Teen suspected of falsely reporting Lee Kuan Yew’s death

Lee Kuan Yew2_300SINGAPORE: Two reputable international news organisations, CCTV and CNN, were caught in an embarrassing situation yesterday when they wrongly reported that Singapore’s former prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew had passed away.

Their reports had been based on an Internet posting that falsely announced Lee’s death.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Singapore police had identified a Singaporean minor who was believed to have acted alone, as a suspect.

The student, who was under the age of 16 and whose name was being withheld, was assisting the police in the investigation for an offence under the Computer Misuse and Cybersecurity Act, the police clarified in a statement today.

The offence carried a punishment of a fine not exceeding S$50,000 (RM135,051) or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years, or both.

According to the statement, preliminary investigations revealed that the suspect was believed to have modified an earlier 2010 Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) media statement hosted on the PMO website and subsequently sent out a photo of the modified content.

The PMO said in a statement today that the condition of Lee, who is in the intensive-care unit of Singapore General Hospital, remained critical.