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Issuance of Correction Direction Under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act Regarding Falsehood About Woman Who Claimed to Have No One to Turn to For Urgent Help

Type: Fact Check, Press Releases

Topic(s): Financial Assistance & Social Support

The Minister for Social and Family Development has instructed the POFMA Office to issue a Correction Direction1 (CD) to correct a Facebook post made by Gilbert Goh on 24 April 2022. Goh will be required to carry a correction notice alongside his post.

Correction and clarification regarding falsehood posted by Gilbert Goh

2 On 24 April 2022, Goh published on Facebook an appeal he purportedly received from “A”, who claimed that there is “no one [she] can turn to” for help and that she needed urgent financial assistance for herself and her partner, as well as adult diapers, transportation, and food. Goh’s post gave the impression that “A” and her partner have not received any assistance from the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) and other agencies. This is false.

3 “A” is known to MSF as Mdm A.

  • Mdm A has been receiving ComCare assistance from MSF since June 2015 without any break in monthly assistance. Mdm A’s last ComCare assistance period was from December 2021 to April 2022, before the current renewal from May 2022 to August 2022. Also, her monthly payout was increased from May 2022 onwards.
  • Her partner has been receiving ComCare assistance for various periods since June 2015. His last assistance period was from October 2021 to March 2022. It was renewed from April to September 2022.

4 Besides MSF, Mdm A and her partner are also receiving financial and non-financial assistance from various other agencies and community partners, including the Agency for Integrated Care, MUIS (Islamic Religious Council of Singapore), Tan Tock Seng Hospital, THK Family Service Centre @ MacPherson and Home Nursing Foundation. Together, the financial assistance that Mdm A and her partner are currently receiving from MSF and other agencies amounts to more than $2,000 each month. This assistance includes cash, rental assistance, assistance for service and conservancy charges, utility assistance and Public Healthcare Assistance.

5 Mdm A had not reached out to MSF for additional help before the Facebook post was published.

6 The false statement in Goh’s post gives the impression that MSF and other agencies are not aware of, or are not doing anything about, Mdm A’s situation. This is not the case, and it is important to set the facts straight. Such false statements erode public trust and lead to misunderstanding about the support and assistance being extended to needy families by MSF and other agencies.

7 MSF and other agencies are continuing to do our utmost to support and assist families in need. If members of the public come across individuals and families who require financial or social support, they may call the ComCare hotline at 1800-222-0000 or approach the nearest SSO (www.msf.gov.sg/ssolocator) or Family Service Centre (FSC) (www.msf.gov.sg/fsclocator).

1 A Correction Direction is a Direction issued to a person (“the recipient”) who has communicated a falsehood that affects the public interest. It requires the recipient to publish a correction notice, providing access to the correct facts. The CD does not require the recipient to take down their post or make edits to their content.