While he did not name the media outlets involved, the minister reportedly said that when allegations “appear in mainstream media, you would expect them to check the facts before publishing”.
“Basic checks would have shown the allegations to be false,” he was quoted as saying.
Shanmugam added that the allegations were “absurd”.
He noted that the arguments made that the HSR agreement had favoured Singapore, and that water prices were too low were “not new”.
“This article repeats those points, and adds a very nasty and malicious twist.
“It brings in 1MDB, it brings in (former Malaysian PM) Najib Razak, and says that our PM and the Singapore government were corrupt and complicit in the (1MDB) money laundering,” he was reportedly said.
The minister reportedly called such articles “a classic example” of wanting to “damage confidence in Singapore, damage Singapore’s reputation internationally, (and) damage confidence in the Prime Minister”.
“We have debunked it immediately, and a lot of media have carried that, and we can go further,” Shanmugam said.
“Police will take action against all involved, based on investigations, and of course, based in AGC’s advice.”
Earlier today, Bernama reported that the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) had filed a report with the Singapore Police Force against the author of an article published on a certain portal called “States Times Review” on Nov 5, 2018. (The article was also carried in the online portal of Chinese language daily China Press, but was taken down later.)
The article made statements, claimed (by MAS) to be false and malicious, and which impugned the integrity of MAS as a financial regulator.
The article titled “Lee Hsien Loong becomes 1MDB’s key investigation target” alleged that Malaysia had signed several unfair agreements with Singapore, in exchange for Singapore banks’ assistance in laundering 1MDB’s funds.
MAS said the article is “baseless and defamatory.” — Bernama