24 April 2019
Some Singapore academics have said that they are unable to accept the Ministry of Education’s assurances that the proposed law against online falsehoods will not affect their work.
These academics comprise of Singapore educators based at home as well as overseas, as well as their foreign associates. They sent a press statement recently indicating that they wanted certain assurances to be reflected in the draft legislation.
Among the Singaporean academics who signed the letter were Associate Professor Teo You Yenn and Assistant Professor Walid Jumblatt from Nanyang Technological University; National University of Singapore Associate Professor Chong Ja Ian; and SMU professor Pang Eng Fong.
At the same time, the group of academics acknowledged that the “disinformation dilemma that has prompted the Singapore government to act is a real one” that has resulted in “the corruption of democratic processes and the spread of hate propaganda against defenceless communities”.
Supporting the Government’s stand, Singapore Management University School of Law dean Goh Yihan said that the Bill strikes a right balance in giving ministers the power to make the initial call to swiftly address the problem, and then allowing that decision to be challenged in court.