The images of support are specifically blurred to have their identities covered because of the ongoing doxxing activities going on. I do not want any of our supporters to be physically injured for supporting us. There are already online activities to disparage our franchisees.
We have made a police report and I have sent a letter to our dearest Prime Minister Mr Lee Hsien Loong to expedite on this.
Open Letter/Email to Dearest Prime Minister, Mr Lee Hsien Loong
Dearest Prime Minister Mr Lee Hsien Loong,
Cc Law Minister, K ShanmugamCc Mr Heng Swee KeatCc Mr Chan Chun Sing
Note : this email is published in the open at https://vendshare.net/5vs200
I write to seek your help in helping businesses like mine combat the malicious spread of fake news, doxxing, defamation and harassment committed by official news agencies in Singapore.
On 17 March 2021, Rice Media Pte Ltd of 27, Ann Siang Rd, Singapore 069707 published an article, “THESE SINGAPOREANS LOST MONEY IN A FINANCIAL SCHEME. WHAT CAN THEY ACTUALLY DO ABOUT IT?” written by one Mr. Ivan K. Wu.
The ongoing doxxing by the press has painted the picture that I have hurt the interest of all the VendShare franchisees. As a matter of fact, basing on our present investigation we have only uncovered 5 errant franchisees (we are continuing on our investigation for other accomplices that may have assisted these 5 errant franchisees).
After the Rice Media article was published, several other news agencies followed suit, namely The Online Citizen, MSN news and WanBao.
The Article contains various statements which constitute fake news; and which are defamatory of myself and my businesses, Candle Consulting Pte Ltd, Vendshare Pte Ltd, Katalyst Pte Ltd.
The news article and reproduction of it creates a physical threat against property – our network of vending machines. There are people who threatened to destroy our vending machines.
There are facebook posts now on people following me and details to Facebook on what I wear and what bag I carry. I have reasons to believe that my personal safety is at risk now.
The doxxing intent and content includes derogatory remarks on the Singapore Police Force (their words, “This begs the question: why aren’t more franchisees going to the authorities or taking steps to protect their legal interests? Finally, in ‘law and order’ Singapore, how many police reports need to be filed against one individual / business for SPF to take action?”). They are criticizing our law enforcement agencies in the country.
Based on our present estimation, 5 unhappy franchisees contravening the law to affect the livelihood of 200 over franchisees.
The franchisees in our programme have felt threatened by the fury of the online mob and some don’t even dare to speak up for fear of being ridiculed. The majority of the franchisees are ordinary people who have also been affected by Covid 19 and they understand that what they have signed up for is a proper business with risks. They also understand that such disputes are best solved via legitimate means including consulting their lawyers to resolve their unhappiness.
I thank you sirs for starting the process of managing fake news in society and I wish that news agencies can be held accountable for their bullying actions and not abuse their powers to spread malicious information, targeted at individuals or businesses without proper checks. They have a greater responsibility to the public in upholding ethical journalism and to stop the spread of fake news at its core.
As a business owner, I have also been affected by the stressful and unprecedented conditions of COVID-19. Despite the challenges we also face, we have continued to run the business, keeping jobs and as a business, we have absorbed the losses of many franchisees’ locations which are under-performing as a result of the pandemic for 1 year as we know that many franchisees are also experiencing financial constraints.
While there are temporary inconveniences, we know that what we have is a disruptive and innovative business model that has the potential to build wealth and create many jobs. In fact, a VC firm was just talking to us prior to this PR crisis to expand this model overseas to the neighbouring regions. What the actions of these news media have done is to destroy the value of the business overnight. As a businessman, I have built my reputation painstakingly over the years. Their actions have also jeopardized the financial interests of the majority of the other franchisees who understand the situation and know that we are doing what we can in these difficult times.
We believe in our mission to allow the middle class to own vending machines / automation. We have been working hard over the past 1 year to v2 of our business. The interviewees in the Rice Media article were hidden behind pseudonymes to spread their malicious message. As a legitimate business, we face the public and do not have the luxury of hiding behind fake names and gossip.
We think that the ways to combat Fake News are many folds.
1) News Agencies and Media should abide by ethical standards of reporting. The article by The Society Of Professional Journalists provide a good and useful guide
2) To have education and programmes targeted at helping people to discern if something is “fake” or not.
3) To involve different members of the public to discuss how to implement and safeguard our society from the malicious spread of Fake News.
Society has always valued truth as a virtue. As technology advances, we have reached an existential crisis with regards to fake news. I trust that you will be able to act on this to safeguard different fractions of society and businesses such as ours which are doing our best to innovate and provide jobs and create prosperity to our people.
Thank you for listening.
This email is posted in public on https://vendshare.net/5vs200
Our official reply to Rice Media’s article can be found on https://vendshare.net/ricemedia
And www.vendshare.net/rice (Probably attach the pdf documents of these)
Franchisees’ Discussion In Private Close Whatsapp Group
Support for VendShare (#supportvendshare hashtag)