the staircase was safe.

Mr Zaqy said the allegation is "clearly false and borders on defamation".

He noted that the matter is being investigated for an insurance claim, and added: "I would have expected TRS to know that during such time, disclosure of the facts would be prejudicial to the parties involved... TRS should... take great care to validate all facts before considering to publish such potentially defamatory articles, as false allegations from the contributor made publicly will certainly not help Ms Tham's case."

TRS carried Mr Zaqy's response on its website. But it said it had contacted Ms Tham, who stood by her allegations. As of press time last Tuesday night, the original post had not been removed.

In a statement signed off by its chief editor Mohd Farhan, TRS said it had been "transparent and accountable" by publishing both sides of the case.

It added that it tries to validate facts before publishing, but "due to the nature of many of the issues raised, it is in fact impossible for us to wait for or even receive clarification from MPs or Government organisations on the issues".