The Progress Singapore Party (PSP) has issued a strongly worded statement, which indicated that the Party strongly mandates that Singapore needs to be governed under the tenets of transparency, independence and accountability, to which the Party highly subscribes to. To this end, PSP finds that the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) falls short of these expected values.
By now, the POFMA had been seen in action twice in the past month. Singaporeans now know, if they did not when POFMA was passed in parliament with little objection, that the Act empowers the Minister to declare a piece of news to be falsehood, without requiring any justification, criteria or standards. This, according to the PSP, does not measure up to the standards of independence and accountability, and when the news involves the Government, the standard of Independence also was not met.
PSP stated on their statement that they agreed the Singapore Government needs to be able to act speedily to curb the viral spread of fake news. Thus, when the facts had been presented and are beyond contention, then the need for Ministers to quickly empowered to demand the take down of said fake news articles are supported by the party. However, PSP also strongly stated that for the sad news to be be declared as falsehoods and to impose any penalties to the purveyor of such articles, the party strongly advocated for the Courts of Singapore to take over the process, instead of the Ministers being their own judge.
The party stated that the Courts represent an independent judiciary process of Singapore, and not the Ministers, and that The Courts would also have an established system and precedence of determining falsehood from its handling of cases like fraud, thereby ensuring transparency and accountability.