New Delhi: Singapore High Commissioner Simon Wong on Tuesday came down heavily on Arvind Kejriwal for his tweet on an alleged dangerous variant of COVID-19, saying that Singapore reserves the right to invoke his country’s online fake news Act on the Delhi Chief Minister’s assertions.
He also said that a person holding government office “must not promote false news”.
“In Singapore, we have Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) to mitigate misinformation and we reserve the right to invoke POFMA on assertions made by CM (Delhi),” said Simon Wong.
POFMA’s primary tools to counter online falsehoods are the correction directions – these directions do not require the online falsehood to be removed. In more serious cases, a stop communication or disabling direction may be used.
Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal had yesterday made a tweet about an alleged “new form” of COVID-19 in Singapore and claimed it is very dangerous for children.
“New form of coronavirus in Singapore is said to be very dangerous for children. It could reach Delhi in the form of a third wave. My appeal to the Central government: 1. Cancel all air services with Singapore with immediate effect 2. Work on vaccine alternatives for children on a priority basis,” the chief minister had said.
Kejriwal’s remarks evoked responses and caused some alarm. Singapore’s Health Ministry came out with a strong rebuttal, saying there is no “Singapore variant” and some COVID-19 patients tested in recent weeks show B.1.617 strain that was first discovered in India.