'President Tan' letter declaring public holiday is false

The World Cup has attracted much online attention everywhere, but even Singapore's sleepyheads opened their eyes wide early yesterday morning when a letter - purportedly containing a declaration from President Tony Tan Keng Yam that yesterday would be a public holiday - made the rounds on the Internet.

The letter, which had the crest of the President's Office on the letterhead, claimed this was done so all Singaporeans could catch the World Cup final, which began here at 3am yesterday morning.

It claimed the move would "allow all Singaporeans to bond with their family members, neighbour and friends to make Singapore a much more bonded society".

The President's Office later issued a statement saying it did not issue such a letter. It added that public holidays are announced by the Ministry of Manpower.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong led a host of Cabinet ministers in sending congratulatory messages to Germany yesterday, after its national football team won the World Cup with a 1-0 extra-time victory over Argentina in Rio de Janeiro.

PM Lee posted on his Facebook page: "Congrats Germany on winning the World Cup! Argentina fought hard, but Goetze's beautiful goal was the difference."

Likewise, Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin posted on Twitter: "Well done to both teams! Great final. Thanks #ARG and #GER!"

Environment and Water Resources Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, in Berlin for the Petersberg Climate Dialogue, posted photos on Facebook of the German capital erupting in fireworks and wrote "Congratulations Germany!".

This article was first published on July 15, 2014.
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