In March this year, a Select Committee formed amongst members of the Parliament conducted public hearings on deliberate online falsehoods. More than 60 individuals and organisations from a variety of diverse backgrounds across media, technology, civil society groups and academia appeared before a 10-member parliamentary committee to present their views.
Nearly half of Singapore (47%) followed the news coverage on the hearings. Men (58%) paid closer attention to the hearings than women did (36%).
Whilst a majority (57%) say they are are confident that the Committee will come up with recommendations and solutions that help combat the dissemination of fake news online, reactions towards the longest segment of the hearing – Minister K Shanmugam’s interrogation of historian Thum Ping Tjin – were quite divided.
PJ Thum also most recently made the news when the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) rejected his application to register a private “political” business with foreign funding. Just over a third (35%) of Singaporeans believe that ACRA’s decision was reasonable whilst 28% believe it to be unreasonable. A third (33%) expressed no view.