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Gov't can terminate funding for SPH Media over 'serious wrongdoings': Teo

SPH Media came under fire after overstating its circulation numbers.

Minister for Communications and Information Josephine Teo said the government has the right to terminate its funding to SPH Media Trust (SMT) if it  is found to have done "serious wrongdoings."

SMT has been facing scrutiny over overstating its daily circulation numbers by 10% to 12% in its  September 2020 to March 2022 report.

In February, the MCT announced a $900m funding support for SMT. The first tranche of the support was disbursed in 2023.

In response to the Parliament, Teo underscored that the funding for SMT "had little to do with circulation" and that the government "did not have a funding relationship with SMT before the end of 2022."

" the events took place before SMT was formed when the media business was under SPH Limited (SPHL), a privately-listed company," Teo said.

"Nevertheless, the government made it clear then that it expected SMT to properly investigate the matter and to give the public a proper account," Teo added.

The minister added that the government will intervene if there is a case of misconduct or mismanagement of public funding.

" In this regard, we have built-in safeguards that allow the Government to conduct our ad-hoc audits," she said.

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