SINGAPORE – A man who is allegedly an administrator for alternative news site Wake Up, Singapore (WUSG) has been charged with defamation for his involvement in the publication of a false story.

Ariffin Iskandar Sha Ali Akbar, 26, had purportedly published the story in March 2022, titled: The Baby Is Probably Dead – Woman Shares A Harrowing Account Of Her Miscarriage At KKH A&E.

The article alleged that mismanagement by KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) led to a patient suffering a miscarriage. It was published on WUSG’s website, Facebook and Instagram.

Ariffin, who is facing one count of defamation, did not enter a plea in court on April 24. His case will be heard again on May 24.

On March 25, 2022, KKH filed a police report after the story was published online.

The story reported that on Feb 28, 2022, a woman who was 20 weeks pregnant and was Covid-19 positive had arrived at KKH to seek treatment after experiencing severe abdominal pains at 2pm.

According to the article, the woman said she was then told to wait at the drop-off area and that she started to bleed at 5pm, but was not attended to.

In the article, the woman said she saw the doctor only at 6pm, after a four-hour wait, and was told she had lost her baby. She also alleged that her foetus was later discarded as medical waste.

Police investigations later revealed the story and its allegations to be false. KKH confirmed that the patient in the story had been seen by a doctor within an hour of her arrival and did not suffer a miscarriage.

In March 2022, the Ministry of Health said it had instructed the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act Office to issue a correction direction to WUSG for publishing the false account.

The correction notices were published on the alternative news site’s Facebook and Instagram accounts on March 27, 2022.

If found guilty of defamation, a person can be jailed for up to two years, or fined, or both.