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Minister K Shanmugam files POHA suits against TikTok over unaddressable defamatory content

Minister K Shanmugam is confirmed to be filing three POHA applications against TikTok, following the platform’s failure to assist in identifying users spreading false allegations about him.

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Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam is confirmed to be suing social media giant TikTok through three applications of the Protection against Harassment Act (POHA), as reported by TODAY on Tuesday evening.

Previously, Gutzy noted a person named Kasiviswanathan Shanmugam, who shared the Minister’s name, had initiated proceedings against TikTok and Google under POHA. Gutzy had reached out to Mr. Shanmugam for confirmation of filing applications against the two tech giants, to which he did not respond.

TODAY reports that these applications were filed following TikTok’s failure to assist in identifying three users who allegedly uploaded videos spreading false allegations about Mr Shanmugam.

Copies of three affidavits filed by Mr Shanmugam’s lawyers from WongPartnership, obtained by TODAY, detail these allegations, which he has repeatedly dismissed as “false and baseless.”

The affidavits, filed to support Mr Shanmugam’s application for court orders, state that TikTok refused to provide basic personal information about the three users without a court order.

TikTok’s lawyers from Rajah & Tann, responding to TODAY’s queries, were unable to comment on the matter.

Court documents reveal that on 13 August, a TikTok user “@trusted.selller”, allegedly uploaded a video with two images captioned “GIVE HIM A DEFAMATION SUIT SISTER #MINISTER #SG #VIRAL #EXWIFE,” depicting Mr Shanmugam and his former wife.

Another user, “@tharakhussin,” reportedly uploaded a video on 15 August, displaying an article headline from celebscritic.com, implying an extra-marital affair between Mr Shanmugam and MP Foo Mee Har.

Mr Shanmugam has since initiated separate proceedings against celebcritics.com, with the State Courts declaring the article’s contents false on 15 September.

A third user, “@thaddeusthomas81,” allegedly posted a video on 17 August about the minister, captioned “Clarifications and a look at who is the wife and alleged mistress,” featuring an image of Ms Foo. In his affidavits, Mr Shanmugam denies these allegations.

Mr Shanmugam addressed these false claims on his Facebook account in August, stating that the allegations attributed to his former wife were made by an imposter, confirmed by his ex-wife.

He also declared the affair allegations with an MP as “false and baseless,” referencing an 18 August article by Mothership that detailed apologies from individuals who published similar allegations.

In another post made in August, Mr Shanmugam clarified a past incident concerning an imposter who falsely claimed to be his ex-wife, Jothie Rajah, daughter of Senior Counsel and former Judicial Commissioner of the Supreme Court of Singapore, K.S. Rajah.

“A person pretending to be my ex-wife Jothie, put up a nasty, false post, many years ago,” he shared. Mr. Shanmugam confirmed that Jothie had disavowed any connection to the post, attributing it to the imposter.

While he had initially considered filing a police report when the issue first emerged, he chose not to. With the post resurfacing, he now plans to proceed with the police report.

Mr Shanmugam and Jothie Rajah were previously married for 15 years, but their marriage ended due to “mutual incompatibility”.

Speculations and allegations, such as the ones the Minister recently addressed, have been cited by some as potential reasons for their separation, although these claims remain unsubstantiated.

TikTok’s Refusal to Provide User Information

Following the video discoveries, Mr Shanmugam’s lawyers requested TikTok to disable access and provide basic subscriber information of the users involved.

TikTok, citing the absence of a court order or legal requirement, refused to disclose the information. Despite this, Mr Shanmugam’s lawyers attempted to contact two users via Facebook for video removal and apologies but received no response.

Unable to ascertain the identities or addresses of the three TikTok users, Mr Shanmugam could not commence direct legal proceedings. His affidavits argue that obtaining documents and information from TikTok is necessary and proportionate for identifying the users.

The TODAY report did not mention the earlier POHA application filed against Google, leaving its current status unclear and there has been no updated status on that application on the court hearing list.

Public Scrutiny and Legal Disputes

In addition to the POHA applications, Mr Shanmugam is facing public scrutiny over renting 26 Ridout Road, a substantial black-and-white bungalow spanning 23,164 sqm (249,294 sq ft), for S$26,500 from the Singapore Land Authority (SLA). Notably, the SLA is a statutory board under his purview as the Minister for Law.

Statements from Minister Shanmugam and Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan regarding this issue were presented during a parliamentary session in July.

Members of the People’s Action Party (PAP) government, including Cabinet members, have denied any misconduct. They pointed to reviews conducted by Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean and the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB), which exonerated both ministers.

Despite these clarifications, concerns about a potential conflict of interest remain. The act of negotiating with an agency within one’s own ministry, even after recusal, can lead to perceptions of impropriety, seemingly contradicting the Ministers’ Code of Conduct established in 1954.

