By Iris Koh

November 9, 2021


iris Koh

10th NOVEMBER 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

9th Nov 2021

We have started legal proceedings against SPH

Over the past month, we have spent many hours working together with our lawyers and legal research team to put together the legal arguments and evidence required for our lawsuit. And I’m pleased to inform everyone that on the 28th of October, we finally filed our papers, thus kickstarting the whole legal process.  Let me share with you some of the details about this lawsuit.

Who filed the lawsuit?

  • One of the members of our community is the Plaintiff for this lawsuit.
  • We will be conducting an interview with her in due course so that she can share more about why she was willing to stand up to be one of our Plaintiffs.

Who are we suing?

  • We are suing Singapore Press Holdings. As many of us would know, SPH is the company which owns various newspapers in Singapore including the Straits Times.

Why are we suing SPH?

  • As the main source of information in this country, we feel that they have both a legal and moral obligation to present the facts regarding COVID-19 and the pandemic and we would like to hold them to account. 

What is the legal basis for our suit against SPH?

  • We filed an application to the court under Section 15 of the Protection from Harassment Act.
  • You are free to check out the legislation yourself.
  • We are not suing SPH for harassment. Rather, we are suing them for making false statements of fact.
  • If the court accepts our evidence and finds that there is indeed a false statement of fact, the court can make several orders including stop publication orders and correction orders.
  • This is quite similar to the remedies available when the Government invokes POFMA.
  • So we hope that the court would issue a correction order to SPH to correct the false statements that they have made.

What false statement are we targeting in particular?

  • For this particular lawsuit, we are targeting the false statements that SPH has made in an Article published by Senior Health Correspondent Salma Khalik on 7 August 2021.
    The two statements are as follows:   
  • “Only fair to protect vulnerable in S‘pore against Covid-19 spread by unvaccinated people.”
  • “People who are not vaccinated face a much higher risk of getting infected and spreading the disease.”

What are the next steps?

  • The pre-trial conference is only set for the end of this month. 
  • Will give more updates in due course.
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