Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam have come out to defend his heavily criticised viral video that he made with “Ah Lian”, played by actress Michelle Chong. The video was released just a few days before the Fake News Bill was read and subsequently approved in Parliament, and the video was branded by netizens as the PAP’s way to justify why Fake News Law is necessary.
In the video, set in an informal and even humorous way, Shamnugam and Chong talked about the bill, the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA), which was passed last week. A Straits Times commentary said that most people who saw the video cringed at the way the government tried to clarify, and thus justify, their introduction of this law. However, as expected, Shanmugam have come out firing, stating that the video’s aim was not to “convey detailed points about the new online falsehoods legislation,” but instead was only one part of a “multi-faceted engagement and communications effort” which included the following: “media briefings and interviews, Op Eds, ground engagements and numerous dialogues with different stakeholders, including academics, lawyers, other professionals, as well as grassroots leaders (a few thousand).”
Once again, the government makes use of their many arms to spread their gospel, and think that what they did was the right thing. They cannot see any wrong in what they do.