SINGAPORE, Nov 28 — Social media giant TikTok is facing a civil lawsuit from Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam after it failed to assist Shanmugam in identifying three users who had each allegedly uploaded a video spreading false allegations about him.

Today, TODAY obtained copies of three affidavits filed by Shanmugam’s lawyers from WongPartnership, which detailed the allegations that he has repeatedly dismissed as “false and baseless”.

The affidavits were filed in support of Shanmugam’s application for court orders requiring TikTok to produce documents and information that would help to identify the users involved.

The affidavits stated that TikTok had refused to provide Shanmugam with the basic personal information of the three users unless a court order was obtained.


In a response to TODAY’s queries, TikTok’s lawyers at Rajah & Tann said that they were not able to provide any comment on the matter.

TODAY has also reached out to Shanmugam’s legal team for their response.

The false statements


On Aug 13 this year, a TikTok user with the username “@trusted.selller” allegedly uploaded a video which contained two images with the caption “GIVE HIM A DEFAMATION SUIT SISTER #MINISTER #SG #VIRAL #EXWIFE”.

The images were of two screenshots, one of which appeared to be a Facebook page that responded to the search term “k shanmugam ex wife” which displayed an image of Shanmugam and his former wife.

The other was a screenshot of a forum post which contained allegations against Shanmugam and were attributed to a “Former Mrs K. Shanmugam”.

Two days later on Aug 15, another TikTok user with the username “@tharakhussin” purportedly uploaded a video containing an image of a Facebook post which featured an article published by that included false and defamatory statements about Shanmugam.

While the video did not directly link back to the article, it displayed the headline in full, highlighting Shanmugam’s alleged extra-marital affair with Member of Parliament Foo Mee Har.

He has since commenced separate proceedings against over the published article and on Sept 15, the State Courts declared that the article contained false statements about Shanmugam, and the website was given a stop publication order.

The third TikTok user referred to in Shanmugam’s affidavit went by the username “@thaddeusthomas81” and allegedly posted a video on Aug 17 which was purported to be about the minister with the caption “Clarifications and a look at who is the wife and alleged mistress”.

The video also contained an image, among others, of Foo Mee Har with the words “alleged affair with MP Foo Mee Har”.

In his affidavits, Shanmugam states that he has never engaged in such an affair.

In an effort to clarify the false allegations, Shanmugam took to Facebook where he said that the allegations attributed to his former wife were, in fact, written by an imposter.

Shanmugam stated that his ex-wife had told him that she did not write them and that it was an imposter who made up the allegations.

The minister also clarified that the allegations of his supposed affair with Foo were “false and baseless”.

His affidavits cited an Aug 18 Mothership article as well, that detailed the apologies made by two individuals who published similar allegations.

Tiktok’s refusal to provide user information

Following the discovery of the videos, Shanmugam had engaged lawyers to ask TikTok to take immediate action to disable access to the videos.

The request also asked for TikTok to provide the three users’ basic subscriber information.

However, TikTok responded in an email saying that they were unable to disclose the information in the absence of a court order or other legal requirement.

Even though TikTok did not provide assistance, Shanmugam’s lawyers were still able to try to reach out to two of these TikTok users through Facebook, requesting that they remove the videos and provide a written apology, but no response was received.

Provision of users’ information ‘necessary’

As Shanmugam has been unable to ascertain the identity or address of the three TikTok users, he has been unable to commence legal proceedings directly against them.

In his affidavits, Shanmugam stated that the request for the documents and information would help lead him to the users’ identities and it is proportionate to require TikTok to produce them.

In using TikTok, the users have agreed not to publish any material that is deliberately designed to provoke or intended to harass, harm, hurt, distress, embarrass or upset people, but this has been breached by the three users when they uploaded the videos, he said. — TODAY