SINGAPORE - A second People's Action Party (PAP) Member of Parliament has taken issue with sociopolitical website The Real Singapore (TRS) for publishing false information.
Chua Chu Kang MP Zaqy Mohamad early Tuesday morning asked TRS to produce proof within 24 hours that allegations made against his town council in an article published on the website, are true. If TRS is unable to do so, he wants TRS to remove the post and apologise.
Mr Zaqy's request comes a few weeks after Tampines GRC MP Irene Ng lodged a police report against TRS when it published an article falsely attributed to her. That article has since been removed.
The TRS post which Mr Zaqy says is untrue is a letter written by one of his constituents, Ms Serene Tham.
Ms Tham claims she suffered injuries after falling down on a staircase in Chua Chu Kang two months ago, and that certain recent actions by the town council contradict an earlier statement it made that the staircase was safe.
Mr Zaqy said that Ms Tham's allegation is "clearly false and borders on defamation".
He noted in a Facebook post that the matter is currently 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 thus instead, 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, in turn, indicated it could not produce proof. The original post has not yet been removed.
In a statement on Tuesday signed off by its "chief editor" called Mohd Farhan, TRS said that it contacted Ms Tham who stands by her allegations. By doing so, it has been "transparent and accountable", TRS added.
It noted that it republished Mr Zaqy's claims as well, and the site's editors are "now taking the time to respond to and clarify our position on this issue".
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."
The editors of TRS are unknown although they are said to be a couple living in Australia. Prior to this statement, Mr Farhan had written two satirical articles for the website.
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