Singapore’s government defended its stand on the testing of migrant workers, the biggest cluster of its coronavirus outbreak, issuing five corrective directions under its fake-news law to media outlets and a local graduate club that carried comments by an opposition leader on the topic.
The government is disputing statements by Paul Tambyah, chairman of the Singapore Democratic Party, who spoke Friday at an election forum organized by the National University of Singapore Society, where he said authorities had actively discouraged testing of migrant workers, among other issues.
The directions to the club, local broadcaster CNA, The Online Citizen Asia and New Naratif on Sunday would require them to each carry a notice stating that videos, a Facebook post, an online article and an audio recording they had published contain false statements of facts. They all ran comments at the forum by Tambyah, who’s a senior consultant in the division of infectious diseases at the National University Hospital in Singapore.
With Singapore’s election set to be held July 10 amid the pandemic that has infected more than 44,000 people in the city-state, the government’s response to tackling the virus is set to be one of the defining issues in the polls. While it was praised for its earlier containment of the outbreak, the spread among migrant workers — making up more than nine in 10 cases — has challenged the country’s efforts.
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