MCI response to PQ on foreign state sponsored disinformation campaigns on COVID19 vaccines
Parliament Sitting on 26 July 2021
QUESTION FOR WRITTEN ANSWER
*65. Mr Gerald Giam Yean Song: To ask the Minister for Communications and Information (a) how many incidents of foreign state-sponsored disinformation about COVID-19 vaccines, the pandemic and associated health issues on private messaging networks have been detected since January 2020; (b) what is the nature of such disinformation efforts; (c) what impact have they had on national cohesion and Singapore’s response to COVID-19; (d) how such cases have been dealt with; and (e) what plans are being considered towards reviewing and improving on current responses.
The Member asked whether we have faced foreign state-sponsored disinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccines.
We have observed numerous examples of disinformation from many sources around COVID-19 and vaccines, some of them emanating from overseas. We cannot rule out that some may be state-sponsored, though we have no evidence of a deliberate hostile information campaign directed against us on vaccines.
Our national vaccination programme has one core purpose: to protect the health and safety of Singaporeans. Thus, it is guided by the objective expertise of our scientific and medical authorities, not political pressure, whether foreign or domestic.