[UPDATE: This story has been updated to include NLB's reply.]
SINGAPORE – A 51-year-old public servant was charged on Wednesday (19 May) for leaking information about the resumption of activities in Phase 2 of Singapore's reopening last June.
Deputy Director of the Property and Facilities Management department of the National Library Board (NLB) Chua Wee Lin was handed a charge of wrongful communication under the Official Secrets Act. He is said to have sent the information to a WhatsApp group consisting of 18 other members on 11 June.
Chua, a Singaporean, said he will seek legal advice. He will return to court on 16 June.
The police received a report on 12 June last year that information about the Phase 2 reopening – which began on 19 June – was circulating in WhatsApp messages among members of the public, even before the information was officially released.
Investigations showed that the man was an authorised recipient of the classified information, but that he had allegedly shared the information via WhatsApp on 11 June last year with members of a chat group who were not authorised to receive it.
The information was further disseminated by the members of this chat group.
Six of those involved will be issued stern warnings for the wrongful communication of information under the Official Secrets Act, said the police. For wrongful communication under the OSA, Chua may be jailed up to two years or fined up to $2,000 if convicted.
In response to Yahoo News Singapore queries, NLB said that Chua had been suspended immediately after he was arrested on 13 June.
Chua is the third public servant to be charged under the OSA for leaking classified information related to COVID-19.
Last month, a personal assistant to the Singapore Food Agency's director-general Noorain Jubli was charged over the leaking of the announcement to implement home-based learning last year.
A week before that, a deputy lead of the Data Management Unit set up by the Ministry of Health, Zhao Zheng, was charged for leaking the daily updates of confirmed COVID-19 cases.
Noorain's husband as well as a female acquaintance of Zhao were also charged for wrongful dissemination of the information.
More Singapore news:
Stay in the know on-the-go: Join Yahoo Singapore's Telegram channel at http://t.me/YahooSingapore