Pofma correction issued for false claims about woman's death in Yishun
Three news portals falsely claimed that a woman who had fallen off a building in Yishun and died was a Filipino maid or a Filipino worker.
The outlets – Gutzy Asia, The Online Citizen Asia and Singapore Eye – have been ordered under Singapore’s Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act to publish a correction notice on their website and online platforms. They must also include a link to the Government’s clarification.
The notices will apply to Gutzy Asia’s article on Oct 12, Singapore Eye’s report on Oct 13, and relevant social media posts by all three news portals on Oct 12 and 13.
According to government fact-checking website Factually, the Singapore Police Force had received a call for assistance at Block 874 Yishun Street 81 on Oct 12.
A woman was unconscious when taken to the hospital, where she later died.
Articles and social media posts by the three news portals said that the woman was a domestic worker from the Philippines, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said in on Monday.
This is false as she was a Singaporean, the ministry added.
Gutzy Asia’s article and Facebook posts had linked the death to “urgent concerns about the well-being of domestic workers in Singapore amid recent similar incidents”, according to Factually.
Gutzy Asia also said this “spark(ed) calls for greater oversight and reforms to ensure their safety and well-being”.
MOM said that this was misleading as it suggests that the Government’s management of migrant maids’ well-being was not enough.
It added that the Government has measures to support the mental well-being of migrant maids working in Singapore.
For example, since April 2021, MOM officers have started house visits to engage some maids and their employers directly.
MOM officers are trained to look out for indicators of stress and discuss any issues raised with employers so that they can be addressed.
MOM also works with non-governmental organisations and requires employment agencies to check on newly placed maids within three months after they start working with the new employer.
Along with the Centre for Domestic Employees under the National Trades Union Congress, MOM has launched three centres for maids and their employers to seek advice on employment issues.
The centres also conduct compulsory interviews for all first-time maids to ensure they adapt well to their new role.