Blatantly lying in Parliament on Wednesday (May 8), Education Minister Ong Ye Kung claimed that the dictatorship government does not arrest critics:
“No activist will be caught by the law if he criticises the Government. The law treats all activists equally – whether you are an academic or a man or woman on the street,” he said. “It does not target academics. You are as free as an ordinary citizen to comment on current affairs and critique the Government.”
The Education Minister’s ‘fake news’ comment came after the arrests of two Singaporean men who criticized Law Minister K Shanmugam, saying they would love to throw eggs at the fascist minister. The Singapore government has also jailed two writers, Ai Takagi and Yang Kai Heng, for operating a website critical of the dictatorship. Those who do not get a police arrest, would be charged with defamation lawsuits like writer Roy Ngerng and Leong Sze Hian who are both vocal critic of retirement fund CPF.
Minister Ong Ye Kung was however quick to add that he is ready to arrest academics who post articles deemed as ‘falsehoods’ by the government:
“Conversely, any academic – activist or not – who uses online platforms to spread falsehoods that harm society will not be spared under the law. The law offers no special shield to academics either.”
The millionaire PAP minister added that even if someone presented ‘opinions’, the government will censure him:
“So an academic can put out an opinion that Singapore’s growth model has failed, meritocracy has failed, that the education system is elitist, that the social welfare system does not work or does more harm to the poor than good. POFMA will not apply to you because that is your opinion. But in the interest of open debate and given your stature in society and position in a publicly-funded university, please expect government agencies – if we do not agree with you – to present the facts, our arguments and to convince the public otherwise.”
Minister Ong Ye Kung then said that if an academic has been rebuked by the government, there is no recourse:
“If that has a chilling effect, please chill.”
At this point, the Parliament full of PAP MPs and Ministers roared with laughter heartily, with only straight faces from the Opposition.
Minister Ong Ye Kung then ended his speech saying that censorship promotes democracy, with thunderous applause in the fascist Parliament:
“POFMA enhances, and not diminishes, democratic public discourse.”