SINGAPORE: Dr Chan Ying-Kit, who wrote an article for East Asia Forum, an Australia-based academic website that was issued with a correction direction from a Singapore government agency on Sep 13, has apologised for the distress it has caused.
In response to TODAY's queries on Monday night (Sep 18), the Singaporean academic from the National University of Singapore (NUS) said in a statement that the Aug 18 commentary titled “A spate of scandals strikes Singapore” has also been retracted from the website.
Dr Chan said that he "sincerely and unreservedly apologise” for the errors, omissions and false statements made in his article, which was written on his own volition without NUS' knowledge.
“I am remorseful and deeply sorry to the prime minister, CPIB (Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau), NUS, and all the persons whom I have named for my actions and the distress my article has caused.”
On Sep 13, Ms Indranee Rajah, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, instructed the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) Office to issue the correction direction to East Asia Forum over the article, which she said contained various false statements on recent political controversies in Singapore.
The controversies included the rental of bungalows on Ridout Road by two Cabinet ministers, the extramarital affair between former Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin and Member of Parliament Cheng Li Hui that led to their resignations, and a CPIB investigation of Transport Minister S Iswaran for alleged corruption.
The falsehoods pertained to the independence of CPIB and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s approach in addressing certain matters.
Three days later, the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) announced that internet service providers in Singapore would be ordered to block access to East Asia Forum, after it failed to comply with the correction direction.
As of midnight on Tuesday, the website remains blocked to some users, but is accessible to others.
Elaborating on the parts of his article related to CPIB, Dr Chan said he had “failed to ...