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Netizens question why no POFMA order issued to Israel Embassy over insensitive FB post

Despite Singapore govt’s condemnation of Israel embassy’s insensitive post, many netizens question why no POFMA order was issued, as the post spread misinformation posing risks to social harmony in the country.



On Monday (25 March), the Singapore government strongly condemned a Facebook post by the Israeli embassy, deeming it “completely unacceptable,” according to Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam.

However, many netizens have raised questions regarding whether the government will pursue further action against the embassy.

They wonder why no correction direction under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) was issued to the embassy, considering the post disseminated misinformation potentially harmful to Singapore’s social harmony.

The controversial post, published on Sunday, drew comparisons between mentions of Israel and Palestine in the Quran. It stated, “Israel is mentioned 43 times in the Quran.”

“On the other hand, Palestine is not mentioned even once. Each and every archeological evidence – maps, documents, coins, link the land of Israel to the Jewish people as the indigenous people of the land.”

The post was deleted later that day.

Addressing the media on Monday, Minister Shanmugam revealed his immediate reaction upon discovering the post. “I was very upset,” he confessed, outlining the steps taken by the Home Affairs Ministry to communicate their concerns to the Foreign Affairs Ministry, which in turn demanded the immediate removal of the post by the Israeli embassy.

Mr Shanmugam criticized the post for being “insensitive and inappropriate,” highlighting the potential risks it posed to Singapore’s safety, security, and harmony.

He emphasized Singapore’s commitment to protecting all its residents, including Jewish and Muslim communities, and cautioned against actions that could “inflame tensions” and jeopardize the safety of the Jewish community in Singapore.

Netizens question lack of further action against the Israel embassy

However, after observing the reactions of netizens on Singaporean social media platforms such as ‘Wake Up, Singapore,’ state media outlets like CNA and The Straits Times Facebook page, it is evident that many are questioning why no further action has been taken against the Israeli Embassy regarding the insensitive post.

Some are calling for an official apology, citing concerns about its potential harm to social harmony in Singapore.

Others are even suggesting issuing a POFMA correction direction to address the misinformation and its undermining effect on local harmony.

POFMA aims to protect the Singapore public from online harm by addressing the spread of falsehoods.

Some perceive the controversial post as indicative of a lack of respect or understanding of religious and racial harmony in Singapore, urging for accountability and transparency in addressing such issues.

One netizen expressed shock at the Israeli Embassy’s decision to make such a post, particularly considering the presence of Muslims within the Singaporean community.

Some Muslim brothers also pointed out the misleading interpretation in the embassy’s original post. They clarified that in the Quran, the term “Israel” refers to the people of Prophet Yakub, also known as “Jacob,” and not the modern-day country as implied.

Another netizen speculated that the recent development could be a desperate attempt by the Israeli embassy to shift the narrative, as they are starting to perceive that Singaporeans and our government are not aligning with their interests despite maintaining diplomatic relations with them.

Netizen highlights offence under the Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act

One comment even emphasized that under Section 17F of the Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act (MRHA), it constitutes an offence to incite hostility, ill-will, or hatred between local religious groups, as well as to insult or wound the religious feelings of others, if it poses a threat to public peace or order in Singapore.

The punishment for such offences can include a fine, imprisonment for up to 5 years, or both.

A netizen raised the question of what would happen if an individual, rather than the Israeli embassy, were to make such a post, “would it also be as simple as requesting the person to take the post down, or would it result in an arrest and charge?”

Meanwhile, some question why no POFMA was issued to the Israel Embassy, as some believed that the controversial post could undermine Singapore’s multiracial policies

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!!!! Hot girls are waiting for you on —

Well, when there’s no pofma it means it’s true lah. To find the truth, u just have to read their scripture about it yourself, and make up your own mind. I’m reading the English translation of it now

Bible who write one ah?
Quran who write one ah?
Or man?
Why are ppl so stupid to believe 2 books ….WRITTEN BY MAN HIMSELF?
Then might as well take Harry book of “HALF TRUTHS” AS ALL TRUTH AND WORSHIP HIM AS A GOD TOO?😆😆😆😆😆

What has this issue got to do with the BLACK MAMBA SNAKE ah?
Well don’t if he so want to speak up for this issue, he go to GAZA to have a taste of it there?😆😆😆😆

Religious scriptures are not accurate in your opinion.
If not accurate then you shouldn’t believe it as a religion.
If it cannot be a religion, then why do you pray ?

Israel can ignore UN calls and US attempts to mediate. It definitely is fuxking Hamas. So if Shamni issues a POFMA order to Israel embassy, it will give him the middle finger and die laughing at him. And Shamni knows that, cannot lose face, hor.

欺善怕恶 bully those they overlord BUT not those with Big Guns

Can we accept what Hamas did is right? Are we sending the right signal or wrong signal?

Lets face the truth :
1) sending 4500 missiles to Israel on 7th October & killing innocent lives, tourists, children are totally not acceptable
2) sending 4500 missiles to Israel on 7 Oct 2023, Palestine claiming they are victimized is totally not acceptable
3) Holding civilians as hostages on 7th October and threating to kill them is totally not acceptable
4) Sending 4,500 missiles to Israel on 7th October and claiming Israel are terrorists are totally not acceptable

Let Israel finished their job please. Who are supporting the terrorists? raise up your hand. What Hamas did are totally unacceptable.

I have balls. Anyone need balls? LOL

What is pofma and when and how to issue also unclear. So you want government to interpret the religious book to issue pofma?

1 law >2 rules

Because POFMA is strictly reserved for helpless SG citizens and has no teeth on foreign bodies or sovereign nations. It was invented as a nerve agent to silence the citizens.

Have n’t I been telling the poster John, that Israel is the name given to Jacob. There is no reference to the State of Israel in the Bible. Moses never came down the mountain after meeting God, he completely disappeared so the story that the land of milk and honey belongs to the Jews, is just a story which was created like our fairy tales a long, long time ago. Biblical and religious books are written at a different period in time. They have hidden meanings that only those in that period of time can comprehend. We should not be… Read more »