Written Replies to Parliamentary Questions

Written Reply to Parliamentary Question on Action Against Perpetrators of Fake News on Social Media, by Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law

Published: 05 August 2019


Mr Lim Biow Chuan: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs whether any action will be taken against perpetrators of fake news on social media which is intended to cause racial disharmony.




    1. The Government has always taken very firm action against individuals or groups who create racial disharmony.


    2. Under the Penal Code, it is an offence to commit acts that deliberately wound the racial feelings of any person, promote enmity between different racial groups, or conduct acts that are prejudicial to the maintenance of racial harmony.


    3. For example, in January this year, we charged a Chinese man under the Penal Code for deliberate intent to wound the racial feelings of the Malay population. The man had scrawled racist messages about Malays on walls in void decks and sheltered walkways in Geylang and Aljunied. This is not the only example. I will circulate to members a list of cases involving racial and religious insult that occurred in the past 5 years.


    4. Where a person communicates a falsehood that is likely to incite feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will between different groups of persons, he may be prosecuted.


    5.I will give an example. A few weeks ago a number of persons made postings falsely alleging racial discrimination in security checks of public transport commuters. They are being investigated. Likewise, investigations are ongoing against persons relating to the rap video which attacks Chinese.


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