Singapore: The most planned bill designed to deal with intentional online lies was passed to Parliament on Wednesday (May 8) with a majority of 72 to 9, with three members of parliament (NMP) abstaining.
Members of the opposition Labor Party (WP) voted against the bill.
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The death of the POFMA Protection Act following a two-day discussion lasted a little over 14 hours that ended last Thursday.
The amendments proposed by NMPs Anthea Wong, Walter will ban Warren Quay's bill, voted against, when WP members abstained, during the second reading.
31 Talks took place in the debate, when most of the concerns voiced by WP MPs as well as on the three countries, although some MPs on behalf of the People's Party also made suggestions and points of clarification.
WP Old statesman Low Thia Khiang said on Tuesday that Bill comes up with "Covert seduction" which allows the minister to be "absolute power" to decide what are false and what punishments to mete out.
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He also said the definition of a lie is too vague. "For example, if I say the Pioneer Pioneer Dorka packages are to buy votes, this opinion or information?" Said Mr. Luo.
Minister of Justice K Shanmugam rejected these points in his closing speech by pointing out that the bill calls for transparency – one of the main principles of WP.
"You're writing an article, the government says it's not true, you're making a correction (and) giving your readers a judge … What's the problem? More transparency, better," said Mr. Shanmugam.
On the chilling effect Mr Lu had expected of the new law, the minister noted that WP's MP made the same claim three years ago when the Justice Administration (AOJPA) law was passed in 2016.
"You tried to scare people unnecessarily, because people in cafes could not talk after the AOJPA was transferred, and ISA, and you know, they could not sit there drinking coffee and talking about lawsuits," he says.
"It's been three years now, and coffee shops, I think, have grown since then, I do not think it stopped talking, so after all the talk about shivers and fear, I can tell you that cafes in Yashon do not even think about the AOJPA.
"So what Mr. Low says about it is that Bill is gaining quite a bit of power and Mr. Lu must know that, just as he would know that what he said about the AOJPA was not really accurate," he said.
Mr. Shanmugam also referred to the points made by UN Secretary-General Lot and WP, Fritham Singh, about people who should appeal against the Minister's instructions to the High Court of Justice, arguing that the citizens would not agree to do so.
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He said that the orders are, looking at the legal framework, may be mainly against technology companies, and they can certainly challenge the government.
He then pointed out the "very serious logical error" in WP's proposal that the courts should be an arbiter of what constitutes a lie in relation to this point.
"The point you both make is that people do not want to go to court," the minister said. "But what you propose will require people to go to court in each case because you want the government to sue them.
"So every time the government wants to do something, someone has to be sued."
PAP MPS Concerti
PAP MPs also have been broadcast their concerns.
Mr. Morali Pillai disclosed in his speech on Tuesday that he was originally concerned with the structure of the POFMA leading appeal process, especially that the appeal was made only after the Minister made a decision.
"My concern was that management usually had to come up with a first case, rather than requiring the respondent to begin to determine why management misjudged the management case," he said.
However, he was "convinced" at this point after listening to Mr. Shanmugam's explanation at the beginning of Bill's second reading.
The reason for this is that the minister will have to "give his colors to the mast," by indicating the reasons for the direction guidance, Mr. Pillai explained, adding that the direction would also have to spread.
The lawyer went on to tell why NMPs Anthea Ong's suggestion that Walter Thatira include something they call "principles of law" that would provide a guide to exercise the power was unnecessary.
These principles include, among other things, that "intelligent, free and critical speech is necessary for a well functioning democracy, and therefore the law should be applied carefully to avoid the chills of such a speech," Professor Thierra said in his speech at the hearing.
Mr. Pillai explained that when the minister makes a statement on the second reading of the bill, it goes into the Corpus of Hensard and will consider how the legislation is to be reviewed. This, he added, creates a "legitimate expectation."
"When the court reviews the use of force against the legitimate expectations that have been created, it can bring down a force used outside the legitimate expectations created," said the MP.
Despite the various opinions and concerns, MPs agreed that intentional lies on the Web are a serious problem that needs to be addressed.
Ms. Rahio Machzam, who was on the Select committee that examined the matter last year, said she was "pleased" that the bill took into account the committee's recommendations.
"In my opinion, Bill grabbed the essence of the commission's recommendation and did a good job of calibrating the answers to online lies," she said.