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Why isn’t Minister Edwin Tong issuing POFMA Correction Direction against the Thai PM or Bangkok Post?

Minister Edwin Tong disputed claims by Thai PM Srettha about Taylor Swift’s concert deal costs, stating the actual amount is much lower than reported. Despite this, no POFMA correction has been issued against Thai PM Srettha or the Bangkok Post, which reported on his claims.



Just yesterday, Minister for Culture, Community, and Youth Edwin Tong told Channel News Asia in an interview on Friday that the figures provided by Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin regarding the amount spent to secure an exclusive deal with pop diva Taylor Swift for her concert tour in Singapore were exaggerated.

He stated that it is ‘nowhere as high’ as reports have suggested.

“What I’ll say is this: The numbers that you see online—it is nowhere as high as what is being speculated.”

Prime Minister Srettha had earlier been quoted by the Bangkok Post on 16 February, saying that the global concert promoter Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) informed him the Singapore government financially supported Taylor Swift’s concerts, offering US$2 million to 3 million per show in exchange for exclusivity in Southeast Asia.

This arrangement would imply that the government was set to pay around US$10 to 18 million for the six concerts hosted by Taylor Swift.

CNA further clarified in its report that it understands the figure to be closer to US$2 million to US$3 million in total for all six shows.

Beyond the disbelief that a billionaire entertainment entity would agree to an exclusive concert deal for just a mere US$3 million, it prompts the question of why Mr Tong has not issued a POFMA correction direction against the Bangkok Post for publishing what he claims to be a falsehood.

The Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) was introduced as a measure against disinformation from both local and foreign actors.

In the introduction of the law back in 2019, the Minister for Home Affairs and Law cited examples of disinformation operations by a foreign country used to sway domestic sentiments in favour of a foreign state’s geopolitical goals as one of the reasons why POFMA is essential in Singapore.

Wouldn’t Mr Srettha’s inaccurate statements regarding Singapore’s spending be a situation where POFMA is applicable?

Naturally, one might argue that issuing a correction directive against a state head is unthinkable.

However, revisiting the instance when The Online Citizen was issued a POFMA correction direction by then-Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat in April 2020 over a report that highlighted claims made by a Taiwanese outlet over Madam Ho Ching’s alleged salary of S$99 million a year as the CEO of Temasek is illustrative.

Although TOC was not the originator of the claim, it received the correction directive, while the Taiwanese outlet that made the claim did not. Thus, what Mr Tong could do is issue a correction directive to the Bangkok Post for disseminating the falsehood, as Mr Heng did with TOC.  After all, Mr Tong himself has issued several POFMA correction directions over the years.

If no action is taken, it could be presumed either that what Mr Srettha said is indeed factual and the Singapore government is wary of direct confrontation or that POFMA is merely a tool to suppress its local media or political opponents rather than to address disinformation from overseas sources as it was purported to be.

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Why POFMA, when minister already admitted it is truth?

The only concern is why this revelation came from a foreign country when Singaporeans knew nothing? What are the benefits for Singaporeans? Any free tickets for Singaporeans except for ministers.

Is this another F1- Iswaran case?

Because POFMA only works on sillyporeans. Outside of the red dot, it has no teeth.

Ah loong’s total focus on only grow GDP at all costs is now even obvious to overseas observers. If he can fuxk his personal relationship with his own siblings over a family house dispute, guess he will also fuxk our regional relationships with other countries just to grow his GDP numbers.

Refute is BASICALLY much like a lie.
1. Does a caught robber refutes his innocence?
2. Can one find a drug pusher pend conviction for DEATH under the law REFUTES his ignorance?
3. Does a rapist will agree to his crimes?

It is PERFECTLY normal to the GUILTY ALWAYS ALWAYS never never fail to REFUTE when CAUGHT or the law and punishment creeps up towards them.

How is Ed Tong’s refutes different?

REFUTES are made to defend against GUILT or LIES – so it seems, right or not?

You oppies are really dumb or brainless, yet pretending to be smart. This sort of question shouldn’t be even brought up to discuss. Pofma a dignitary or head of another country? You want severe relationship or go into war? Do you admit you are being plain silly by asking such stupid question?

Look at pap’s actions on pofma: it’s all directed at local opposition and dissidents whom they can sue or bankrupt like they did to past opposition figures like JBJ and Tang LH and the like. Pofma is really a political tool used by pap to stifle freedom of expression and to scare Singaporeans into silence and submission. The ridiculous idea that a mere pap minister can solely judge and decide what is false and be given judicial powers to persecute opposition without ever providing the answer as to what the real truth is, that is truly abhorrent. That is truly… Read more »

Hey, like that how to give his mother-in-law money.????
Got consequences. Nowadays you talk Big,
Other countries will pull out their Willy & put it in PAPs mouth.

U should also issue Pofma on Philippines. At least call up the ambassador to dismiss their accusations.

When do you want to report this in parliament?

What is there to POFMA? You oppo bay song ah? You yourself kennna so many POFMA, deservingly so. Ah Tong just wanted to tell Thai PM in a polite way to…”Go fuck off, you think ah Swift want your Thai Baht ah? What is your Thai Baht fucking exchange rate to Sing$?” All these other Asian states just pure envy and jealous. They should know why ah Swift ignore all these other Asian countries. No need calculator also know it would not be worth …EVEN LANDING AT THEIR AIRPORT!! If can perform at any one of these fucktard asian state,… Read more »

Tongy Dongy, sure or not less than 3m?

Recalled bala blew budget for the kiddy Olympics to more than 300m.

Hard to trust these fork tongue chaps.

No POFMA = it’s true !!!
Same like HC’s salary of $100,000,000.00 claimed by a taiwanese TV.

Poopma is only for those they can pooped on like the citizens. Bigger countries can say anything and poop on pofma anytime. It feels like shit law, I mean lor.

Having oredi pissed off it’s neighbours, with the “hijacking” of exclusive TS concerts, … don’t think this regime wanna stir the perilous pot on the verge of spilling disastrously over, with any form of an official put down, let alone a POFMA !!!

The real costs involved, will show itself soon enough, … unless TS has signed into an agreement with a confidential clause !!!

Let’s just watch the SwiftSpace !!!

When come to issuing pofma to other foreign entities, Sgov is very 婆妈 (procrastinate).
But to locals, it issues very quickly.
Pofma, 婆妈, 傻傻分不清楚。

Ya lo

ET wake up! Do your job properly

A sufficient, OPEN proof on the conduct of PAP Administration – they weaponised POFMA as an armament to disarm, to threaten to kill own people – is this Uniquely Singapore?

Why in the world when smart and wise people don’t really take up residence in SG EXCEPT to MAKE BIG BUCKS like the eponymous Fujian Rich Gang. Yeah they do take up BUT as A FRONT which Loong took the bait for as he said rich pple create jobs, jobs like toilet cleaning.

Where is Eduardo Saverin by the way, whom Loong shone him as an example of his wisdom.

PAP is our own local kampong bully.
Will be cowered outside this kampong.
No balls outside the kampong.

Everyone wants to be friends or connected to the local kampong bully.
Very difficult to remove the local kampong bully.
But it is not impossible.

Just have to wait for another bully to show up.