Letter to Straits Times dated 26 June 2020 demanding correction of fake newsPublished: 26th June 2020
26 June 2020
The Straits Times
On 16 June 2020 an article appeared in both the print and online editions of your newspaper written by Charmaine Ng entitled “Reform Party Unveils First Batch of Six Candidates”
This is fake as it is clear from the body of the article that your journalist was fully aware that we unveiled seven prospective candidates in our first tranche including myself.
In another article you again falsely refer to 6 candidates, half of whom previously contested in WC. The maths is simple: we unveiled 7 prospective candidates, more than half of whom (4) had previously contested WC.
Your article implies that we have less than the minimum number of candidates to qualify for national airtime in the General Election and thus to lower the status of the Reform Party.
I believe it was also designed to embolden other parties into thinking that we did not have enough candidates for one GRC and two SMCs and thus to provoke three-cornered fights with the Progress Singapore Party among others. As the only party with a democratic constitution embodying the late J B Jeyaretnam’s legacy, it has long been the objective of the Government, which controls your print and online media titles, to reduce us to insignificance.
We previously write to Today with regard to a different falsehood and they immediately corrected their error and apologised.
With such a short time between the dissolution of Parliament and Polling Day, it is important that you restore public faith by acting quickly. We require you to correct your mistake to avoid further damage to the party and to publish an apology forthwith.
If we do not receive an adequate response within 24 hours we will ask the Minister to issue you with a Correction Notice as provided for under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act on the grounds that you were attempting to influence the outcome of an election.
Andy Zhu Laizheng