The July parliamentary session highlighted these concerns, with both opposition members and the public calling for more transparent answers. However, the responses given were deemed largely unsatisfactory.

Moreover, Mr Shanmugam and Dr Balakrishnan are entangled in a legal dispute with Mr Lee Hsien Yang (LHY), the son of the late Lee Kuan Yew. This dispute centres on a Facebook post by LHY that critiques the declining trust in the PAP government and mentions the two ministers’ leases of state-owned properties at Ridout Road.

The Singapore court has recently ruled in favour of the two ministers in this case against LHY. As a result, LHY is obligated to pay damages, the amount of which is yet to be determined. Additionally, an injunction has been issued preventing LHY from reposting the allegedly defamatory statement.

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So if various people keep posting on a daily basis on Tik Tok, is he going to keep applying to the Court for the identify of these posters? How if the nos. increase to thousands? Seems like his mental health may need addressing.😂

This Shamni is so super-hypocritical. In the Liew-Prati case, where Prati was wrongly accused, framed, misjudged, callously mispresented in a bad light by the DPPs, biasedly treated by the police inspectors involved in the case – did Shamni cared about the maid’s reputation? Apparently only his own reputation is important, hor. Is this the type of minister SG/Singaporeans want? Or only his boss wants?

The Monster was garang, Gutsy to ban Sheegaporeans accessing Asian Sentinel.

Truly now Google, TT are Giants in the strictest social media sense among Microsoft, Amazon, in their own rights, perched at their respective mountain tops, apexes, whom are unreachable unless one trained to climb Mt Everest – is this Monster going to BAN Sheegaporeans access?

Haha – we ll see the true size of his balls.

Off course Tik Tok is laughing. Free advertisement on user confidentiality. Tik Tok users will increase as people have to use the Courts to find out the identity of users. Even the not so honourable Law MINISTER OF SINGAPORE. Kudos to the CEOs.

Are the videos deepfakes? If the videos are genuine, are they of a compromising variety? You know, like Leon Pereira stroking what’s her name’s hand 🙂

So, Telegram and now Tik Tok completely ignored our minister’s demands. Only the former TOC “obeyed”. Hmm … I guess outside of bullying our own, we just don’t have a lot of clout. I mean, Israel managed to get Elon Musk to fly in to meet with them and got him to AGREE with Netanyahoo’s genocidal war against the Gazans.

This is a personal lawsuit, so I fully expect Shanmugam to abuse state institutions for his personal gain. He’s done it in renting the Ridout bungalows on the cheap and he’ll do it again to settle this personal vendetta.

This shxt skin is really is thick skin, no class, not embrassed at all in what he did.
Why even need to ask what his ex-wife will say ,had said or even should say when all the lawyers in so many firms knew WHAT THE HELL HE DID BACK THEN?
Unless, he wants the whole story to be repeated again like what someone did at Sammy boy to the public years ago?😆😆😆🤣🤣🤣😆😆😆😆

typo correction.

…. reputation is ego, when both ARE distinct and separate.

A Million Dollars reputation seems is so fragile. Or it is the ego is fragile and needs to be propped. Which is which, Sheegaporeans are politically made foggy.

Goodness.

The SG Public is kind of being feted and defrauded to believe ego is reputation, reputation is ego when both and distinct.

He wants to be a Public figure but reacts to almost every negative post . His ex-wife is not bothered about the so called impersonation and seems to be a “bigger,” person by ignoring such posts. Kudos to Google and Tik Tok on their stand and having not buckled to Ministerial pressure. It shows their superior corporate governance in treating everyone on the same level. Our Singapore Ministers need powerful foreign corporates or individuals to give them a reality check and to curb their arrogance and huge ego.

So can a citizen group also use POHA to sue PM/ministers for calling voters Free Riders? Surely there are some who got emotionally, psychologically and medically affected by such UNPROVEN and HATEFUL allegations, by those in position or public authority.

Question everyone amused at:
Why Ms Jothie Rajah was quoted as a ‘3rd person’. She did not seems to put out her statement herself, or a statement she voiced unequivocably, directly?

Edit:

One view is exercising rights which anyone is entitled to – but can be subjective, relative.
The flip side of same view is obviously abuse of Ministerial powers.

One side is exercising rights which anyone is entitled to – but can be subjective, relative.
The flip side is obviously abuse of Ministerial powers.

ban tiktoks anyway.

but POHA and not FICA? tiktok and google not sinkie corpo leh. and what he is asking is basically for tech corpos to doxx a sinkie for shitposting. when all he needed to do was force the websites and apps to remove the fake scandals. the end.why need to doxx people?

So a very well paid and staying in huge prime government asset at an astonishing low market rent is very busy suing here suing there? So free? Because too much time and money?

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