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AGC to evaluate further action on Kenneth Jeyaretnam over alleged falsehoods

Attorney General’s Chambers and POFMA Office to review RP chief Kenneth Jeyaretnam’s POFMAed posts on Ridout Road properties, exploring potential actions.



SINGAPORE: The Attorney-General’s Chambers and the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) Office are set to evaluate comments made by Reform Party leader Kenneth Jeyaretnam regarding the rental of properties at Ridout Road by two ministers.

The objective is to determine whether any further action should be taken.

In response to queries from Singapore state media CNA on Thursday (22 February), the Ministry of Law (MinLaw) and the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) emphasized the government’s serious stance towards individuals spreading online falsehoods.

“Mr Kenneth Jeyaretnam’s repetition of falsehoods, even when the falsehoods and corresponding facts were pointed out to him previously, may suggest a deliberate intent to spread falsehoods,” MinLaw and MCI said.

“Mr Jeyaretnam’s actions have been referred to the POFMA Office and the Attorney-General’s Chambers to assess if any further action should be taken.”

Last week, Mr Jeyaretnam received his sixth correction direction under POFMA for comments made on 16 Feb about the rental of black-and-white bungalows at Ridout Road by two ministers.

The correction direction was issued as the Minister contended that Mr Jeyaretnam’s statements accused the SLA of mismanaging State properties, alleging preferential treatment in rental terms for Minister K Shanmugam and Minister Vivian Balakrishnan.

Correction directions were also issued to Gutzy Asia—for sharing the hyperlink to Mr Jeyaretnam’s post in an article on its website and indirectly linking it via its Facebook post and X post—and to The Online Citizen for its Facebook post.

The ministries highlighted that individuals disseminating multiple falsehoods may face criminal sanctions under certain circumstances. Furthermore, they may have their websites designated as Declared Online Locations (DOLs).

DOLs are online locations, like websites or webpages, carrying three or more distinct online falsehoods subject to active POFMA directions.

To be marked as a DOL, at least three false statements must have been communicated to the online location within the six months preceding its designation.

Mr. Jeyaretnam’s website, The Ricebowl Singapore, and his Facebook, Instagram, X, and LinkedIn pages were designated as DOLs in December 2023.

This designation, effective until 11 December 2025, prohibits him from receiving any benefits, including financial ones, from operating his website and social media pages.

An offence under section 7 of the POFMA entails severe penalties, including a fine of up to d$50,000, a potential imprisonment term of up to 5 years, or a combination of both.

In the case of non-individuals, such as online media platforms operated by tech companies, a substantial fine of up to $500,000 will be levied.

Furthermore, in instances where fake online accounts or bots are utilized to propagate falsehoods, individual offenders may face a fine of up to S$100,000 and/or a maximum imprisonment term of 10 years. For non-individuals found guilty of such actions, a substantial fine of up to S$1 million will be imposed.

Kenneth Jeyaretnam issued 6th POFMA direction over Ridout Road saga

Mr Jeyaretnam wrote a blog on 16 February entitled, “Can SLA Explain the Huge Discrepancy Between the Auction Results for 41 Malcolm Road and What They Are Charging for 26 and 31 Ridout Road?” He suggested he had evidence that the rentals for 26 and 31 were unusually low and that it appeared to be a mismanagement of Singapore’s precious land reserves.

He suggested that the failure to secure the best possible rental for the Ridout Road properties is purely the result of incompetence on the part of the SLA management.

According to SLA’s website, 41 Malcolm Road, which has an estimated gross floor area of 5,279 sq ft, drew four monthly rental bids in February of between S$10,500 (US$7,780) and S$22,242.

The Factually article stated that SLA had rented out 26 and 31 Ridout Road in 2018 and 2019, respectively, at fair market value and not below market valuation.

The monthly rent for 26 Ridout Road, which was revised from 9,350 square meters (100,600 sq ft) to 23,164 square meters (249,340 sq ft), was S$26,500, while the monthly rent for 31 Ridout Road at 9,157.36 square meters (98,569.0 sq ft) was S$19,000.

“At the time, 26 and 31 Ridout Road had been vacant for years. The market conditions were weak and generally on a downward trajectory,” it added.

When the properties were renewed three years later, they were also at market rent. A revaluation of the rentals was carried out by professional valuers to peg the rentals to the prevailing market rate.

The monthly rent for 26 Ridout Road was maintained at S$26,500, while the monthly rent for 31 Ridout Road was increased to S$20,000.

Regarding 26 Ridout Road, Mr Shanmugam who heads SLA as the Law Minister, is said to have recused himself from the rental transaction, and no matter had been raised by SLA to the Ministry of Law during the entire rental process.

The professional valuer also did not know the identity of the prospective tenant at the time, according to the Factually article.

Mr Jeyaretnam “makes an inappropriate and erroneous comparison” for the rentals of 26 and 31 Ridout Road with the recent rental bids for 41 Malcolm Road, said the article.

“It is misleading for Mr Jeyaretnam to suggest that the properties are directly comparable, without making any attempt to refer to the established facts relating to the rentals of 26 and 31 Ridout Road, or to account for the fact that property market conditions do not remain static,” according to the article.

“Market conditions today are stronger than they were when the Ridout Road properties were initially rented out and subsequently renewed.”

The tenancies for the Ridout Road properties were also kept within the 3+3+3 tenancy period.

“The ministers had incurred substantial costs to improve the state properties, the benefit of which will accrue to the State when the tenancies eventually come to an end.”

The Factually website said that Mr Jeyaretnam’s article and posts “glaringly omit” facts and that he has a “track record of publishing false statements” regarding the rentals of the Ridout Road properties by the ministers.

From July to November last year, he was issued five correction directions for comments about the Ridout Road rentals.

“His latest article shows that he chooses to persist in making false statements on the matter, even though he clearly knows the true facts,” said the Factually article.

“The government takes a serious view of Mr Jeyaretnam’s conduct and will consider if any further action should be taken against him.”

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I was wondering why those 2 PAPs need to rent such big bungalows for?
To show off use as an opulent residence , to entertain & entice all those i BIg Shot-millionaires and billionaires, who showed interest in settling in SG and park their millions here….
These two ministers already own GCBs in expensive districts…so why need more space , if not to show off or to use for secondary functions…

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KJ, … who brought the hush hush RidOutRental out onto the open, is now being “legally” manoeuvred and managed, … to ensure that this matter “is now closed” and not up for further discussions or comments !!!

Abuse of power and the legal “tools” they brought into play, … is being mobilised to strike, stifle and silence for~ever and a day !!!

This is gone from defending to forcing their doctrines onto us.

We might just see the first application of that indefinite detention law being used on Kenneth …

I think ken will be charged.

An opinion is spreading falsehood? We really need to send our children away from Singapore. No one can express how he or she looks at things unless it is aligned with what is dished out by the PAP party. Is it any surprise that Singaporeans are moving to California and Australia? Looks like we need a “save our children from the PAP, ” campaign and remove them from any association with PAP agencies or they will not be able to think critically.

So can all the unwanted/ refuse to be enslaved (me included) leave SG. Leave this God forsaken place where leaders ain’t an inspiration anymore since can’t agree to their vision!???

Putin has his match – 1000s of miles away. 1000s of times smaller in geography, but no less 1000s times weaker.
Putin predicted to win his Pres Election in a few more weeks time.


The 60’s