Kenneth Jeyaretnam barred from profiting from website, social media accounts under Pofma, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Kenneth Jeyaretnam barred from profiting from website, social media accounts under Pofma

Opposition politician Kenneth Jeyaretnam’s website The Ricebowl Singapore (TRS), and his accounts on Facebook, Instagram, X and LinkedIn have been earmarked as Declared Online Locations (DOLs) under Singapore’s fake news law, preventing him from benefitting financially on these platforms.

For two years starting from Dec 12, each online site will have to carry a notice stating that it is a DOL so that visitors will be warned that Mr Jeyaretnam has a history of communicating falsehoods on these online locations, said the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) on Dec 11.

While the declaration does not mean that the online locations will need to cease operations, they must comply with actions under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (Pofma) that would prevent their operator from financially benefiting during this period.

MCI said the declaration order was made following multiple falsehoods communicated on the online platforms, for which Mr Jeyaretnam, the secretary-general of the Reform Party, had been served Pofma correction directions on July 16, Aug 2, Aug 22, Aug 30 and Nov 2.

“In the last six months, Mr Jeyaretnam has made false claims and repeatedly shared falsehoods about various government policies and processes, such as fiscal and manpower policies, the Singapore Police Force’s and Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau’s investigation practices, and state property rentals,” added the MCI.

Under Pofma, an online platform can be declared a DOL if it has carried three or more different false statements of fact that have been the subject of Pofma directions within six months of the declaration.

It will be an offence for the operator of the DOLs to derive financial or any other material benefit from operating them.

Service providers, such as digital advertising agencies, must also take reasonable steps to ensure that their paid content on these DOLs is not available in Singapore.

Members of the public and companies must not financially support DOLs if they know they would support, help or promote the communication of falsehoods in Singapore on the platform in doing so.

MCI said: “Members of the public are advised to be alert to Mr Jeyaretnam’s history of communicating misinformation on these online locations, and to fact-check information published at these DOLs.”

The Online Citizen Asia’s (TOCA) website, Facebook page, Twitter account page and LinkedIn page were also earlier made DOLs with effect from July 22, 2023 to July 21, 2025.

Other social media pages that were previously declared as DOLs include the States Times Review Facebook page, Singapore States Times Facebook page, Alex Tan’s Facebook page and National Times Singapore Facebook page.

These pages were operated by Mr Alex Tan, according to MCI. As Mr Tan did not comply with the DOL requirements, Access Disabling Orders were subsequently issued to Facebook to disable access to these pages to people in Singapore. Facebook complied with the orders.

A provision under Pofma allows the Government to order an Internet intermediary to disable access to a DOL if the owner of the DOL does not comply with the declaration and paid content on the site continues to be displayed to users here.

If an Internet intermediary fails to comply and is convicted, it can be fined up to $20,000 for each day that the government order is not fully complied with, up to a total of $500,000.

The owner or operator of the DOL, or any person with editorial control over the online location, may apply to MCI to vary or cancel the declaration. If the minister refuses the application, an appeal can be made to the High Court.

A registry of current DOLs is available here:

POFMAPofma correctionKenneth JeyaretnamReform Party