Singapore

Facebook user apologises for doctoring article on City Harvest verdict

A man who uploaded a doctored newspaper report on Facebook, suggesting a lawyer -who is an MP from the People's Action Party (PAP) - saved the six people in the City Harvest Church case from harsher sentences, has apologised on social media.

Mr Neo Aik Chau, 38, a delivery driver, posted the apology on his Facebook page yesterday.

He also apologised in at least two other Facebook groups but not on the public page where he uploaded the doctored report.

Mr Neo's apologies came a day after the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) wrote to him about the false report.

Writing in Chinese on his Facebook page, Mr Neo said:"I swear not to post anything like this again. Please forgive me."

On Monday, Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam said the AGC considers the Facebook post of the doctored article a case of contempt by scandalising the courts.

Originally posted on a public Facebook group whose name translates to "Policy discussion forum", Mr Neo's post was of Chinese evening daily Lianhe Wanbao's Page 1 report with a false headline.

The original said an outdated law saved Kong Hee and five others from harsher penalties.

The false headline said a PAP lawyer saved them, referring to Mr Edwin Tong, an MP for Marine Parade GRC, who was Kong's lawyer in the criminal trial.

Shin Min Daily News reported yesterday that Mr Neo said he was "inspired" by coffee-shop chatter over the verdict.

"I'd only meant to put it on the Facebook group as a talking point, and did not have malicious intent. I didn't think it would be reposted," he said.

Lianhe Wanbao editor Goh Sin Teck said of the fake headline: "This is not creativity and is a type of behaviour with malicious intent, attempting to mislead the public. It should be condemned." - SEOW BEI YI

COURT & CRIME