Leong Mun Wai’s ”POFMA Couple” Was Referred to Him by Pritam Singh


Keeping up with Parliament these days feels like binge-watching a reality show – some moments make us proud, such as pay raises and CPF top-ups, while others have left us raising an eyebrow. 

Here are two things that keep us glued to our seats during these sittings:

  • The feel-good announcements that make us puff out our chests with pride as Singaporeans.
  • Those epic mic drop moments that leave us shook.

Point two happened on Monday (4 March) with the Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Social and Family Development Eric Chua reminding our MPs that the issues faced by people in our community should not be used as “trojan horses, as pawns or as chess pieces” to serve any political agenda.

Here’s what happened.

Leong Mun Wai’s POFMA Order

MP Melvin Yong (PAP-Radin Mas) raised some questions to the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) about the information Mr Leong had about a couple he posted on Facebook on 12 Feb. 

He claimed that he had visited their home and found that they did not receive any financial assistance amidst the couple’s unfortunate situation and their calls for help. Apparently, Mr Leong’s post didn’t include the full story. 

Soon after posting about the couple on Facebook, a correction order was imposed on Mr Leong in line with POFMA. For those who need a refresher, it’s short for the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act. 

In other words, the Government claimed that he was spreading fake news because the couple did obtain some financial assistance and his post could potentially “diminish public confidence” in the government, as outlined by the Act.

A Misunderstanding?

After the incident, the couple had spoken to some volunteers and Mr Chua let the rest of us in on their conversation.

He said that the couple did not expect any members of the PSP to come to their home, let alone Mr Leong. 

This was because they had reached out to WP chief, Mr Pritam Singh, four years ago. Unfortunately, they did not receive any response until recently, when they received a call from Mr Singh. They were told that they can expect a visit soon. 

The couple seemed to also be aware that Mr Singh received their outdated email and informed Mr Leong about it. 

Mr Singh chimed in, stating that he had only recently picked up some backlogged messages from residents in need while he was giving his office a due Marie Kondo clean-up. That was when he decided to do a long-awaited follow-up with the couple.

During the catch-up, he managed to obtain their address, after it was missing from the letter, and found that they were located nearer to where Mr Leong’s party was active. 

He also found that the Social Service Office (SSO) was inaccessible to the couple due to their disabilities. This spurred Mr Singh to contact Mr Leong in hopes that they could get to the couple sooner. 


Consistency is clearly a word in Mr Singh’s book, stating that the details and issues of residents that WP are uninvolved in, are typically passed on to the MSF. 

Upholding Residents’ Privacy 

This case brought into question the policies in place to protect residents’ financial situations. 

“It is unfortunate that there is a habit of rushing to publicise cases of persons in need,” said Mr Chua. 

He stressed the importance of good intentions when aiding those in need. Personal data disclosure should only happen if it’s truly in the public’s interest – not just for political points.

Communication is Key?

Mr Leong has not given a response to Mr Chua’s address. He has since stepped down as PSP’s secretary-general last month after his POFMA order. 


Anyway, it sounds like a classic case of miscommunication. All the boyfriends can collectively twitch their eyes and block out the nagging. 

Remember, keep your partners in the loop – it’s easier to avoid drama that way.