Kenneth Jeyaretnam, An Angry Facebook User & An Online Publication Just Got POFMA-ed Over Ridout Road Saga


Kenneth Jeyaretnam Got POFMA-ed

Heard about the Ridout Road drama? No? Well, it’s back to spice up your lazy Sunday afternoon with a POFMA news.

Edwin Tong, our Second Minister for Law, has instructed for corrections directions to be issued to Reform Party’s Kenneth Jeyaretnam and another (unknown?) chap, Mr Thamil Selvan. This is all under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA), according to the Ministry of Law (MinLaw).

In other words, they got POFMA-ed lah.

But hold on, this isn’t about the saga where Jeyaretnam spilled the beans about two ministers, Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam and Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, renting colonial houses in Ridout Road, and then following up with accusations that caused a stir in Parliament.

Nope, this time it’s about Mr Shanmugam’s son’s company, Livspace.

Kenneth Jeyaretnam POFMA-ed Over Ridout Road Drama About Shanmugam’s Son’s Company Getting Contract from SLA

On 16 July 2023, correction directions were issued to Mr Jeyaretnam, Mr Selvan and online publication Jom over articles and social media posts about the rental of two bungalows along Ridout Road by two ministers.

Both men had wrongly claimed that the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) handed the renovation contract for 26 Ridout Road and/or 31 Ridout Road to home interior and renovation company Livspace.

They also suggested that this was done because Livspace’s CEO is Mr Shanmugam’s son.

Mr Selvan made these claims in a Facebook post on 1st July, while Mr Jeyaretnam did so in an article on his website, which he also shared on his Twitter page.

I know what you’re thinking: who the heck is Thamil Selvan?

I’m clueless too. All I know is that he’s a Facebook user who’s very anti-establishment, very angry, and very active on Facebook.

MinLaw clarified, “SLA did not award any contract to Livspace to carry out works to 26 Ridout Road or 31 Ridout Road. SLA has not had any transactions with Livspace for these or other properties.”

This was also highlighted during the fiery Ridout Road debate in Parliament on 3 July 2023, where Shanmugam clarified the situation and ended with the headline-worthy line, “Leave my family alone.”

Under the directions, Mr Jeyaretnam is required to post a correction notice on his website and Twitter page, and Mr Selvan has to do the same on his Facebook post. The notices should state that their posts contained false statements of fact.

Online Publication Jom Also POFMA-ed

As for online publication Jom (don’t confuse this with Mr Jeyaretnam’s website, which is called The Ricebowl Singapore), it’s also been POFMA-ed by the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI).

The weekly magazine got POFMA-ed for an article that claims that Mr Teo Chee Hean had not addressed questions “concerning the issue of actual or apparent conflicts of interest and possible breach of the code of conduct for ministers” and that the government caused Instagram to geo-block a post by fugitive lawyer Charles Yeo, the former Reform Party chairman.


The authorities said that the article left out crucial information from what Mr Teo Chee Hean had said in parliament.

Regarding the claim that an Instagram post by Charles Yeo was blocked, the ministries said this was false and that the government did not issue any directions or requests to Meta, Instagram’s parent company, that led to the geo-blocking of the post.

As of now, none of them has put up the correction notices yet.