- The Singapore government has invoked the POFMA (Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act) to combat misinformation.
- The news came a day after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted about a coronavirus variant discovered in Singapore.
- External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar also commented on the issue & asserted that Kejriwal does not speak for the country.
A day after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted about a coronavirus variant from Singapore, the Singapore government invoked its anti-misinformation rule, the POFMA (Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act). The POFMA office has been ordered by the country’s health ministry to send “General Correction Directions” to Facebook and Twitter. The notification is not intended for the Delhi Chief Minister or Indian social media, but rather to protect Singaporeans from false information.
The social media behemoths will be forced to wear a badge as a result of this “There is no new ‘Singapore’ variant of COVID-19,” according to all end-users in Singapore who use the app. “There is also no proof of any coronavirus variant that is particularly harmful to children.”
The “fact of the case” is revealed by the Correction Notice, which states that “a false statement circulated online” “implies that a new, previously unknown version of COVID-19 originated in Singapore and/or risks spreading to India from Singapore.” According to the notice, “The strain that is prevalent in many of the COVID-19 cases found in Singapore in recent weeks is the B.1.617.2 variant, which originated in India.”
In a tweet, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called on India’s government to immediately suspend air services to Singapore due to the COVID-19 variant, which he said has a negative effect on children.
सिंगापुर में आया कोरोना का नया रूप बच्चों के लिए बेहद ख़तरनाक बताया जा रहा है, भारत में ये तीसरी लहर के रूप में आ सकता है।— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) May 18, 2021
केंद्र सरकार से मेरी अपील:
1. सिंगापुर के साथ हवाई सेवाएं तत्काल प्रभाव से रद्द हों
2. बच्चों के लिए भी वैक्सीन के विकल्पों पर प्राथमिकता के आधार पर काम हो
The Singaporean foreign ministry raised the issue with India’s high commissioner to the country, P Kumaran, on Wednesday (May 19, 2021), resulting in a full-fledged diplomatic row over Delhi’s CM’s remarks. In a tweet, Singapore’s Foreign Ministry “regretted” the Delhi Chief Minister’s “unfounded assertions.”
It was followed by a Twitter exchange between India’s foreign minister and Singapore’s foreign minister. Dr. S Jaishankar, called the Delhi CM’s remarks “irresponsible” and cautioned that they might “harm long-standing relationships,” while Vivian Balakrishnan, Singapore’s Foreign Minister, urged everyone to “focus on resolving the situation in our respective countries and supporting one another.”
With exchanges between foreign ministers of the two countries, Singapore’s high commissioner to India, Simon Wong, held a press conference on the subject, saying that “we wished to end to this episode” because authorities representing the Indian government have given a “crystal clear” clarification, which is “heartening.”