State Media Organ TODAY Admits Fake News in article regarding JBJ and Reform Party

Our letter to the Editor of TODAY Online yesterday received a response. To remind readers my letter referred to an article published in TODAY dated 24 May 2020 entitled “Members who resigned, were expelled ‘no big deal’ for Progress Singapore Party: Tan Cheng Bock”.

TODAY said in the body of its article ;

“Back in 2011, the party founded by Mr Kenneth Jeyaretnam saw a mass resignation of nine members“

Like most state media articles about the Opposition, this and the story about members leaving Tan Cheng Bock’s party was just part of the PAP’s strategy of portraying the Opposition as a hopelessly fractious bunch, always squabbling both internally and externally. In doing so it gives credence to a group of serial professional party hoppers, some of whom, like Hazel Poa, feature in both events, even though they are nine years apart .

To say that the Reform Party was founded by me is also clearly untrue. By publishing this fake news the state media was just trying to write JBJ out of history, which has been the PAP’s aim since he died in 2008, and suggest that the Reform Party is a personal vehicle.

The Chair and I wrote to Today and received a reply. They have changed the word “founded” to “headed“.

They also published a correction notice:

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story by CNA said that “in 2011, the party founded by Mr Kenneth Jeyaretnam saw a mass :”. This is incorrect. It should have been the party “headed” by Mr Kenneth Jeyaretnam. We apologise for the error.

While I am one of the strongest opponents of the Protection from Online Falsehood and Manipulation Act (POFMA), which I view as an attempt by the Government to stifle criticism and prevent the expression of opposing views, the fact that TODAY backed down after I threatened to ask the Minister to issue a Correction Notice, shows that it can and should be made to work both ways. We need to prevent Ministers like Josephine Teo talking cock because they feel secure that Singaporeans will be intimidated by the POFMA legislation into not challenging them.

I have personal experience of the difficulty of getting the state media to correct fake news. In the run-up to the 2011 election Tessa Wong, then a journalist with the Straits Times but who has now joined the BBC, to its detriment. She ran a story about Alec Tok, a member who left to join SDP because they promised him an SMC, claiming that he left because I was forcing him to retrospectively conform to a set of Central Executive Committee (CEC) protocols he had never seen. When I proved to Tessa that Alec Tok had in fact helped to draft the CEC protocols, she just amended the original article but left two versions on the internet. She also said that the Straits Times would not put any notice up apologising and saying they had amended the article. With POFMA it is at least theoretically possible to use the Government’s own weapon of repression against them, hopefully hoisting them with their own petard, so to speak.

Lee Hsien Loong and his minions want to ensure that young Singaporeans and new citizens are kept unaware of JBJ’s special place in Singapore’s history and his breaking of the PAP’s monopoly back in 1981.That rewriting of history began with LHL’s condolence letter to me and my brother, where he accused my father of having “sought by all means to demolish the PAP and our system of government.” Ironically POFMA has become a weapon to prevent this.


Kenneth Jeyaretnam

Secretary General, Reform Party




9 Responses to “State Media Organ TODAY Admits Fake News in article regarding JBJ and Reform Party”

  • AristoCATs - the Elite:

    GeorgeOrwell – Animal Farm
    “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”
    AristoCATs are always “transparent” – they are the arbiter of “truth”.

    All others are fake !
    We must Remember the Ballot Box !

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  • limpei:

    Good! hahaha…

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  • Get Ready:

    @KJ. Get Ready. GE20 is coming your way. Wish you and TCB, CSJ ….. ALL THE BEST !!! ( I am ready ….. to VTO ).

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  • Hurray !!:

    Congratulation Kenneth.

    This is an important milestone in the unpopular POFMA.

    Singaporeans will want to throw the POFMA law out of the window.

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  • trublu:

    So,kena Pofma or not?
    Thought they hate FAKD NEWS?

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  • most uselss:

    The key is to use POFMA against POFMA by stating the truths of things and then send to the source and ministers so that they ownself cannot bluff the public.

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  • take ownership of our country:

    karma only takes its time.

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  • Bernard:

    Dear Kenneth,
    Congrats on ensuring the truth.

    As Singaporeans, we all aim to be and to do better for ourselves, our kids (family) and overall, for the good of our only natural birth land, Singapore.

    Let us all work together towards a better Singapore, tomorrow and beyond in eradicating the bad which is now, rotten to the core.

    No suggestions or alternatives views are Stupid and/or Rediculous.

    Only the person/party concluding it, are the real idiots and scumbags.
    Their self-professed learned and intellectual capacity are no greater and wiser then a baboon or a mice.
    Perpetually, used as an object in a confine (small) space subjected to trials and error tests by many unethical and unscrupulous wolf in sheep clothing (now, you know why the white coats are worn?).

    Self praise is an International disgrace.

    Majulah Singapore

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  • Soccerbetting2:

    I watch a TV movie about a dynasty in olden China. Cannot remember whether it is the ming or qing dynasty. In the movie, the dynasty went to war with the barbarians tribes in the Northern part of it. And what is describe in the movie is that during a war, the win or lose of the war depend on two main factors. The two main factors of a war is fought on money and food resources. And it is quite true in the movie that when the dynasty failed to send wages and food resources to their soldiers to pay them to fight, the morale of their soldiers troop drop which may lead to losses in war. Soldiers wouldn’t fight their life without wages/food.

    Similarly, general Election is like a war,whoever deliver the most benefits to the people has the upper hand and PXP has the public funds to play about. Unless the economy totally fails, it is hard to change the outcome.

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